Don’t Take Away Our Hope

I recently read an article (I can’t find the link to this article anymore – and I know this is probably really bad blogging etiquette so I’m apologizing now) criticizing a young lady who shared her thoughts on women today having it all. And for once, I disagreed and was upset because the reality was this young lady recently graduated college with a four month old. She was breastfeeding, studying, and handling pregnancy all while going to college. And her message was simple – women can have it all.

Now I understand the author’s point a little – this young lady is naive and just because she graduated college with an infant (which lets be real – had to have been tough) doesn’t mean she knows what the real working world is like. She’s young and impressionable. And you know what, maybe she is. Maybe she still has some youthful innocence – and honestly I hope she does, because life.is.hard. I’ll say it again – Life Is Hard. It will chew you up and spit you out. But what really upset me is that this author’s rebuttal took away this young lady’s youthful naivety. She took away her hope. And while I’m on this particular point, I’d say the author took away the hope of all young women who one day want to go to college, start a career, and have a family.

Now I believe in a good dose of reality and honesty. But before we destroy a young lady saying “you don’t have a clue just because you graduated college with an infant” let’s put into context what she did achieve: perhaps her pregnancy was a surprise – she overcame, accepted her new role and embraced it. And if the pregnancy was planned, and a welcomed responsibility, then this young lady is a mutli-tasking queen and knew what she could handle.  She valued herself and her education and recognized this was one thing she could do to be able to provide for her child. She was pregnant during, what I would consider, the most social time of a young person’s life. No parties, no late nights just hanging out. What this young lady had was a good head on her shoulders, a clear idea of what she wanted for herself and her child, and she had her priorities in order.

So I applaud her! What she did was NOT easy. And the fact she navigated college with a young child and clearly had her priorities in order, only further proves my point, that even if real life spits her out a few times, she is intelligent, motivated, and knows her priorities – and that is the single most important part of having it all.

I have no doubt that this young lady will enter the work force and navigate the sometimes bumpy road of a working mother. And she will be yet another positive example of a woman having it all and showing other women that you don’t have to be afraid, you don’t have to limit yourself, and although it isn’t always easy, it is possible and dare I say enjoyable.

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One thought on “Don’t Take Away Our Hope

  1. I agree with your thoughts on the article and I agree with the young lady that she can manage to have it all even after having a baby while in college. She is not naïve in this belief. In fact, I’m proof of that myself. I too had my daughter when I was in college. She was born right before my senior year of school started. This wasn’t anything planned but I had decided to keep the baby and finish school despite hearing from everyone, including my own parents, that I wouldn’t be able to do it. It certainly wasn’t easy. I had to double my workload in courses in order to finish and graduate on time. Many times I didn’t sleep for several days because I used any free time I wasn’t taking care of the baby to study for exams and write term papers. It was one of the toughest things I had to go through at the time but it made me be an even stronger person. When my daughter was two and my relationship with her father was no longer healthy I made the decision to separate and I became a single mom for the first time. This experience also made me even stronger than I was before as I had to juggle work, my daughter, and taking care of our home all on my own for the first time. I kept my focus and persevered through. Now I have a better job in my company, my daughter is headed to first grade and thriving very well, and I’m engaged to the love of my life and excited to expand my family with him in the future. So to me, women certainly can have it all as long as they keep the drive and stay focused on what they want most.

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