Watching tonight's episode of Bringing Up Bates led me to ponder one of those larger-than-life, can-never-really-be-answered questions. (You know, a question like, "What is the true meaning of life?"). Has biology stacked the cards against women? And does society add to those pressures, only making the journey to motherhood seem, at times, too overwhelming to bear?
Hear me out.
For women who want to be mothers and career-minded individuals, there is an uphill battle to find the balance between the two.
Biology chooses our sex — and with sex comes expectations and stereotypes.
These challenges aren't new. Many women know the crushing feeling biology brings, especially right now in the heat of politics, new-wave feminism and outspoken cries for equality.
Personally, I fall into this category of women. As a career-minded woman who wants to have it all... eventually... even I am overwhelmed by the possibility of making it all work. How the heck am I supposed to raise a couple of kids and conquer the world unless I'm a millionaire with a few nannies? Women do it. I know. But I'm pretty sure they're superheroes, some kind of otherworldly anomaly.
There is some help for women who want to find that balance, i.e., extended maternity leave, women's conferences, equal pay efforts... oh, and affordable and readily available birth control... for now. But having children and being a successful businesswoman only makes that glass ceiling seem so much higher when you consider that having children in and of itself is a full-time job.
Michaela Bates Keilen is one of those women who's dream is to be a mom above all else.
The great part about modern society in the United States is that whether you want to be a stay-at-home mom or take over the business world, you have the choice. Unfortunately, neither route is easy, as Keilen is discovering firsthand. Just because Keilen isn't struggling to decide between a career and motherhood doesn't mean biology isn't presenting her with obstacles that are just as challenging.
She and her husband Brandon Keilen are having fertility issues.
Luckily, just as there is help for women climbing the ladder in the business world, there are new options for women trying to get pregnant. But neither are fail-safes.
There's a reason child bearing has always been seen as a woman's battlefield. The struggle is real and painful and difficult and sometimes seems insurmountable.
Pair a career and some women's desire to have children with our continued fight for equal rights, and it's no wonder a lot of women are at that breaking point right now in the United States. How can we be expected to fight the childbearing fight while also trying to overcome inequality and politicians' desires to have a say in what we do or don't do with our bodies?
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