To Hell with All That: Loving and Loathing Our Inner Housewife by Caitlin Flanagan

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I have to say that I couldn’t put this book down. I am starting to research a little bit on feminism and how affects life as I know it. I’m also very interested in what modern day Orthodox Saints have to say on the nature and energies of women.

So many women that I know are conflicted by working outside the home and being stay at home moms. Many feel judged for every single decision they make in regards to working and how they are raising their kids. Not many women have the ability to just let all the criticism roll off their back like nothing happened. Everyone cares about being the best mom they can be and backs it up with actions, except for perhaps the select few who are purposefully neglectful and drug addicted, and may God help those children.

The following is a quote from the book that says it better than I ever could have.

“To be a woman with an education and a desire to take part in the business of the world… yet to have one’s days suddenly dwindle to the simple routines of child care can handily diminish what is best ad most hard-fought in a person. It isn’t simply a matter of “extra money” or “satisfaction.” For many women the decision to abandon – to some extent – either their children or their work will always be the stuff of grinding anxiety and uncertainty, of indecision and regret.” (page 223)

When I left my job to move back to Kansas I thought I was going to be a farmer’s wife and I was okay with that because there would be a lot of work to do so I wouldn’t be bored. When that idea petered out, I was unsure again of the value of staying at home. I applied for a few jobs that I was qualified for that would have made it worth (financially) leaving my children in daycare. I didn’t get any of those jobs, which made it easy for me to stay home. We would be worse off financially if I had gone to work with all the expenses incurred as a result. I am now okay with staying home with my kids, in fact, I would rather stay home than work. I know it’s not for everyone, but this is my experience. I know that some days are not very good, and I do use the television to distract my toddler when I’m emotionally or physically exhausted, but I do think that I know my children better than I would if I was working. I worked for about a year after I had my first daughter, and I know that I know my second daughter much better than I knew my eldest at her age only because of the sheer time I spend with them. I don’t want to work anymore because I value the time I spend with them. I know that if I started to work, the things that I value most would be dropped first, like exercising, spending time with my kids, etc. I don’t want that to happen. You know, things change and what I believe about my life and think about what I should be doing changes with time and more education. I don’t want it to seem like I’m judging anyone for doing whatever they are doing whether it be working or not working, wanting to work or not wanting to work. Everyone’s life is different and you have to do what you think is right with the information that you have at that time.

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