Sunday, September 14

A Universal Dilema


In our ethnocentric society, we sometimes falsely believe that we alone suffer moral and ethical dilemmas. Or maybe it's less self-centered than all that and we simply forget that "they" are people too, just like us—just living life and trying to get by. The language, culture and religion may be different, but some of life's most basic challenges are universal.

I was reminded of this fact last night as I was surfing the Internet looking for articles related to "a working mother's dilemma." If you’re a mom, you know what I’m talking about.

Too little time with the kids. A bit of guilt and fear about what's best for them as we try to simultaneously grab onto something, or sometime, for ourselves and our own fulfillment. How do we meld all of that together for the betterment of the whole family? Add in the financial concerns and a woman's head could explode.

There are those, I guess, who are solid in their conviction. 100% certain that the choice they've made (whether to stay home or to work outside the home) is best. But more often, women vacillate between the two. Stuck in an unsatisfying sort of limbo—happy on the one hand, but questioning on the other.

What I found last night was that this little dance is something that crosses language, cultural and religious barriers. I found a nicely written blog about this very struggle with several thoughtful comments from moms trying to reconcile these disparate wants and needs. I was halfway through when I noticed where these women were from—Kuwait, India, Pakistan.

Half a world away, seemingly a different cultural universe, yet as moms we’re all basically facing the same dilemma. How do we give our children everything they need (love, attention, opportunity, and enrichment) and still give to ourselves enough (love, attention, opportunity, and enrichment) so that we don’t disappear as a result of having children.

If anyone has the answer—PLEASE let the rest of us in on your secret.


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