Monday, November 19, 2012

Gender roles on my mind

Lately, my teaching days have been increasingly stressful. As I type this sentence, I say to myself, "duh." Really, though, as with all things in life, I feel like I start out fairly organized. At the beginning of the semester, my syllabi were all neat and tidy. I would make these very detailed lecture notes and review them several times before class, marking when I would need to write something on the board. Even when I was getting to class early and staying late in order to pump milk to bring home for Ewan, I was more ready.

Today, I woke up and really, really didn't want to get out of bed. Ewan's first bottle was at 4:00 am. Thank goodness Chad was rested enough that he didn't mind giving him that one! Usually that's my duty. Ewan was up again at 5:30am, so I got up then, and Cora was right after him. The morning rushed along, Laura came, and before I knew it, I was walking very quickly to catch my train and trying to piece together my Social Psych lecture in my head.

Commuting, class, another class, more commuting, and I get home just in time for Ewan to be asking for his second-to-last bottle while Cora's asking for dinner.

Oh no, what's for dinner. Gosh, don't all the moms out there hate that question. Sometimes, I am so on my game. I have this cute little printable that I made, and I order groceries days ahead of time and plan out all our little meals. Heck, sometimes I even have a meal in the crock pot.

But more times than I'd like to admit, I come home and my little orange printable is of no help at all. Kids crying, my head is in the fridge, and I'm wondering what I can piece together. For instance, tonight was: black beans from a can, heated up with leftover chicken in a pineapple salsa, poured over minute rice, served with a side of eat-the-spinach-before-it-goes-bad. Actually, I thought it was kind of tasty.

Well, Cora took one bite and said, "It's spicy!" It was mild pineapple salsa, so I really didn't think it was spicy, but who am I to force a toddler to eat mild peppers? Sooo, she ate PB&J. Happily, I suppose that's the important point. Then, it was clean up time. How does a mom handle cleaning up dinner with a toddler and a baby?

The toddler helps,

and the baby either takes his evening cat nap or cries.

Then, it's bath, books, and bed for Cora - don't forget to call Dada to say goodnight. Then, get Ewan for his last bottle, and let him play on the high pile rug while I edit a research proposal. He finally goes to bed and mama needs a beer and some major decompression time. But not too much decompression time because 4:30am comes early. (Short rhetorical vent of frustration: WHY the heck can't I break this 4:30am thing?! Cora never had these sleeping problems. We do a controlled cry it out, we make sure the evening catnap the night before is short, we give him a bottle as late as possible in the evening before. *sigh*)

Does anyone out there want to guess what one of my class discussions was on today?

Gender roles and women in the work place.

Now, I've got a beer in my hand, and I'm thinking I really want to read a leisure book for a few minutes and just conk out in bed, so this is going to be a to-be-continued post. But, being a modern mother is hard. I'm not saying it's not hard for the men. I mean, I know Chad doesn't want to work until all hours of the night. But it's not easy on the women either, that's for sure.

I will say that I am so, so glad that Ewan hit the six-month mark and we transitioned successfully onto formula. Because nursing is freaking hard.

A teaser thought, so you can anticipate the next post: Why do women tend to not get the high-power, high-pay, high-prestige jobs in the way that men do? Do women just lack aggression, leadership skills, and the get it done attitude or mental acuity? Do women choose lower-paying jobs so they can have part-time or flexible work hours? Are men and women so steeped in their gender roles of men should make the money and women should take care of the house that women go literally crazy when they attempt to work and take care of the house so one has to go?

Is it worth it? I would love for my kids to grow up with a father who doesn't have to work all.the.time and a mother who is successful and competent and contributing to society somehow. Is this rigamarole worth it, though?

Oh, I'm rambling. If you have thoughts, do share. I need to go let mine ferment.


  1. Morgan, I appreciate your thoughts and honesty . I wonder a lot how Rigel and I will figure it all out when we have kids someday. It's nice to know that other women are thinking about some of the same things.

  2. I am still nursing Noah at nearly nine months and I worked until he was seven months old full-time. Personally, I think it's better for him in the long run for me to be at home with him instead of missing the bulk of the day he is awake.

  3. Thanks, Polly and Rachel for your thoughts. Yeah, it is a tough situation. Rachel, congrats on breastfeeding for so long! What was the final straw for you choosing to stay home with Noah? How much time were you getting to see him while you were working full-time? I hope you're enjoying being home with him! (Sorry, I'm too curious for my own good.)