Happy Women’s Day everyone! I think it is so wonderful to have a day carved out on the calendar that is specifically and uniquely dedicated to women. The role of the woman in the home, at work and in society often times gets overlooked. So today, I hope to shed a BIG, bright light on all the women of the world whose daily actions, no matter how big or small adds to the fabric of our society.
In the last two years, I’ve become a mother to two beautiful little girls and I can’t begin to tell you how much they have changed my life. It seems as though just overnight I’ve become this selfless being whose sole and only purpose is to provide and protect these innocent little ones.
Living in a city like New York however has made raising them and enjoying them much more difficult than I could have imagined. My experience makes me tip my hat off to all the mothers running around New York City with strollers during rush hour on the trains, rushing between work and the daycare, while still trying to maintain some sense of normalcy in their lives. It is not easy being a woman and even harder being a mom.
I remember the first day I returned to work after my maternity leave with both my daughters. My heart sank to my feet at the sight of their little eyes watching me walk out the door. Something about that felt so unnatural. It made me wonder whether other mothers felt the way I did? Going back to work made breast feeding more difficult. In fact it killed the whole process entirely. When I’m at work, I ache for my children and find myself often day dreaming about them and wondering what they were doing, whether they had a nap, whether Opal-Rose got into my jewelry box again and if Ruby-Rain finally took her first steps….without me.
This experience has really made me ponder life and how we exist. Granted in other parts of the world like the U.K.where maternity leave can be had for up to 50 weeks 37 of which are paid, in most countries a mother has to return to work when her child is three months old or even younger. When I think about it, the thought of dropping off my newborn to a stranger everyday is nerve wracking and even scary, but we must do what we must.
Our society, driven by profits and bottom lines demand that we spend more time behind the desk or in our cubicle making companies rich, rather than staying at home to nurture our most precious commodity during their most formative years. That is archaic to me. The role of the mother (and father) should be to care for and nurture their children until it’s time for school (usually around 3 years old). I believe that if society for a moment stopped to think about the big picture rather than their pockets and placed a much higher value on the role of the family, we will foster stronger and safer communities that will in turn deliver more positive outcomes for the society on a whole.
Though some small waves have been made, we need to do more to protect our children and our families. In this modern world, women should not be forced to chose between keeping a job and raising their kids. It should be a choice mandated by policy and law. It is my hope that with Trumps new healthcare plan that we not take ten steps back, but rather forge forward in the best way that protects women’s health and rights of our precious families.