Individualism vs. Commitment to Family.
So in this day and age, following the brunt of the feminism movement and a huge thrust in civil rights (while it's all certainly still not perfect); we, as a society, constantly promote self fulfillment and individuality. And as more and more moms enter the workforce, and more and more young parents are forced to have both parents working because of the economy- there is no reason to wonder why 50% of marriages end in divorce, and why more and more children are growing up unattached.
As an intermittent stay at home myself, I can say I have spent a lot of time struggling with my role and maintaining my sanity while staying at home with the kids. Now I am well aware that many moms relish the opportunity to be at home and thoroughly enjoy their time there- I am just not one of them. While I enjoy spending time with my kids, I feel I am legitimately a better mom when I am working and have some time by myself and with other adults.
I have also struggled with the resentment towards my husband after being home with the kids all day, while he is working, and then we have the perpetual "who does more around here?" argument. He just wants to sit down after a hard day at work... I get mad/resentful that he is just sitting there while I am changing yet another diaper or feeding the kids.... etc. When really- we're all working for the same thing, right??
I am in the process of reading this great book called Towards Commitment , for which the point is clear and precise: commit to your family above all else.
Just to add in another disclaimer: there are clear exceptions- no one is saying to stay in an abusive relationship, etc.
But the authors, married for 47 years, discuss topics like finances, work-life balance, child rearing, school, sex, emotional needs, etc. It's crazy when you think about how really we don't discuss in depth our expectations with our spouse/partner. If you're anything like us, we have surface conversations about how we think things are going to go ; "yea, you'll work this hour to this hour, then the kids go to bed, i'll make dinner" etc. But the nitty gritty about emotional and physical expectations, and problems/issues when the expectations in your mind don't match your reality. In the authors experience, she had to just whole heartedly commit. Commit to her husband, despite their differences, without considering it as "sacrificing her own self fulfillment". I am not going to be able to describe it as she does in the book and do the theory justice- but it is worth a read!
It is more about a family/work fit versus balance, because these days- I'm not sure a true balance actually exists. Would you agree or disagree? and how do you achieve your family/work "fit"?