Monday, February 29, 2016

on motherhood and 'having it all.'

Since having Penelope in August and going back to work eight weeks later I have been feeling more than exhausted, I've feeling been literally spent. As in, there is absolutely no more time in my day or in my life for anything or anyone. Now please do not take this post as me complaining, I am exceedingly thankful for my job, my education, my family and my husband who truly defines the word "partner" in our relationship. I also know that I do not have it bad in any way whatsoever. We are solidly middle-class and have what we need, and a life full of love. Yet all of that does not take away from the truths I write here and the truths of so many other women's lived experiences. When I was in college I read "Lean In" and loved it. I was all-aboard the Sheryl Sandberg bandwagon. While I still find validity in elements of the "Lean In" argument--that young girls are often labeled as "bossy" rather than as leaders, and that women often undercut their skills and success in the workplace for fear of being labeled in an equally unfavorable manner--overall I take issue that women need to do even more to reach the successful playing field of men in their careers.  Quite frankly, I do not have the energy to Lean In any more than I already am. I am not capable of giving any more to my career at this point in my life, and if I did have any more to give, I would give it to my kid, my family, my dog.

There is so much guilt and pressure pushed upon women when they become mothers--both imagined and real. Guilt for how you feed your baby, guilt for how you diaper your baby, guilt for how and who takes care of your baby, even guilt for how you birthed your baby. There is also so much guilt and pressure pushed upon educated women with careers who chose to have children--and along with that there is this concept that you could possibly 'waste' your education, your potential, your talents by not continuing to actively push forward in your career when you do have children. And mixed in with that whole mess is a complete ignorance of financial situations and the actual need to work, or to choose off brand disposable diapers, or to try to breastfeed and pump while going back to work because formula literally costs too much.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

on motherhood and feminism.

Becoming a mother at the young age of 24 was not something that I had necessarily planned for myself when, at 18 I started college and made my life plans (ha!). But since that time I've grown and learned more about myself and what could make me happy in life. That transformation has led me to where I am today, but I think, has also led to questions and inquisitive glances from many people. So, here are the beginnings of some of my  (own personal, not generalized for anyone else's) thoughts on the subject. 

Baby Girl Johnson on her first day, our family in those first few days at home,
our first visit to the fire station, and a sweet snapshot of our time in the hospital. 

When I was about five months pregnant I attended the Alumni Tent Party at the Drake University Relays. While there I interacted with a variety of other alum from my college days and I could see the confusion and sincere fear on most of their faces when I talked to them. Their petrified expressions reading "there's no way she planned this, right?" "but she was a feminist?" "but we aren't old enough to start having kids" "I have so many things I want to do before I have kids and my life is over." I don't begrudge anyone for their personal feelings, or revealing expressions, and am thankful for all expressed congratulations--however, I also can't help but feel some frustration at the apparent conflict in values that my choice to start a family revealed. 

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Welcome Back!

image via. 
Hi there! Thanks for stopping by Curly Haired Chronicles. You may have noticed that there hasn't been much action on this blog in quite some time. I plan on changing that! Look for new posts coming soon on all things life, love, feminism, and babies. In the mean time feel free to check out my new About Me and scroll through Curly Haired Chronicles evolution over the years in the Blog Archive on the right. Or if you are feeling especially adventurous you can head to my twitter or Instagram to keep up on current CLC thoughts and events!