Stay at home mom’s killing feminism…apparently according to some…

Did you know that feminism is dying?? I wasn’t aware of the fact that female equality was dying but apparently it is. In the mind of one very opinionated, condescending woman, feminism is being killed by, of all people stay at home mum’s.

To start perhaps you should read the article:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/06/1-wives-are-helping-kill-feminism-and-make-the-war-on-women-possible/258431/

Where do I start?

Should I start by pointing out how incredibly empowered I feel that one lone woman is telling me what should make my life significant and that anything other than working outside of the home is meaningless?

Should I mention that somehow her idea of feminism is that we, as women, have gone from not having any other choice but to stay at home and take care of house, husband and children to now having no choice other than to go to work. Because lord knows if I’m not out there in the working business world my brain isn’t being put to use. This in turn must mean that I am unimportant, uneducated and insignificant.

I will make a point of saying that I am a working mother, mostly due to financial necessity. I did however, make a career choice to work at a job that doesn’t require me to work 80 hours a week. This was because I would prefer to spend more time at home with my family than to spend all my time in the superficial business world listening to people who like to hear themselves spout nonsense trying to convince themselves that they are really very important. So important that they must be available 24 hours a day, they can’t leave their blackberry’s behind for a moment (even to go to the bathroom) and think by working into wee hours of the morning it somehow solidifies their place in this world.

Contrary to what she might think, being a stay at home mum is very much a full-time job. MOST stay at home mum’s are not Chanel-shopping women who spend their days getting facials and taking Yoga classes. They are amazing, hard-working, patient woman who have given their lives to ensure that their family is well taken care of.   Being a stay at home mum also involves a hell of a lot more than picking up GI Joe dolls and Lego’s.

Making sure house is clean, groceries are stocked, healthy meals are made is just a part of what needs to be done to run a household. Taking care of children doesn’t mean plopping some food in front of them and changing the odd diaper. Many stay at home mum’s are responsible for household budgets, paying the bills, ensuring their families are eating healthy foods to keep them physically and mentally fit. . You are responsible for an entire human being, probably more than one. To be honest, going through all of the tasks involved in maintaining a household is not only impossible but ridiculous as I would be entertaining this woman’s insulting idea of what it means to be a real woman.

Any mum, stay at home or working, knows what it takes to run a house. They don’t need it to be listed out for them so I won’t do that. I don’t feel the need to prove myself.

I did spend two years of maternity leave at home and I will tell you that I never had a harder day at work than my easiest day spent as a stay at home mum. I challenge her to a week of it, she wouldn’t last a day.

I also think it is actually idiotic of her to compare all stay at home mum’s to a small percentage of well to do women who may have chosen to have nannies and housekeepers and may not actually spend most of their days at home. Really?? To try to even suggest that all stay at home mum’s fit into that category is just ridiculous. In my opinion it makes her sound dumb. As dumb as she thinks the stay at home wives are.

Her patronizing notion that being a mother is something everyone could do is absurd. Many women can have a baby but not everyone can be a good mother. Guess what?? Everyone can pretty much go out there and do most jobs but not all of them will do it well. Difference is if you are bad at the job of motherhood you don’t necessarily get fired. Rather, you can completely mess up a person for their entire life, which in turn can lead to further generations of pain and suffering. So yes my dear, being a mother is an important and extremely difficult job.

Regardless, I am very happy that women generations before me fought so hard for me to have equality. They fought so that firstly I had the option to go out there and get an education and a career. I am grateful for the fact that they fought to give me rights over my mind and my body. I am thankful that they fought so that I have choices about the path that my life takes, be that stay at home mum or working woman. I had the choice to be a doctor or a lawyer. I had to choice to get married or not. I had the choice to have children or not.

I do not judge this woman for deciding not to get married or have children. I don’t judge her for the career she’s chosen. I don’t think she is more or less of a woman because of the choices she made. She, however, seems to feel like she has the right to judge me or any other woman out there who has chosen to have a family and to stay home with that family. She is trying to force on me her way of life and I think she believes that she is better than me based solely on the fact that she chose a career over family.

Who is really killing feminism here?

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What is the right age?

I love controversial comments/topics that bring up debates and discussions. The great thing about living in this wonderful country I call home is that we are all entitled to our opinions. I may not agree with your opinion but I love that we disagree and we can still be friends 🙂

Recently a comment that I read on Facebook stirred up quite the debate and surprisingly really got me all riled up. This issue at hand was not even something that I had ever questioned before but in reading the comment and some of the replies my blood began to boil.

The comment was in regards to mothers bringing their sons into women’s bathrooms. The basic message being sent was that Mothers should not bring their sons into women’s bathrooms after a certain age. Now I agree to a certain extent, in that there is an age where a boy becomes too old for this however what is that magical age? The commenter mentioned after age 4 a mother should “let go” and let their child go into a public washroom on their own.

Now I say reaaaaaalllyyyyy???? 4????? That to me seems awfully young for me to send Mr. T. alone into a public washroom where I can’t see him and don’t know who else is in there.

I regularly bring Mr. T. into the women’s washroom with me. In fact I did it this afternoon in a Walmart, walking by at least 2 women who smiled at him and myself as we walked by. Didn’t seem like they had an issue with it. To be perfectly honest, given the fact that Mr. T is not yet 4,  it has never crossed my mind to send him into a public men’s washroom alone. To further add to my honesty,  I think it will be a long while before I send him into a public washroom alone.

Now I never really thought this would ever be an issue. I did not realize that some women may be uncomfortable with my 3.5 year old son sharing their bathroom. The poster mentioned being “leered” at by young boys. This puzzled me, because I wondered firstly, what kind of bathroom it is where you all pee openly to enable the child to leer at you in a way that would make you uncomfortable. Secondly, why would a young child staring out of curiosity ever be more than just a passing moment of awkwardness. If I caught a 4 year old staring at me I’m pretty sure I would know that it was curiosity and nothing more. Furthermore if you are uncomfortable with the possibility of  my 4 year old sexualizing you, then you must not think much of men so why on earth should I then send him into a bathroom full of these men, alone???

The truth of the matter is that the majority of child predators are male. Do I really want to send my three year old into a public bathroom with only men where I can’t see him? What would Mr. T. do if he was approached by a predator in a public bathroom. Why would I ever put him in that kind of situation, where at his age he is obviously not equipped to handle? I think there have been enough cases of child predators lurking in these types of places for us, as parents, to be a little cautious.

The other truth, regardless of what you want to believe, is that there are bad people out there. I have a family member who works in the crimes against children department and the one lesson he has brought to me is that you can never be too safe. We, as the general, public have no idea what really goes on out there. There are people who will wait in a public bathroom just because he knows there are mothers who will send their 4 year old in there alone. There are people who will do the unimaginable to children and it happens more often than we think.  So if I am “too safe” oh well. There are just certain risks I am not willing to take.

Plus, is this really such a big deal??? He is walking into a bathroom, into a closed in stall, using the washroom, washing his hands and leaving. Is there really anything he will see that will harm either him or a woman who is using the washroom?

Now I  wonder, what is the right age for me to start sending Mr. T. alone into the men’s washroom? I’m not 100% sure at this point. I know it’s not now. Probably not within the next year either. After that, not sure if I can really say at this point. I will say that I won’t send him into a men’s washroom alone if I don’t feel he is safe. I will also not be sending him into a situation that neither of us are ready for, for fear of offending someone. It will not be you who will be left to deal with the fallout if heaven forbid something happen to my son.

Any thoughts? What age did you send your child into a public bathroom alone? Do you treat your son differently than your daughter? I’m really very curious as I had not given it much thought.

I think what got my blood boiling is yet another instance where Mother’s are being judged for their parenting decisions. I really don’t owe any explanation as to why I am not comfortable sending Mr. T. (who I will say hasn’t even started school yet) into a public bathroom alone. I’m just not so I won’t. Why is it that as a society we feel like we have the right to judge another’s parenting decisions??? Perhaps it makes us feel like the better parents for pointing out what we feel is a wrong parenting decision. The fact of the matter is you may do things that I don’t agree with, but I know in my heart that the decisions you make for your child is made with his/her best interest at heart. Please know that I am doing the same. So the next time you see a frazzled mother dragging her son into a women’s washroom, know it is not in fact so that her young boy can ogle you, it’s just cause he has to pee!

Bittersweet moments

My life as a mother is full of bittersweet moments. As I watch my children grow up and learn new things my heart swells with pride. They amaze me each day with all of the things they are capable of. This past weekend I learned that Mr. T. is capable of playing catch. I have been fully aware of the fact that he is very athletic and loves sports but I always just kind of assumed that he was too young to put on a baseball glove and actually catch a ball. Yet this weekend we went on a picnic and Mr.T. played catch with some boys that are a few years older. I sat back and watched him play with these boys and it hit me with a shocking thud to my heart that his baby days are gone.

We then returned home where we moved Ms. J from a crib to a bed. How did this happen? When did this happen? While my heart did a little flutter as I watched her sleeping so peacefully in her big girl bed, my eyes filled with tears. It’s official she’s not a baby anymore! She is a full-blown toddler. She can talk to me, we chat non stop. She not only wants to do everything herself but she is capable of doing so much herself. We took down that crib, a part of me feeling such joy that my little lady is moving up in her little world and the other side of me wanting to keep the crib as is for just a little while longer. How much longer can I get away with keeping her my baby?

All of these shocking realizations are pulling at my heart. I do not have a baby in my home anymore! Babies have taken up pretty much every second of my life for the past 4 years. It seems as though almost every thought I had, every action I took, every decision I made somehow could be tied back to a baby. My babies to be exact. That is no longer. They are turning into their own little people. Mr. T. doesn’t always want to cuddle anymore. He wipes away my kisses and doesn’t want me to carry him anymore. MS. J. hasn’t hit the stage where she doesn’t want my kisses anymore but she doesn’t need me the way she used to. She can wash her own hands and brush her own teeth thank you very much. Forget about picking her clothes or even putting them on, she’s fully capable of doing that herself, thank you very much.

My heart is hurting right now. I don’t think I’m ready for this. I think I need them to need me. Wasn’t it just yesterday that I sat diligently by Mr. T’s incubator praying to whoever was listening to just make him better??? How is he now a big boy getting ready for school in September??? When did this happen? Didn’t I just spend last night begging Ms. J. to please sleep, hoping that she would go longer than 2 hours before she needed to be nursed again? If that were true, how is she telling me that she wants pasta for dinner tonight?

I’m having a hard time with this. I am beginning to grasp the fact that this very well be it for me and babies. While we haven’t fully decided if we are going to add to our brood or not, I know that there is a chance that I may never have another baby in my home. I miss it. I know when I was in it I couldn’t wait until my babies slept through the night or ate solids. Here we are having met those milestones and a million others and what I wouldn’t give to have that back, even for just a day.

My heart is pained, my soul is longing for that pull that comes only from your baby crying out for you. That smell, when you sniff the tops of their heads or for me their entire beings. I could smell them forever. The gentle calm that comes over you when your baby is wrapped tightly in your arms, snuggled up against you as though they are simply an extension of your own body. The crushing adoration that takes over your entire being when they wrap their little finger around yours. The explosion of love you experience when your eyes meet. How can this be over?

As I said, it is an utterly bittersweet moment for me. I am heartsick at the thought of losing my babies but am overjoyed at the thought of watching them grow into even more beautiful adults. Experiencing their first day of school, their first soccer game and/or dance class. Watching them learn new things, master new skills and explore their world is so amazing. I feel honoured to have been given the opportunity to not only watch a human being develop but to play a role in helping that baby grow into a kind, loving, gentle and constructive adult.

With tears in my eyes and joy in my heart I will bid farewell to my babies and welcome two wonderful little people into my life. Those baby days are gone but never forgotten. And I now have the rest of my life to experience with them the rest of the journey through their life. It is a different beauty but is just as magnificent.

Even as I write this Ms. J wants ‘1 more cuddle mummy’…maybe I can squeeze in a few more moments of babyhood whenever I can? Even if just for 1 more cuddle.