Recently, I have noticed a thread of conversation about the labels & expectations that we as women put on ourselves.
The first was a podcast about women labelling themselves as “stay at home mum” & “working mum”. I won’t mention the name of the podcast, as the podcaster had very strong views that all women should be working outside the home. I don’t think any more attention needs to be given to this woman & her views.
The second instance was an intelligent article written by Jennifer Aniston in the Huffington Post. This article addressed the scrutiny Aniston faces, regarding her relationships & endless pregnancy stories. Aniston’s post tackled the issue of the world’s (& therefore, the paparazzi’s) obsession with women needing a partner & children to be whole.
In my first example of the podcast, the podcaster (a mother herself) had the opinion that to be a whole person & the best mother they could, all women should have a career & work outside the home. Anything else was settling for a lesser life.
In Aniston’s post, her view was whatever the woman’s choice, partner or none, children or none- this was her choice.
Why do we put labels on ourselves, to the extent that we compare or even compete with other women & mothers?
Surely, the whole point of the generations of women before us, fighting for our rights to vote & work, was that we all had choices. We now have a choice. Whether we stay at home full time to look after our children, work a paid job at home while still looking after our children or work outside the home. We have the luxury of these choices- choices that our grandmothers never had.
We can now choose to be in relationships or be alone, to work in corporations or start businesses from home, have children or not.
Let’s not take this privilege of choice for granted- there are still many women in many nations that do not have the freedoms that we have.
Let’s not spend our energy labelling ourselves & judging others. Our foremothers fought hard so we could have a choice to be stay at home or working mums, single or married women.
In the end, we are all women, doing our best to lead the lives we were born to live.