The New York times ran an article a little while back on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, in which she described how difficult the transition was from full time career woman to full time mother. Unsurprisingly, she was skewered by the New York media for daring to suggest any of the things she suggested (mainly, that life can be full of difficult decisions and transitions).
See, when you have a child, the child is supposed to fulfill your every wish and desire and you aren’t supposed to want to be away from that child for even a nanosecond because nothing else can possibly make you happy or satisfy you.
Except, when you have a child, the child is also not supposed to fulfill your every wish and desire and you are supposed to want to continue to work and lean in and crash through glass ceilings because you are a modern woman and it takes more than hearth and home to make you happy and satisfied.
It is absolutely ridiculous to suggest that you may not wholeheartedly want either of these. And to be honest about the conflict? Pure blasphemy.
Honesty is the most controversial thing to put out there. It’s uncomfortable. It doesn’t fit tidily into the story you’re trying to tell yourself and everyone else about your life. Worse, it has no place in the story other people are trying to tell themselves about their own lives.
To speak honestly requires bravery.
To recoil in horror at honesty is to be uncomfortable with real, messy, unphotogenic life.