What if our society stopped pushing women to be more like men and started pushing men to be more like women. To find fulfillment at home. To work less hours and consume less so that they could be home more with their families. What if men were given the okay to take pride in being a father and that was their badge of honor. Not a marketing or banking career.
This is a huge issue in our world. HUGE. It's a battle for our attention, and what is more important in life: a career or family. Our world says family but it's actions signify something else. It signifies confusion and a large devotion to career, materialism/consumerism, and ego. It says we should be kind and caring and selfless ( all traits that parents learn to adopt) but then it bombards us with ads and messages of constant self gratification.
We are told men and women can have it all. We are told we should have it all and do it all. That this will make us happy.
Nope, it won't.
This actually isn't a gender issue. It's not an issue of who should be home with the kids. It's an issue of making both parties ( or all parties involved, ie extended family) reassess their commitment to family, and to actually look where not only their thoughts are but where their hearts and attention are. And time.
We all are given messages of who we should be. Because of this, we frequently can fight with self esteem or other issues. Communities have basically fallen apart, whether they are religious or other.We are having problems relating to others, communicating to others, and this obsession with individualism ( not speaking about individuality here...I am talking about our obsession with ego and constant self gratification) is driving marriages, families, and groups apart.
There was once a time when communities were toxic because there was a leader who influenced his congregation/group and harmed them. Most of us have some experience with this, in one way or another. And so at large most people assume that community is controlling and manipulative, all about keeping up with the Jones'. But that isn't true community or friendship. It never was, it just pretended.
There isn't a rule book for human life. But for us to have happy families, we need to create a support system and help each other out. Common sense yes, but sadly not happening as often as it should.
Again, it's the mixed messages of who we should be and what we should be doing that are driving us apart, causing confusion and distress and a huge lack of fulfillment.
I believe that we can't ever look to others for our own fulfillment and happiness. It's internal, eternal, and not physical. But one thing that makes me feel great is finding the balance of giving and receiving.
I am grateful that what works for our family is to have Billy and I at home a lot. For us to homeschool and plan our days around Kaya. We don't have a huge social life, and this is what we want. I mean I love going out with friends but I love even more going out with my family, or to be honest, having a little time to myself. Again, we are all different and that is what works for us.
I have struggled with pp depression and made it out the other side. It forced me to face what brings me happiness, health, and fulfillment, through balance. Billy's crappy job forced him to reassess what was right for him and for us. He made the decision that because it affected his health, he had to make changes.
Our consumer culture has mixed up our priorities.
People give up dreams of being say an artist or wife or whatnot so they can just get a job. Get the job so they can buy more stuff- stuff that never fulfills but instead makes us stressed. We need to dive deep to question what makes us happy, what makes our family happy. I bet you anything it's spending more time together. Which, is hard when the mortgage or rent is looming.
It may mean making radical decisions to downsize. It may mean being mocked by peers who don't understand our priorities. It may mean working less hours or finding and pursuing our passions.
But this process is so very needed in our world: self inquiry. We deserve it, our families deserve it, and our health and wellbeing are dependent upon it.