But: I am still completely irritated by the lies and damn lies printed in the OpinionJournal about Ayn Rand and her views on "the family," so I will present some actual evidence against that horrible idea. And yes, I'm all worked up about this particular topic because right now, my family is my chosen career.
In Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand depicted several dysfunctional families, particularly the Taggarts and the Reardens. It is very clear to the reader that these families are awful. When the protagonist Dagny Taggart visits Galt's Gulch--if you haven't read the book, GG is a man-made utopia--she meets a much different family:
The recaptured sense of her [Dagny's] own childhood kept coming back to her whenever she met the two sons of the young woman who owned the bakery shop. . . . They did not have the look she had seen in the children of the outer world--a look of fear, half- secretive, half-sneering, the look of a child's defense against an adult, the look of a being in the process of discovering that he is hearing lies and of learning to feel hatred. The two boys had the open, joyous, friendly confidence of kittens who do not expect to get hurt, they had an innocently natural, non-boastful sense of their own value and as innocent a trust in any stranger's ability to recognize it, they had the eager curiosity that would venture anywhere with the certainty that life held nothing unworthy of or closed to discovery, and they looked as if, should they encounter malevolence, they would reject it contemptuously, not as dangerous, but as stupid, they would not accept it in bruised resignation as the law of existence. p. 730 (Paperback 35th Anniversary edition)
"They represent my particular career, Miss Taggart," said the young mother in answer to her comment. . . . "They're the profession I've chosen to practice, which, in spite of all the guff about motherhood, one can't practice successfully in the outer world. . . . I came here, not merely for the sake of my husband's profession, but for the sake of my own. I came here in order to bring up my sons as human beings."
Yep. Soul-killing prison alright. I think about these characters often, because it's a beautiful description of my goals for my kids and Brendan's and my goals as their parents. For our family, the best way to achieve that goal has been for me to raise them at home. We've worked very hard to arrange our finances and businesses (want to rent a cabin, anyone?) such that this goal can be achieved. I am happy that we have been able to swing it so far and when I look at our kids, I'm proud that they exhibit that "open, joyous, friendly confidence" which is, I believe, the natural state for children.
My job is more fun and more challenging that I had imagined at the outset. Raising human beings is soul-fulfulling; I'm happy that I get to do it!
Speaking of....off to work!