I have been mulling this one blogpost over and over for a few weeks now. AnneMarie Slaughter (who gave up an important position at the State Department and went back to teaching at Princeton-“oh the horror”) wrote an interesting post for The Atlantic complaining basically that she couldn’t save the world and go to her sons’ little league games at the same time. Read HERE. Of course the majority of those who commented wrote….”right-on sista.” Jeffrey Goldberg, who is also an Atlantic blogger, answered her in this article in Bloomberg HERE.
I left this comment on the Goldberg post:
I have been hearing this whine from women like Slaughter for decades now. Spoiled and entitled. The reality is that you CAN have it all, not just at the same time. We all go through different periods in our life and we must chose at each time what is most important to us. What would this women do if she had real issue with her children, say if one of her children were special needs? She is so worried about fulfilling her own destiny that she forgets that once you chose to have children it is their destiny you are required to help make a reality. You chose to bring them into this world and yes, they do come first.
By the way, my husband would also like to be home more and spend more time with his children, but someone has to pay the bills for food, clothing, shelter and all the little extras like therapy, tutors and doctors galore. I have very little patience with those who think it is all coming to them…Slaughter needs to count her blessings and quite frankly grow up.
Perhaps I am being over critical, if I am let me know. But the reality is that I believe we have become a society where we think we are entitled to have reality fit into our world rather than fit ourselves into reality. Now don’t get me wrong, there are alot of things that needed to be changed and still need to be changed within our little hemisphere of this orb called planet Earth. But when you chose to have children or you choose a particular kind of career, you had better think long and hard how it is going to effect every area of your life.
If you chose to go and save the world, you can’t just tell the Syrian government to stop slaughtering its people because “Janey has a ballet recital.” Or tell those dying from famine in the southern horn of Africa to stop being hungry because “Johnny has a speech to give in church.” Honestly you don’t even need to discuss this reality on such a grand scale. If you have a business and a client says to you I want 300 widgets by Monday and it is Sunday morning however, you only have two hundred widgets, then whatever plans you had with your family for that afternoon are shot. You get your butt to the office or factory wherever you have to go to get it done.
Oh you say it should not be like that. We should all live in a little utopia, where family and children come first, meanwhile we can all become world saviors and millionaires without giving up something. Fine you can also bring along your leprechaun pot o’ gold, your unicorns and fairy dust as well.
Perhaps it is because as a special needs parent I am more than used to giving up plans, ideas and desires simply to get my boys where they need to go. But that was also my choice. I suppose I could have had a driven-career with little or no time for the children. But I chose to raise my own sons. Not to let someone else do it while I found myself. I wasn’t one to allow them to be raised by a nanny before it was known that they had developmental issues, I certainly wasn’t going to let someone else be in charge of their day-to-day progress once the extent of their issues became known. And yes it was my choice. I accept the outcomes of this choice and all that it entails.
Listen I am not complaining by any means. I think its part and parcel of being a grown up. You make choices and accept their consequences. (As Sartre said, “we are our choices.” Afterall it is how we handle the consequences of our choices that shows our true metal as human beings. ) When you make a choice you need to understand that that choice has repercussions. One of the outcomes of becoming a parent is that you are obligated to make sure your children have the best possible start in life. Furthermore, you are obligated to continue to support them until they are truly able to take care of themselves. If you have to give up your dreams, well so be it. I know everyone of you special needs parents understands this. HERE.
Read the rest HERE.