Friday, January 29, 2010

"You're a Married Woman Now...."

All the romantical travel magazines and wedding sites would have a girl believe that once married she will spend a little time in the following way....
Lounging about on a beach looking post-coital and blissed out. Or maybe wearing white, flowing garments and walking hand and hand on the beach....or better yet sitting barefoot in side by side hammocks sipping umbrella drinks. Bliss bliss bliss! Well, I am here to tell you that it ain't so. Instead, I am wearing the sexiest of blue scrubs, a hair net, a surgical mask and a stethoscope about my neck. I am trolling the halls of the OR doing my best to looks smart and capable in hopes that some anesthesiologist will give me a shot at an airway.

The paper wedding is still mostly a secret as there are just some family members who would be hurt or upset about it and we don't want to hurt anyone or cause any strife. We did what we did because it was what was best for us and our particular situation. We made it more than just signing papers because it is MORE than just paperwork when you commit to spend the rest of your life with someone. We wanted to be able to address how special the occasion was without making a super involved process out of it. As I have said before, this was about us and September is about our families and friends....but I digress.

I initially decided to write this post in response to another blogger's post about her feelings about family. She writes about how she doesn't want kids and how she feels about the liberty people take expressing their opinions about young married women and "family". She tells the classic stories about the unwelcome opinions from the little old ladies saying "Oh, you'll never feel complete until you have children", or "Someday you'll wake up and realize you missed something". She doesn't see it this way. She expresses thoughts that she would feel trapped and angry if she found herself going though pregnancy and motherhood. She points out how once you get married you are supposed to want babies and how married people get pregnant and keep the babies and if they don't often there is a great deal of struggle and discord between families.

This is interesting to me. I want babies and the Hubbs wants babies too. In fact, we are crazy for babies and I am really looking forward to 18 months or so from now when I get to take the breaks off and see if I can even GET pregnant. However, six months ago I had a friend call and tell me she was pregnant. She had a sweet boyfriend who was a victim of the current economy, she had amazing parents with very liberal minds who would have likely been very happy to help her, and she had a good strong head on her shoulders. She also had just received an acceptance letter to graduate school. Her life's dream was to be an engineer and she had the chance to achieve that goal. She called me because I am that girl. My mother was a Nurse Midwife and all my adolescent/adult life I have been little miss women's health information. I talked with her about what I knew. There is a great clinic in the city where she lived at the time, one where they really respected women and their options. My friend 'N' knew that if she told her boy or her mom they would want her to keep the baby. She knew that was a death sentence for her dream. Long story short she decided not to have the baby and she is now working her way through graduate school. This spurred a conversation with my mom. I told her about my buddy and told her that I didn't know what I would do if it were me who was pregnant. I had just been accepted into a 11 month paramedic program that would definitely NOT be conducive to a pregnancy and would actually be out of the question in the last few months. It would be impossible to complete an internship filled with CPR, intubations, and stretcher fetching while enormously pregnant. Also impossible would be doing all of this while nursing and not sleeping during the first few months of motherhood. The upside would be that my program is very accommodating and I would be able to take the time off to have the baby and get my feet under me again before they would set me up to finish my education be it testing, interning, whatever...They are great. They have accommodated illness, fire academy and serious family situations in the past. That is not the point though. I had told my mom that I didn't think now would be an OK time. I thought mom would be all supportive and proud of me for being sensible and driven. Weeeeeell, my mom had other thoughts. She gave me the "talk" of a lifetime about how unrealistic women of my generation are and how it is getting us into more trouble than we realize. She says all this waiting for the "right time" is part of our controlling nature instilled in us by the culture of our time. She pointed out that I am (was) in a fantastic, supportive relationship with enough income to have a nice place to live, good insurance through my job as well as his, supportive family near by...all good things. All more than a lot of families have when they first start out. She had a point. I had long waited to be in such a good place in life. I had all the fundamentals in place. It would not be convenient but it would be OK. I was flabbergasted to think that I was *here*. I was in the zone where it was no longer insane to think of having a baby in fact, I am almost to the "you're not getting any younger" stage. It was no longer a "teen pregnancy". When the F did I get so OLD!?!!?? I know 26 is not geriatric but it is also not teenage anymore (thank god!). I just don't remember getting here. It was a real head trip to think about reaching this phase of my life. It was even stranger to realize that my friend 'N' was theoretically, there too. As modern women we had reached that diving board where we were about to start making those decisions about life, education, family and our futures. AHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I don't think her parents know to this day. I don't know if she ever told the boyfriend. I regret to report I haven't talked to her in quite some time as we are both pretty overwhelmed with school right now. But the message is in there none the less.

As women we are being told that we should be sexy, smart, driven, sensitive, organized, spontaneous, laid back, committed and family oriented. We are being told to be Betty crocker, June cleaver, as well as the CEO with a corner office. Who can do this? I am not saying we have to choose career or family, success in the outside arena or a happy home but I DO want to point out that women these days are expected to make a home, grow people inside of them....breast feed and rule to corporate world. The expectations and opportunities of the modern times have not absolved us of the "responsibilities" bestowed on us by our mothers, grandmothers and the many way backs before them. It's sort of insane! To add insult to injury we are damned if we do and damned if we don't. Women who marry and have families, who "settle down" and do the wife/mom thing while they are young are labeled sell outs, unmotivated, gold diggers...Women who decide to forgo the "family life" in the traditional sense, are labeled as cold, ball busters, selfish, or worse, barren. If you don't "dare" to take on the balancing act or *gasp* don't want to for whatever reason you are judged. Why People?! Why can't we just let people have their choices and lives? Why are women the target of this? Men don't get this shit. If a man is sitting around with his buds and says "nah, we have decided not to have kids" his buds are likely not going to say "Ahw brah, you HAVE to have kids! You won't feel complete, your clock will be ticking, you'll feel like something is missing..." It just isn't common. Anyway, my aim with today's post is to point out the insanity of what we put married women though as a culture. I am not trying to leave the single ladies or the dating ladies out of this particular post but lets face it, married women fall into a whole different puddle of expectations after the I Do. I am lucky enough to have supportive family however, I am also looking forward to babies be they homegrown or adopted. I don't have to go though the process of going against the grain of my family's opinions and hopes for us. That process was saved for the name change process which is another post all together.

Fitness Day 44
15min free weights and get-ups
35min aquajogging.

1 comment:

  1. We were told by travel agents that we should go somewhere beachy and romantic for our honeymoon, so we went skiing. Ha!

    I decided to take a lesson since I hadn't skiied since I was 15 and I wouldn't really call that skiing. the instructor went around the group, asking everyone, "What brought you to Winter Park, CO?" When I said, "My honeymoon," a woman turned to me and said, "Geez, honey, how much are you worth that your husband brought you up here for your honeymoon?"

    I knew she was joking but I responded, "Actually, we brought each other here and this trip was my request. As far as being worth anything, probably about 1/20 of a cent cash redemption value." That brought a guffaw from one of the guys in our group.

    But seriously, you do what you want to do because it's your life! Well, you and your husband's life now but it sounds like you married someone who respects your individuality. Man, good on guys who aren't afraid of strong women!

    On the kid's bit: homegrown or adopted, I like the sound of that. I'm actually an adopted child, something I struggled with a lot in my life but I think that's because my parents tried to mold me as opposed to understand me and let me spread my wings. This might have something to do with why I'm so reluctant to have kids of my own--for fear they grow up to resent me or spend their childhoods as messed up as I was because I make the same mistakes.

    That's a whole other story though. Enjoy marriage, girlfriend! It's awesome.