Feminism, motherhood, and career choices
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Politics and Activism

You Can Prioritize Starting A Family Over A Career And Still Be A Feminist

Feminism is about equality and choices, and as long as you respect that, there's no way for you to be a bad feminist.

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https://www.pexels.com/photo/baby-touching-woman-s-face-1257110/
Daria Shevtsova

It's hard to count the number of times someone has asked me a question along the lines of where I see myself ten years from now, but no matter how many times I've heard it I can't help but tense up. I am immediately overcome by a pressure to provide an answer that will make me sound ambitious and interesting, something that will make me sound like an absolute badass. When I allow myself to answer this question honestly, I explain that the most important thing I see for myself a decade from now is having started a family. Basically, I just really want to be a mom.

There, I said it. I want the bibs and baby bottles laying around on the counters and those scarf-like things that moms use to literally tie their child to their chest. I even want the spit up and crying and late nights. But, I have also worked incredibly hard to become an educated and independent young woman who is ready to take on the workforce, but truthfully, if I had to pick which I care about more, motherhood or a big career, I would choose the former.

But here's the thing. I don't have to pick. And neither do you.

As someone who identifies as a strong, confident, politically aware, and socially conscious feminist it is easy to get stuck on the idea that wanting to be a mom shouldn't be at the forefront of my hopes and dreams, that for some reason this desire conflicts with being a feminist. It's like there's some expectation to want to do more as if valuing this role somehow means I'm not taking advantage of the rights women before me fought for like I'm being irresponsible in some way.

The idea that women who prioritize stereotypically domestic concepts for their future can't also be empowered and educated feminists is a huge misconception, and if we're being frank, it is completely contradictory. To me, a vital part of feminism is giving men and women alike the equal opportunity to do whatever in the world they want to do. When I was little, and people asked what I wanted to be when I grew up I could say pretty much anything. A ballerina, a lawyer, a mom, it didn't matter. I was supported and told that I could be whatever I wanted and that is the way it should be. But one day when I got older, something switched and all of a sudden, I was being held to this new standard. If I wanted to be a feminist, or even just a proud and independent woman, I had to care more about professional ambitions than about babies.

Personally, even though I would choose to start a family over a big career, I do still want both. Thanks to the progress that has been made over the past multiple decades by the incredible women before me and those still fighting today, although there is still much work to be done, I can now make that choice. The thing is, it shouldn't matter which I put first, or even if I wanted to set aside a professional career altogether. My feminism is all about choices, which means that as long as you are respecting the decisions others make and fighting for equal rights and opportunities regardless of gender, there is no way to be a bad feminist. Wanting to be a mom does make me ambitious and interesting and an absolute badass and I am done apologizing for putting that first.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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