Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Dusting off the soapbox

Hello all as many of you are already aware there is a rather unflattering article up on the Washington Post about "hipster homemakers" who are just following the latest fad in lifestyle. As I am sure most of you saw this posted already by Mrs. B (that wonderful lady)! So I thought that I'd dust off my soapbox and use a little language to get myself some peace from the steam that is coming out of my ears.

The author brings up a concern that because all of these hippy dippy back to the landers are making it a moral imperative (we're not) to stay at home and do all those domestic things that it will become obligation to all those women who would wish to shuck off the stress of raising their children and instead do that and have a full time career to cope with as well. (I never got why women would want to do it all). Now I for one would be on the front lines of fighting such a trend if it were actually happening but I have yet to see one stay at home mother accuse a career woman of shucking off their moral imperative to be a stay at home mom, not a one. In fact I think most of them are just happy to be doing what they need to do for their families, and hopefully at peace with their choice to stay at home. I know when I first made the choice to be a stay at home mom I did go through some feminist existential drama wondering if I could be a stay at home mom like I truly desired and still call myself a feminist. Then I thought FEMINISM IS ABOUT CHOICE. It is my choice to stay home; society at large is telling me that the only way I am of value  is if I over stress myself and go out into the world of career and making money. But isn't that what early feminists were fighting against? In their society the only route for a woman to have value was for her to stay within the home and raise babies, the working world was out of her reach. They fought so that we now could have the choice of working if that is what pleased us, despite what society at large decided was best for us and our families. I don't believe that they would have wanted any woman to be pressured into making choices that are against her desires, they fought for a woman's right to be the designer of her own destiny. If she wanted to be a stay at home mom who worked hard within the home to provide for her family I believe that they would have given their blessing.  After all it's about freedom of choice. 

Secondly as the article mentions a lot of that hippy dippy back to the land stuff is just plain fun. Heck if it wasn't it wouldn't be a "trend". I read a rather interesting article in Newsweek I believe that talked about how Amish fictional romances were the new trend in literature because even though few of us would be able to live in the Amish world (hey who doesn't enjoy TV in moderation) we longed for the simplicity and slower pace. Modern life is tough and stressful and hectic and canning jam and growing gardens is a good relief from that stress. Huh who guessed that taking the time to do something simple is a good way to unwind? I for one would love nothing more that to do nothing but sew. I get all Zen and calm. Yes it's one of those old school domestic skills but if I enjoy it why in the hell should I be made to feel guilty about it??? Yes it is a way to be a responsible member of the human race if I shop local and try to lessen my environmental impact on the world but, again I ask why should I feel guilty about doing my part for Mother Earth? Why shouldn't I be worried about those cancer causing chemicals in processed food that make my little 'un so very very sick? Why should I just sit back and accept things the way they are when I wish they were different? I have often wondered what corporations are doing to our food supply that makes everybody have food allergies to the point that if they go anywhere near a peanut they will die? Why is there suddenly a rise in gluten allergies, lactose intolerance, and cancer? To say that our food supply and what is being done to it is not to blame is at best imbecilic at worst an outright fallacy in common sense. I am damn proud to be a Radical Homemaker and damn sick of people looking down on me because I cannot stay asleep and go through life dependent on people who don't give a damn about my health or my families health and just want me to stay in line go with the flow so that the people in charge can make their money. NO THANK YOU.

And another thing if the author is so worried that us DIYers who have gone back home are part of some anti-feminist backlash despite what we say to the contrary then why isn't she writing an article about why men aren't stepping up to the plate more when it comes to these things such as worrying about their families health and caring for the cleanliness of the home. Or how about and article highlighting some exceptional men who stay home and take care of the house and kids so that it may be seen as more socially acceptable for men to do those things and not be labeled as feminine? I know why because it wouldn't make a good headline. Instead they have to fan the fans of the mommy wars because that's what sells papers. The blog opinion expressed here is summed up best by this excerpt:   

  It is a symptom of great wealth that a nation of educated women have time and money to spend on going back to time and labor intensive tasks. If the safety and provision of their children were truly at risk, they would be back in the workplace providing in the most effective way they could: by earning money. 

Doesn't that just grind your gears? Now who is making moral imperatives huh? You are saying that wealthy educated women who make the choice of staying home are making a choice that is bad for their families. In my experience the women who do theses domestic tasks are money poor (but time rich). I don't see how my personal choices are making a moral imperative for anyone but ME. I think that in saying that in the way she said it she shows a great deal of her own guilt in being a working mom. She shouldn't feel guilty because someone else made another choice, and she shouldn't make snap judgements about them because they chose differently from her. She has a right to work if that is what makes her happy and is right for her family. I shouldn't have to defend my differing opinion to all those working women out there who feel accosted by my choice. Take your guilt elsewhere thank you, and if you feel so guilty about working then stay at home it isn't that hard.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Animal stories

Now I am really not complaining but my lil 'un does this thing where he focuses on something like, SUPER focuses. On a three word paragraph that he expects me to repeat over and over and over again until I'm ripping my hair out, clawing at my eyes and begging, no pleading with him to say something else! Two whole hours spent on the couch going over pleasantries between toys, and no attempt to steer him away from the subject works.  SUPER FOCUS! If running around in circles is what he wants to do he SUPER FOCUSES on doing that in as many ways as he can until he's dizzy and can't stand up anymore. (He still tries he just is too dizzy) If reading is what he wants to do for the day we read all day, until my eyes bleed! I always require him to sit and read with me for 15 minutes a day, then after that he can bounce dance run around or whatever he likes. But, I have read to him on days where he wants to read for two hours, how many toddlers whant to sit still and read for two hours? I mean really? SUPER FOCUS!

Now his new thing to do for hours is follow me around telling me amusing stories. It started with Taco Stories, where the basic gist is Once upon I time I was at the Taco Store and it goes on from there. And we talk about how the things in the story made him feel, or if a character was nice or mean. He usually tells me at least three always asking "Do you want to hear another Taco Story?". I always say yes. Now it's Animal Stories "Once upon a time I was riding my elephant...." it goes on to say where he and his elephant went and what they saw or did. He often falls off the elephant somehow and he is either broken or OK. The elephant acts accordingly. FOR TWO HOURS. Sometimes you just want a little peace and quiet you know? But I just can't discourage him, he's so adorable! Too smart for his own good. I have to lock the bathroom door because when I go to cook dinner (you know raw meat) he goes climbs the shelves in the cabinet to eat the toothpaste. Which he then hides so I don't figure out what he's been up to. Just have had my hands full with him lately really. End of rant , thank you.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Is that a Flea????

Why yes, yes it is! I've been in a flurry of cleaning this week trying to get a handle on the pests. It's going ok right now one kitty is clear but the other is still quite covered! I have been doing more laundry in a day than I used to do in a week and vacuuming everyday.  (So much for the quiet riot huh?) I have a lot of thoughts running around in my head right now so look forward to my next posts!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

An Ode to Candles

I just ran out of candles a few weeks ago, which for me is rally weird because I'm a little bit of a pyromaniac. I have candles of all kinds for all seasons and reasons. I've lighted tea light once a week for years on my altar and it's a total habit in times of stress and I just ran out for the first time ever. Then I took the last of our gift certificates from the wedding and headed over to Pier One and bough a few. Enough to last me at least half of the coming year. Many colors and sizes too just like I like them. Then come to find out it wasn't a gift certificate for $50 like I had thought but a full $100. Sweet! Yes I am going to spend $100 on candles because I love them. Am I a little weird you better believe it!