No “Leave it to Beaver” mother here

In regards to Lauren Parks comments, “Female student agrees with MAXIMum Exposure editorial,” (The Houstonian, Jan. 30, 2003), I would hope that Ms. Parks receives a little more of this education and intelligence she speaks about before she decides to publicize her ignorance again.

I will agree with her that women are often degraded in our society by the media, by the men and by ourselves. Unfortunately, we are also degraded by individuals such as Ms. Parks. She stated “We have tried to become men by working outside of the house while children go neglected and uncared for.Men like women who cook and clean and love kids.”

I would like to share a little story with you. I used to believe these things myself, when I was young and uneducated, which is why I suggest that Ms. Parks get a little time and experience behind her before spouting off again.

At the age of 26, my (ex)husband decided that being a “man” and supporting a family was just too much pressure for him to handle, so he walked out the door. He took all of the money and our vehicle because “he” was the one who worked and paid for it, and left me and his children with nothing. I sat in my living room with a 4-month-old and a 2-year-old with no job, no money, no education and no “man” to take care of us. I had no choice but to begin working out of the home.

After a while in the real world, I realized that I couldn’t provide for my kids on the salary I was receiving, so I returned to school. I have worked at a job and put myself through school, and hell, to become a success. I will walk proudly across that stage in May and get my diploma. If you think that means I’ve tried to become a man, then so be it. We’re all entitled to our own opinion.

As for my children being neglected, I should think that it would be more of a form of neglect for them to have gone withoutfood or a place to live, than it is for me towork outside of the home. They have everything they could ever ask for, including all of my love.

You should also talk to a few kindergarten teachers. Children who attend good daycare when they are young develop better social skills than those who stay home with a parent. Daycare children also have better attendance records when they begin traditional schools because they have already had most of those childhood illnesses and their immune systems are stronger than children who stay home with parents. My four-year-old son will be beginning kindergarten in the fall, but he is doing first-grade level work at his pre-school.

My boys have friends, amother that loves them, and a wonderful sense of self-esteem. They are learning responsibility, learning that the world isn’t always fair and learning how to cope with both success and disappointment. They are happy and healthy and think I’m the greatest Mom in the world. I drop them off everyday and pick them up everyafternoon, and only study after they go to bed. If you consider all of these things to be neglect, then I think not even Dr. Spock could raise a child properly according to your standards.

You seem to want the “Leave It to Beaver” life, and that’s great. I hope you find it and have a very fulfilling, rewarding life. But don’t degrade or diminish the women that choose a different path, whether it be by choice or by force.

I have never aspired to be a man. I would never want to be a man. I can guarantee you that I am just as much of a woman as you are. Perhaps, maybe, a little more because I know without a doubt that when push comes to shove, I can still survive.

I know that being a stay-at-home Mom is the toughest job in the world. I’ve done it. However, I believe the women who don’t stay home with their kids, or for that matter don’t even have kids, are just as much of a woman as the ones that do. To think, we’ve fought so hard to change the thinking of the men in the world to where they are now starting to respect us. Who would’ve thought we would have had to change the thinking of the women, too?

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