Monday, 24 May 2010

Feminism, but not as you know it.

Lately, I have been collaging a lot. I love it. I can never pick just "one good" photo because each and every one is just perfect to me (totally unbiased, balanced view there).
The Sugar Free thing is going fairly well - I have dramatically decreased my chocolate intake, which has made me a lot happier and feel fuller for longer.

It's surprising just how much I don't want
chocolate these days. Weird.

So this might be a fairly serious post because lately I have been doing some serious thinking...strange, but it does happen from time to time.

In my 365 of the Day I said something about how women have ended up taking on more these days - and I still stand by it. I was browsing (read: stalking) some "Mummy Blogs" last night and came across a Christian blog where one Mum talked about how 20-something year old young men find a woman's earning power more attractive than her ability to house-keep. I know, I sound like a soap powder ad from the 1950s, but I'm a Capricorn and we're apparently very traditional and house-proud, so I'll blame it on astrology if all else fails.

It kind of disgusted me. This fact. If it is a fact. Because I don't even know if it is, but say if it were, then it disgusts and doesn't surprise me at all in this "me me me" culture we live in. I can't really explain myself without going off into a million tangents, but here are some of my thoughts:

I think it's great that we, as women, have the choice and the ability to make the choices we want where before us plenty of women didn't have such a luxury of choice - things were silently expected, or in some cases and cultures not so silently expected. We can be women with careers, kids and mortgages and be juggle it all. We can be stay at home mothers. We can be anything we want to be, right?

But at what cost? It seems to me that as women we're taking on these massive responsibilities and we're ending up doing more work, more everything. I can't talk about these things without sounding horribly sexist, but I approach this internal debate with myself bearing in mind that we live in a very much patriarchal country with very archaic views (UK).

Where men are not taught in the home the same way as women are (excluding my household/upbringing where my mother had a balanced view for both sexes).

I think that there are many amazing role models out there. There are many women who can balance a job, children, a marriage and a home - and to them I really take my hat off. I don't have a proper job right now and it's really putting a strain on things, I don't mind saying that. For other reasons, my husband does not work - and I don't resent that. But I do wish there was some way we could role reverse things, so that I could be the one who stayed home instead of being the one who worries about looking for and then keeping down a job.

It's funny, but when I was pregnant people asked what my job was and were astonished when I said I didn't have one, that I was a student. Now no one bothers to ask me what I "do" because I'm assuming that they all assume I'm just a SAHM (Stay At Home Mum). But, to those that don't know him, Bryan is always asked without fail what he does as his job. What if he's the Stay At Home Parent? Which he is, even if not technically solely right now, he potentially will be.

Yet, it's assumed I'm the SAHM and he's the breadwinner. And all because of our sexes.

Now, I don't disagree that if this is possible that all couples should try to make a way of making it work - however, no point being a Miserable Mum who stays home just because she feels she has too. Some people need the challenge of a career and are actually better parents because of that. And some fathers are better Stay At Home's than some mothers, so whatever works for you.

However, now that I have had my Little One I crave for that SAHM role. I really do. For so many reasons, not least of all just to be with him. I want to keep on breast-feeding him exclusively for the next two months and I don't see a way around that (I do not express well at all). I don't want to miss a moment. I know that I can't be there for absolutely everything but I really don't want to miss important milestones - first word, first crawl, first steps. I would give up my hunger for education, for a career just to be with him. I think this would be my biggest lifetime achievement, if there was a way to make it happen...but clearly, there just isn't.

It makes me dislike those women who resent their children even more. The ones I have worked for in the past - where they couldn't wait to get away from their children and go off to dinner parties/book clubs/shopping/lunch/have their eyebrows dyed - oh yeah, that one was priceless! She said she was gonna be home in time for us coming back from nursery - which I helped out with in the morning - and was away all morning and afternoon having her eyebrows and eyelashes dyed.

And that's another thing - those idiots who spend fortunes on stupid stuff they don't need. Like acupuncture, or yet another sweater that will be thrown to the back of the wardrobe to join all the other sweaters they'll never wear. It makes me so mad that there are people out there like this - why aren't they spending that money on something that brings them and their children closer together? I don't understand these things and I probably never will because I don't have money and I wasn't born into it.

It all seems pointless if you're continually spending it on yourself - your time and your money. Especially when there are people like me out in the World who would do a lot to be in that position of SAHM when right now all I am is a nervous wreck about finding a job and being everything; mother, house-keeper, wife, organiser of everything dirty, worker. I am just starting to feel like as women we're maybe biting off more than we could chew and I'm sorry if that sounds outdated or patronizing...but it's how I'm feeling.