Monday, February 14, 2011


Ya'll, it is totally nuts that there are people out there who still claim that women who stay home have forfeited their capacity for a vibrant intellectual life.  Are you kidding me. The way to dull the life of the mind is not to sit around with the most important people in your life, your own little brain, all your hopes and dreams about your offsprings' futures, and just a few anxieties about how you might inadverdently already be failing them in some way.  So I get a little riled up when I hear talk about women choosing a life of domesticity "instead of" an intellectual one.  Give me a break, have you tried this?

See, here's the thing: peace of mind is essential for good parenting.  There is more than enough nonsense, inside the brain and out, in need of sorting, labeling, quieting. 

Where devotion to reading, work, faith, friends, exercise or entertainment serves to create a still and peaceful parental mind, children will benefit.  Unfortunately for the lazy-minded, there is no magic recipe and it is a lot of work

Did you notice I said "parental?"  Yes, this applies to women as much as to men.  A man who cares about whether he is being a nurturing and kind father does not brood over his professional failures as much as his personal ones.  A thoughtful woman, whether or not she is invested in a so-called public career, might think very often about the progress she is making toward being a patient and consistent presence for her children.  Conquering her own quick temper just might be a greater victory than the PhD she dreamed of in an earlier phase of life.

And that requires plenty of intellectual, physical and spiritual engagement. 

Still, there might be women out there who still cling to some stubborn and residual childhood immaturity.  A woman like that might just stick out her tongue and make a face at anyone who tries to argue about the issue. 

So there.

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