The world you are growing up in is a tough one for women; I ain’t gonna lie. You are only 18 months old but right now, in 2016, we have our very first female presidential nominee for a major political party. Only took a couple hundred years for it to happen, so who knows what wonders to expect during your lifetime?
You will grow up in a world where women still do not have 100% equality. We make less than men on average in the workplace and we do not have guaranteed paid maternity leave. These are just two of many, many challenges we face. I hope to see these things change in your lifetime but I am not holding my breath.
Working moms – actually, in our family’s case, working parents – have it hard. We go to work and try to eke out a living while still trying to do right by our children. It is a fine balancing act. In our case, if we did not work, we would not be able to pay the mortgage or put food on the table, but we would spend more quality time with you. Because we do have to work, you are in daycare (albeit with a WONDERFUL in-home provider) rather than with us. You are learning and doing and experiencing new things that we are not a part of. I tell myself it is good for your development and social skills, but selfishly, I’d love to have it all – a flourishing career AND you 100% of the time.
I do realize how blessed I am to have a partner (your dad) who shares 50% of the workload. I also do realize your dad and I have it better than some. We left our busy corporate jobs and started two companies together, Creative Butter and Hooter Holster. So now we make our own hours (though they are long hours, they are often after you have gone to sleep) and can be with you as much as possible.
Ainsley, my lovely daughter, here is my wish for you: Find a career you love and a partner with whom to share your life. Learn to be happy with what you have but never lose the passion to strive for more. Know that “having it all” means that something will always be sacrificed. You do not have to be perfect to be happy.
And no matter what, you are always perfect to me.
Above: Carey Bradshaw and her daughter, Ainsley