Thursday, 24 April 2014

Sorry Ryan it's a mamma post...I'm still a feminist!

I seem to have come across a lot of media lately (talk shows, articles, blogs) bashing stay-at-home mothers. Most of these pieces make the homemaker out to be some sort of slave who sacrifices every inch of her self-worth and potential in order to be a stay at home parent. The worst part is when they say Mothering all day is anti-feminist. Now, I grew up on the ultra-liberal side of the feminist debate. I didn't (don't) wear makeup, I went tree planting, I  listened to a lot of Indigo girls, I read Naomi Wolf books, so yeah, really really feminist. As I grew older I drew strength knowing that generations of women had worked and fought for women's equality and the freedom for me to choose what I wanted to do in life.  

After I had my first child I knew that the right thing to do in my life was love and care for her at home full time. Because I felt like it was right for our family, for my daughter, and overall the healthy thing for us. Eight years on and three kids and one dog later I am still happy that I do not have a career that takes me out of my home everyday. I feel like I am doing the right thing, just as working moms are doing what they believe is best for their families and themselves. We're all just doing what we think is right. 

Some of the things people say about stay-at-home moms are indeed true. We don't have financial independence (although even career focused mamas have a mortgage and a visa bill, how independent does that make them?). We don't get breaks, we don't use our brains to our utmost academic level (mostly because we are exhausted), and we are dependent on our partners. Oh and we dress badly... that's totally true but if your going to be covered in puke what's the point in dressing up? 

But hang on a second! My husband depends on me too. We are in a fundamental way interdependent on each other. If I decided to go marry the hunky single guy down the road and move to Cuba, Ryan would be totally screwed. As wonderful as my husband is he could not look after our girls even close to the same way as he can now. And if Ryan decided to marry the hot single chick down the road and move to Cuba I would also be totally screwed. This is part of the reason that neither one of us views divorce as an option; apart from all the emotional trauma, it would totally wreck our lives...and the lives of our girls. In our society no one is supposed to need anyone else. Well thats just bananas! People need other people, to love, to do things for, for help, for support, for making mochas in the morning while you wipe sleep from your eyes (thanks Ry).

I am a stay-at-home mom but I am not a moron. I know that children are not young forever and that one day I will be alone with my husband. I will have no career to keep me busy in my fifties, sixties and so on. But guess what...I don't care! Na na na na pooh pooh! I am digging my life now! I feel important to many people and I feel valued and stimulated every day. I have learnt so much about the power and strength of women and how important we are to a successful society. I have also noticed how undervalued women's work is in our culture by men and women alike. I will continue to be a homemaker despite the confused looks I get when I am asked "so what do you do all day"? Or my personal favourite "aren't you bored?" No, somehow I have not found the time to be bored.

I feel like I am what feminism was manifestoed to do. We are feminists because we want a choice. 



3 comments:

  1. Amen Alexis! Good for you :)
    --Sirpa

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  2. Indeed! Na nana poop pooh!


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  3. A gutsy and intelligent analysis from a super mom! The world needs you. Canada is lucky to have women like you!

    John and Bonnie.

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