But whether the reasons are practical, religious, or personal, I worry about what message this sends. In my case, I have three children. Will my sons grow up to expect their wives to give up everything when the kids come along? What if it doesn't happen that way? Will my daughter assume that anything outside the traditional model I've embraced is wrong?
My children will form their own opinions, I'm sure, and make their own choices, many of them in spite of what I say or do. But I know that I do want to understand this: they have choices. They need to make their own decisions based on what works for them and not necessarily what other people tell them.
So how will I do this? Other than tying them up and forcing them to listen to my lectures, here's what might help:
show them that my interests and goals are important. I once listened to Wendy Tolliver (a Utah author) talk about when her book was published. She used some of the money from her advance to take a family trip to Disneyland. Why? She wanted her kids to understand that mommy's work matters, too, and that they could celebrate her accomplishments together. As another example, my kids know that I told my friends I was going to finish my book by Valentine's Day, and they cheered me on.
allow them to pursue their own interests. This means that even though my inner feminist chafes at my children's stereotypical interests (my daughter loves dancing and My Little Pony), I have to consider that a valid option and encourage it. And I also have to deal with it if the opposite happens and one of my sons wants to join the ballet.
help them learn to set goals. Just because I'm an overachiever doesn't mean goal-setting comes naturally to my children. I'm hoping that they can learn the value of working toward something that's important to them. And one of those goals is going to college, even if they're kicking and screaming all the way there.
How are you helping your kids to appreciate your personhood outside the mommy persona?