Today I want to write about a special choice. One that is subject of so many discussions that it is almost arrogant to think I could bring something new to it. I guess my point is not very original at all, but one that I blieve could save us a lot of quarreling.
I am talking, of course, of the choice many women are struggling with: If you have kids, do you stay home or do you (continue to) work somewhere else (because staying home is work too).
I believe that there is no one-and-only-solution for this question that fits us all. The “right” choice, if it exists at all, is different for every single woman on earth, simply because there are not two people, much less two family situations, that are completley alike. (Also the definition of “working” could be debated endlessly, I am sure.)
My point is: Let it be everyone’s own choice. Let us work on it that every woman (and, if we are already at it, every man) can find the answer to this question that fits their personal situation best. Leave everyone the possibility of their choice – and then respect it! What is great for one could be devastating for another. Let us accept people’s choices and help them pull them through. Let us stop inducing guilt into each other. Let us stop justifying our choices by criticising the choices of others.
Can we have the courage to say: “This is what I choose to do. – Because I think it is the best possible way for me and my family. Someone else may choose differently. Because they are different, and that is ok.”?
Can we support each other in our choices? If someone encounters difficulties in their family life, can we stop thinking “that is because she is (not) working”. Can we instead think of a way to help?
As for the so called experts (politicians, psychologists, child development whatsoevers): Could you please stop trying to manipulate us into either going out working or staying at home, just as it fits your own agenda? Because we are people, not pawns, and I am really getting fed up with reading yet another political pamphlet about “what women should do (for their own good!)”. If you want to help: Create an environment that leaves room for choice. And then let us choose. Thank you.