Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The feminist stay at home mom

I am a feminist.

I am also a stay at home mom.

There are many reasons I stay home, but they really don't matter. They are my reasons, just as every mom (or dad) has their own reasons to work or to stay at home.

For some reason, being a stay at home mom seems to offend some circles of feminists. There seems to be this misconception that just because you are a feminist you should absolutely not make a traditional choice.

And that's hogwash.

Here's the thing: feminism is supposed to open up opportunities. For women and for men.

With feminism, we are no longer expected to just be housewives while men are the breadwinners. But feminism doesn't mean we can't choose to stay home.

Being a fulltime parent is a lot of work. Unpaid work, but work nonetheless. Lack of pay doesn't make it any less valuable. There are people who get paid to take care of kids.

Just as many people move from job to job or career to career, some of us leave piad jobs behind for a bit, but this is just another step on our paths. For some women, the Mom is the career they want. For others, we cherish this time but also know we will move on to another opportunity (a paying job) when the time comes.

Can I be a feminist and a stay at home mom? Yes!

I choose this life. It isn't forced on me. It certainly isn't "because of the patriarchy".

If I were the one at work and my husband had joined the ranks of the stay at home dads, those same feminists who look down on us stay at home moms would cheer loudly, proclaiming some measure of equality... while forgetting that equality means both men and women can make that choice.

So, for all the stay at home parents, men and women, yes, I am a feminist and I hope you are too.

4 comments:

  1. Well said, Meagan. A feminist who has to disparage another woman's choice is no feminist at all!

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    1. Exactly. Feminism is about having choices, which means they are all valid.

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  2. Absolutely!! I'm a feminist and I was a stay at home mom, and then a corporate worker bee, and now I am a work from home mom. My husband too has gone through changes in his career because of our kids and family choices. When I was corporate, he became the make dinner, do homework with the kids dad.
    In the end, you're right, feminism is supposed to be about opening doors and expanding choices. I hope that this next wave becomes about valuing the feminine. Wouldn't it be great if being a stay-at-home parent paid!?!

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    1. Getting paid would be awesome. In J.D. Robb's In Death series, parents can apply for full time parent status and get paid to do it. It would be a tough sell, especially considering we can't manage paid maternity and paternity leave, but it would be nice.

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