Saturday, May 26, 2007

Role models?

I recently recieved a weekly professional news magazine. It included the following letter to the editor about someone mentioned in a recent article:

"XXX recieved her PhD from YYY in 1963. As a grad student at the time, I was tremendously impressed not only by her intelligence but also by the fact that she was married. As I recall, she had twins within a week of defending her thesis. She's been a wonderful role model for women in science." --by another woman scientist

Here's what I'm wondering: what makes her a "wonderful role model"? That she worked right up until delivery? That she probably returned to work right afterwards? That she set up this standard that having a baby shouldn't impact the amount of time you devote to your career? I know it's impacted me--I took two weeks off after each of my children was born. Even though they were able to come with me for 4-6 months part time, it did impact my health and well-being, especially after Harmony. But I didn't feel that I had a choice if I wanted to keep my job (which is something God has definitely called me to).

Personally, I wish the people with more balanced lives were percieved as role models--the women who figured out ways to be a scientist part time, stayed at home while their children were little, or worked from home. So those of you who are doing it, thank you, and tell me how you do it :)

1 comment:

Jen said...

Seems to me that comments like that just perpetuate the idea that, as women, we can "have it all." Well, we can't and we aren't supposed to! God doesn't even want us to TRY to have it all. I think He wants us to come to Him with every big and little decision that comes along, without any pre-conceived ideas about what He wants. Then, He wants us to OBEY--even when that means giving something up or going against that cultural "norm." The rewards of obedience far outweigh the accolades of the public or our peers. There's a great book by Richard Foster, "The Celebration of Discipline," which explores "simplicity" as a spiritual discipline and our calling by Christ to a simple, uncomplicated life. I think that can be translated to whatever arena God calls each of us to. We need to approach things with the discipline of keeping things simple so we model Christ more accurately to others. I know women who appear to be "Super Wife and Mom" but their lives are very complicated and their souls are very messy. If we could all agree as sisters in the Lord to let each other and ourselves off the hook and just exercise the gifts He has given us and expect less perfection, wouldn't we be a more beautiful body of Christ?