I have been thinking a lot recently about what feminism means to me as a mom. I definitely have had shifting definitions for the word as I've grown and gone through different stages in my life. When I was younger I felt angrier about the patriarchal paradigm in this society. These days I worry more about the kyriarchy we live in but feel less anger. I think just being content in my own little life and feeling the peace of being completely comfortable in my own skin has softened my edges a bit.
   I'm sure some would argue that my role as stay-at-home-mom and homemaker is antithetical to my identity as a feminist. I feel pretty sure that we have (for the most part) moved past the idea that this role I've taken is less than, but I suspect that many still feel it's a sacrifice of 'something more.'
   My pregnancy was a surprise (unplanned is a ridiculous understatement), but I chose to continue it. I feel so strongly that it was my choice to make and that had I made another choice that would have been my deserved right. Even though it wasn't my intention at that time to get knocked up, I think that by choosing to go ahead with the pregnancy and have the baby, I owed it to the little life inside me to be the very best parent possible. Anyone who is having a baby owes the kid that, though I think it's up to each individual to determine what their definition of best is in that situation. For some it may mean renewed dedication to a career that will provide the best that money can buy for their little one; for some it might mean fully trusting a medical professional to make the calls when it comes to labor and delivery.  
   For me, the best way involved trusting my strength and power as a woman to birth this baby without a male medical establishment forcing on me the idea that I needed help in the way of drugs and a doctor to do what countless women with worse nutrition and more difficult circumstances had done without those things. The best, as I see it, means feeding my daughter the milk that my amazing female body makes specifically tailored to her needs, selecting and preparing each individual vegetable or piece of meat myself that will go into her mouth, wearing her close to me so she feels the comfort of this body that carried her for so long, and taking the time and effort to cloth diaper so that I leave her an earth that doesn't have more diapers in the landfills and more chemicals in the environment from their manufacture. The best, to me, means being willing to put in more work with her, spending time learning how to follow her lead and seeing the cues she gives for where she is developmentally and what she feels ready for, regardless of what I feel ready for.
   I choose to be home with my daughter because I find it fulfilling, important work. It's hard sometimes. It means cutting it awfully close financially and going without almost any material 'perks.' It means doing things the harder but cheaper way most of the time. It means less adult interaction and (for now) less time enjoying the relationship I have with her dad. I want to raise her to be a strong woman. I want her to fight for her convictions and know that she can achieve absolutely anything. I want her to feel empowered and validated and up for every challenge. I want her to know that whether she decides to live on a farm and pop out kid after kid or become attourney general and choose a life without children, or anywhere in between, she can do so with my full support and faith in her ability.
   Now, I have to go pull my bread out of the oven. I have decided that we are no longer buying bread at the store when I have a perfectly good oven here at home and two able hands. This is one of those times where harder but cheaper rears its head. It also happens to be fun and more tasty, so I'm definitely okay with it. Happy Monday!
Daddy Bear
01/25/2010 22:07

Beki, Your job is difficult!Last time I checked childcare,was somthing two working parents paid other people to do.Which means if you get paid to do it it's a job.You are the very best parent for davanee possible.I'm lucky you choose to be home.I'm glad it is more important for you to raise our daughter then to let some strangers try to.I ate the bread it is good.You have my full support even when we disagree. If things are more difficult you deal with most of it being home working on call 24 hrs a day while I work for 9hrs and clock out.I don't know how others will choose to raise their children.I can't judge them for it to each there own.I for one would not have it any other way. I LOVE YOU.


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