“What do you want to be when you grow up?” This question has been haunting us for as long as we can remember. Whenever I was asked this question, however, it was a no-brainer. I would love to say I’ve been determined from a young age to be a doctor or the first female president, but this isn’t the case. I’ve always had one plan for my life, and that was to be a wife and a mom.
It may sound like I’m only going to college to find my husband — to get my “M.R.S.” Some may argue I’m limiting myself to traditional gender roles men set up for women — staying in my domestic “sphere of influence,” as Jean-Jacques Rousseau put it in a misogynistic way. Personally, I never saw it that way.
I believe being a wife and mother are the most important jobs for a woman. Who else has the power to continue the human species but a woman, through having children? What is more important than this very act?
Despite its importance, there is a stigma attached to being a stay-at-home mom today. Most women are expected to make their own way in this materialistic world.
It seems like it’s supply and demand that drive our society. There is no regard for family or a solid home, where I believe women should take the time to raise their children to become determined, prosperous people.
I know this is a very outdated idea, and I’m not in any way bashing the independent working women of today that fought hard to dismantle gender stereotypes.
These female pioneers have been around since the 1950s. Female contributions to the labor force were only at a rate of 33.9 percent then. However, that number rose steadily to 57.4 percent in 1990, peaking at 60 percent in 1999. The ratio is expected to stay at approximately this rate until 2020, with 57.3 percent of workers being female.
Now, I know you’re wondering why I would even go to college if I intend on simply being a wife and a mother. I take much pride in the fact that women have fought with such vigor to enter the working world, and I intend on furthering this campaign myself before getting married. After college, I want to achieve my long-term goal of becoming a public relations representative and possibly creating my own PR firm. I want to establish myself financially in our competitive workforce, and to do so requires a college degree.
However, before I get a job or even get married, I have to meet my future husband, and I have always envisioned this happening in college. You may ask why I place so much emphasis on finding my husband in the four precious years of college.
Well, there are about 15,000 students on this campus — assume roughly half are male. The odds of me finding my future husband here are pretty good. I intend to enjoy every minute of the search.
I know I could take the route of many couples today and simply have children without getting married. But in my Catholic, Italian family, I was taught that marriage comes before having children in order to establish a stable home in which to raise them.
To my family, marriage is a sacred union that binds two people together ‘til death do they part.’ Both of my grandparents have been married for more than 50 years, and my parents have 25 years under their belt.
I can’t help but admire and strive for the dedication, sacrifice and true love that I see between these couples each day. Who wouldn’t want to build that kind of relationship and life with someone?
Such a love is commendable and what I think life is all about.
Opinion Columnist Molly McGrath wrote a response to this column.
Opinion Columnist Macon Fessenden weighed in as well.