Through out Elizabeth Gilbert’s book “Committed” she continues to touch upon so many topics in each chapter, leaving me to draw a blank at what I could write about for my next blog post. Then, I read the chapter “Marriage and Women” where again Liz touches upon a variety of subjects., but this is
by far my favorite chapter. I try not summarize chapters, because lets be honest, that gets boring and I would really like for you to read the book for yourself.
In the early part of the chapter, Ms. Gilbert writes that by 2004, unmarried women were the fastest growing demographic in the United States. A thirty-year-old American woman was three times more likely to be single in 2004 than her counterpart in the 1970s. She is far less likely to become a mother, too – either early or at all. The number of households in America without children reached and an all-time high in 2008.
I am 28 years old and I have a job (not sure if it is my career), but I have a job as a journalist with no plans at this point in time to get married or have children. It’s not to say I don’t want them, because I do, I want to get married. Do I want kids, well that I’m still on the fence about. Because it is all hard work, I have seen the sacrifices the women in my family and friends have made for marriage and children and what the sacrifice they continue to make for marriage and children. I’m not sure whether I see that for my own future. I am not trying to be pessimist, but more so a realist. This is my reality at the moment.
“Wanting to get married for me, is all about a desire to feel chosen,” was what Liz writes in her book, referencing a friend of hers. When I read that, I don’t believe there is truer statement out there. Us women just want to be chosen, we want the big white gown, the house, the 2.3 children. But we want to be picked, we want to be singled out and celebrated by all those who love us. It’s shallow really, when we should celebrate ourselves, single ourselves out on our own without any hoopla.
Because once the hoopla is over, what you have is a mortgage, a man you may not want to really be with (hopefully you do), and years and years of trying to make it work.
In 1978, my mother married my father and the two lived in an un-happy marriage for nearly 20 years, I’m sure I’ve enlightened you on this fact in previous posts. My mother however worked full-time, went to college at the age of 30, just a year after my brother was born and ran a household. The one of many things I remember from my childhood about my mother is her running into my elementary school in high heels to grab me, pick me up, drop me off at my grandparents and then head back to work. This was done everyday.
I don’t believe our generation is equipped for that form of “survival” as I see it, while you do what you have to do, we don’t know hard work, we want it to be easy. For my mother, it wasn’t easy, it was hard, very hard.
Many times she was surrounded by the “stay at home” mothers who would have the luxury of coming into school in their tennis outfits after a long day of tennis to pick up their child. My mother never knew such a life.
Liz writes, in 2000 there were about 5.3 million stay-at-home mothers in America, ( my comment: I was child in the early 1990s) and there were only 140,000 stay-at-home Dads. That translates into a stay-at-home dad rate of only about 2.6 percent of all stay-at-home parents.
So many women even today sacrifice so much for their children, some become the mother and the father, they become the child’s major influence. I am not bashing men by any means, there are great fathers out there, but its our mothers that sacrifice so much for their kids to give them a better life than they may have had.
When I once asked my mother why she got married in the first place, her answer was simple, she either got married or went to college. And my mother at the time didn’t want to go to college, hence why she went when she was 30, so she met my father. Times were different in the late 1970s from what I gather, while women had more options, today we have even more.
We don’t have to get married, we can have a career, live on our own, pay our own bills, drive our own car and by God have a child without a physical man present. Times have changed.
While I wish this post was better written, because I do feel I jumped around a lot, I think I’ve made and Liz has made some good points.