Every Tuesday we have been featuring women who inspire us. While so much focus has been placed on women in the news and women in history, we cannot forget to find inspiration in the women around us and faith in ourselves. Angela’s words below reflect questions and frustrations we all have, but we also find her story inspiring as she is willing to pursue her education, find ways to balance a career in the medical field and care for her daughter, and question how women are perceived in society. Read below and let us know how you answer these difficult questions and find inspiration in those around you.
I am a single mother, and like many mothers in the world, I struggle. I don’t know if it’s because I was told I would never be able to have children, or if it’s because my daughter has heart issues and I’m afraid to lose her; but for me, the miracle of creating and sustaining life is the most powerful thing I have ever done. When she was first born, even after her heart surgery at 1 month old, I had a job, and basically worked just to afford daycare. I spent every day apart from her, only to spend all the money I had earned paying someone else to care for her. After a while, I broke down; I just couldn’t do it anymore. For me, the most precious time that I had with her was the 5 years of her life before she started Kindergarten and continued on her own journey in life. I wanted to share that time with her, to play and teach her; to watch her grow and explore the world. In this day and age, it is almost as if women are constantly held in check by all the double standards that apply to us. We are expected to be the ones to raise the children and do all the housework, yet if we do; they are looked down upon and scrutinized for not working and “getting paid”.
I can’t even explain how many times people have scoffed at me for not having a full time job, or how many times I have been downright degraded because of it. Although I am a student pursuing my education in the medical field, to many, it just doesn’t compare to bringing in the money. In fact, most people treated me with more respect when I was working a minimum wage job and never seeing my daughter. For some reason, it seems that our society is so caught up with the idea of money being the standard in how we measure ourselves, often overlooking the benefits of an education. Why is it that we put so much value in money as power? Isn’t it more important to love and teach our children the values in life? I think women have so much transformative potential, and any woman who has raised a child knows that it is not an easy task. We should not be shamed for raising our children simply because we don’t get “paid” to do it. Any woman who has the patience and endurance to raise her children can certainly excel at an executive position in any field! How do we get rid of all these double standards of what women are “supposed” to be? Why do women bear the double responsibility? Why does society expect women to stay home and then ridicule them when they do?
Angela Robinson is a student at Metropolitan State College of Denver and is completing a service learning project with the White House Project Rocky Mountain Office.