Of all the things women worry about before the birth of a baby - will he or she be healthy, just how much is labor going to hurt, will I ever sleep again - many women also worry, rightly so, about losing themselves in the wake of the demands of motherhood: losing a sense of self, delaying former ambitions, putting dreams on hold.
These questions can be especially distressing for women who have aligned themselves with feminist beliefs and now wonder how to balance these beliefs with their new role of caretaker, nurturer and mother. Salon.com interviewed Amy Richards, feminist author of Opting In, about her latest book and reconciling "political beliefs with the more 'traditional' longings that sometimes accompany motherhood."
The book's title is a play, and in some ways a response, to the controversy-stirring 2003 New York Times article, The Opt-Out Revolution by Lisa Belkin about educated, professional women (beneficiaries of the gains made by generations of feminists) choosing to leave their careers to stay at home and raise children. Richard's, herself a feminist and co-author of Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism, and the Future, wants women to decide for themselves what's right - both in parenting decisions and life choices without feeling bullied by feminism, judged by other mothers or made to feel guilty by the media.
If this topic interests you, read more about it and Richards' book in the Salon interview right here. Feel free to comment below about your own transition to motherhood and whether or not these concerns sound familiar.