Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Seriously, the last post wasn't meant to be terribly whiny or self-indulgent. But I am trying to be honest about my feelings and to engage (at least with myself) in a dialogue that I don't think we as women honestly engage in very often. I understand it's a loaded question: what are you? I think most of us feel obligated to answer with either SAHM or working mom as though you can't be a little of both, or as if most of us don't do both in some way. I also think that many women feel guilt inherent in either choice and that tends to cloud our discussions. I know I have a hard time seeing my own feelings clearly and that's part of the reason for using this space to write about all the changes in my life - this being just one major change for me.

The fact of the matter is that I'm in my early thirties and have long had a professional career before becoming a parent and thus I'm having to shift my own image of myself to incorporate this new facet of my identity. It's one I've longed for and yet now that it's here...well we all know that change, even desirable change can be stressful. Factor in the sleep deprivation and it's no cake walk that's for sure.

Without being active in my profession I find myself wondering if that's still a valid way to define myself. Can I tell people I'm a "non-practicing" librarian? If I can't does that mean I'm therefore a stay-at-home mom? It's not that I think that's a bad thing, it's just not how I envisioned myself for the long term, and I don't feel that it's a choice I've made in the same way that some women have chosen that avenue in their lives after desiring that for themselves for a long time. All of these questions tumble around in my head, and I am hoping to find some slices of enlightenment in Amy Richard's book "Opting-In: Having a Child Without Sacrificing Yourself". I'm only about 30 pages into the book and I like where she's headed with it. She doesn't seem to advocating for either label ("SAHM" or "working mom") for women and I like that. I don't think the choice is easy for any of us.


  1. Hey Coffeefgirl-- Coffee snob here! What do you fav? (sorry I followed you from another blogger in Japan)

    When you finish reading the book let me know your thoughts.. I don't like the label either SAHM, automatically one presumes (or assumes) that that is all we are-- I think with more companies being family friendly, women don't have to opt out. I think acronyms can be convenient but it can also generalize us too..

  2. How embarrassing! I started the book, and great questions were raised, but I had to return it to my local library before finishing. I really liked the direction in which the author seemed to be heading - this isn't an issue that's black or white. Since I am confronted with an even different career/family situation now that we're living here in Japan, and my past career won't mesh as easily here (at least until I get a better grasp on the language), I'd like to here more of the author's ideas. I'll be sure to let you know if/when I finish.