Celebrating Women’s History Month – the woman who believes in balance for all women

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Celebrating Women’s History Month – the woman who believes in balance for all women

Collin, Tom, Joe and Megan Sherry

Collin, Tom, Joe and Megan Sherry

Collin, Tom, Joe and Megan Sherry

Collin, Tom, Joe and Megan Sherry

Jasmine Braziel, Staff Reporter

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Many women in the workplace have faced the conflict of making incredibly difficult decisions about motherhood. Often times women who choose to have a career are often ridiculed, when no one may know the circumstances of her choice; conversely, stay at home moms are often scorned by society as well.

It has become an unfortunate fact that a women having a children might jeopardize their careers or positions because society places the responsibility of raising children entirely on their shoulders. No one really ever questions the possibility of a man having a great career and still being able to be a father.. This is generally speaking, of course.

According to The Atlantic “The Pew Research Center reports that 10 percent of highly educated mothers (those who earned a master’s degree or greater) stay home. We found that for the 37 women in our sorority’s of the Northwestern’s 1993 graduating class, the percent was more than double: One-quarter are at home raising children10 people, six of whom hold advanced degrees.”

Women who don’t have kids often get asked when they will have them, or when they will settle down. When in all honesty if they do not want to have kids or are not ready for them it is not something that should be pressured upon them because children are human beings and it is a lifetime commitment to be a parent.

Many women who choose to wait and have kids later on work so hard to accomplish their goals, and then decide to have kids. They then have to take a step back from that and risk getting replaced or pressured back to work sooner than they or their babies are ready. This should not be the case, we, as women, should be able to do both.

It is no one else’s choice to determine the right timing for another, or for a group as a whole. There are many people who say having kids first and focusing on their career later as been the best choice, and others have said starting with that foundation and stability before having kids made them enjoy the new freedoms rather than if they did it the other way around.

Mrs. Megan Sherry, a Naugatuck High School English teacher with two young boys, explains her journey to motherhood while teaching.

“In the beginning it was hard trying to find a balance” of her work life and her home “I wish women felt more comfortable making that decision for themself without feeling like they had to do something,” she told The Greyhound News. Mrs. Sherry was only teaching for two years before the arrival of her first son.

Being a stay at home mom can also be a very challenging task for some.  “they may struggle with feeling like they aren’t doing enough,” said Mrs. Sherry

If women are a stay at home moms they may be judged or asked when they will return to work. Also, if they choose to work part time, it brings about the question of if they are doing enough, especially in a traditional home.

Sherry explains that it was difficult for her with her first son being born in October, as well as being a new teacher. “Because of him being born in the beginning of the school year it was a lot more stressful, because then I had to go back in the middle of the school year. With it being winter it was very difficult because babies always get sick in the winter, so I struggled a lot with that. As well as feeling like I was trapped at home with my baby, but then going back to school I struggled with feeling like I never got to see him.”

This is unfortunately the case for many working mothers. They love their children so much and would do anything for them. But at a certain point they have to find ways around that so they can care and provide for them.

Working parents struggle with family leave because they rarely get any paid time off. “Luckily my husband and I were fortunate enough to find a way to afford me to have time off, and some people don’t even have that option. Even though we were able to afford the unpaid leave it was very hard on our finances,” explains Mrs. Sherry. There are people who have no choice but to go back to work “two or three weeks later”, and many, like Mrs. Sherry, who has a very good job, still struggle with this.

There is also, as Mrs. Sherry explained, a “huge amount of pressure to come back as quickly as possible. You feel a lot of stress about whether or not your able to be the best you can in your career, and be a parent. It feels difficult as a teacher, you don’t feel encouraged to have kids because it can be very challenging to manage both. I think being a teacher is one of the easier careers to have and be a mom, but it still feels like it’s very challenging. It’s sad because you shouldn’t have to give up being a parent just to make money. Sometimes taking too many days off makes it seem like you don’t want to go back to work,when that’s not the case, you just want to spend time with your kids and be a good parent.”

This is the sad truth about how our society functions in day to day life. Women especially feel this immense amount of pressure to “give 100 percent to everything, and you just can’t stretch yourself that thin.”

This is a very pressing time on parents because everyone has their own opinions on how a children should be raised. So,working mothers often find themselves trying to prove their worth to people they may not even know, through things such a social media platforms.

There is a new empowering age forming where women along with other oppressed people can rise up, and show the world that “we can do anything”, and this is the age where we will see women, like Mrs. Sherry, break through these barriers and misconceptions.

Women now are swiftly gaining equality in the workplace, more than ever before, though it is still not perfect. More women have the advantage to design a life that includes having a career and family if they so choose, due to this increase of equality. Now that men are stepping up and taking a larger role in being caregivers versus previous generations, this allows more mothers to have the freedoms in their schedule to balance a career and a family.

These are just some of the ways women are gaining the opportunity not given to previous generations, this is a step forward. Today’s women are setting an example for future generations of working and non working mothers, explaining that their is the option to choose the life you want, and hopefully there will not be as many huge sacrifices to be made.