Raising kids & being a woman – a mother’s take on feminism
Growing up, feminism was never something that particularly interested me. I saw it through a stereotype. Like a lot of us did, I suppose. It felt extreme. That you had to hate men to really get into it. And frown upon chivalrous acts like having the door opened for you. I liked feeling looked after by a man. I still do. I wasn’t sure where that left me.
But since having kids, my eyes are WIDE open. I feel the injustice of being a woman and especially a woman and a mother, every single day. I love that I was able to bear three children and even when I’m screaming inside, I count myself lucky to have these incredible, small people in my life. But the responsibility of looking after them is often overwhelming. And no matter what my husband does (or doesn’t do), I feel it lies with me.
Going by what my friends tell me, I’m not alone. There is a lot of resentment between couples who feel the balance is out of kilter. We’re tired of being on duty all of the time. Of being the only ones who know where the nappies are. Or what the kids need for school. Many of us are holding down jobs, in whatever capacity, whilst mothering one, two, three or six children. Our brains are fragments of their former selves as we struggle to juggle. And it’s exhausting. I’m not brandishing every couple with this brush. I know some manage the balance perfectly well and would totally disagree with me. That’s okay. But, I’d be brazen enough to say that the majority of us have still to find this very delicate balance.
The truth is that the lines between the sexes may be more blurred than ever. It feels like we have perhaps given up more in our plight to have everything. We work. We mother. We pay the bills. Did we really want it this way?
I’m not suggesting we wish we could go back to the 1950s portrayal of a mother and housewife. Of course we don’t. Many of us want to work and would go insane without it. Lots of us don’t have the choice. Others choose to stay at home with their kids but, again, this involves more than it once did. Looking after the children. Whilst tackling the house admin like paying bills and sorting the car insurance. It’s not a ‘straightforward’ case of ‘just’ looking after the kids. It’s so much more and the reason we don’t sit down until 10pm at night. We need to feel supported in our efforts and that possibly isn’t happening enough right now.
So yes, no one is more surprised than me to learn that I’m a feminist. Of sorts. And no, of course feminism isn’t about hating men or frowning upon a chivalrous act. It’s the exact opposite, in fact. It’s about opening doors. Doors that allow us sassy women a moment to occasionally take a step back from the huge task of raising children. And breathe.
Featured image via Pinterest