Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Q: What are you doing at home?

A: What many women only wish they were doing.

Having never been to a cocktail party in my life, I can't say I've witnessed the scenario which Kathryn Jean Lopez describes in the opening paragraphs of this article. However, I have been asked why I'm home with my kids when I seem to be so intelligent! I have heard women apologize for publicly expressing the wish to stay at home and raise their children. I have been asked, by a slightly confused bank employee from whom I was buying an RRSP, whether I was a homemaker in my own home, or in someone else's - as though he could not fathom the former. (I couldn't quite fathom the latter - I always thought they were called "housekeepers", but I wasn't about to further crease his brow by asking for an explanation.) The message I'm hearing loud and clear is that you can be anything you want, girls, except a Dumb Old Housewife/Mother - that alone is not a valid choice. (Hence our satirically named blog. You did realize it was satirical, right?)

I feel really lucky to be home with my children. So many people fret about not having enough time to spend with family, but it's my job to spend time with mine. I wish that every woman who wanted to do the same could have the luxury of making that choice. Of course, to say that one has that "luxury" isn't to say that every family living on one income can only do so because that income is of a size that allows them to live in luxury. For most of us it is a choice that requires certain sacrifices. Every day we are harangued about what we should give up in order to "save the earth": incandescent bulbs, bottled water, air conditioning, that third -or second, or first! - child. But to suggest that we might give up that yearly vacation, that second car, that flat-screen TV, so that one parent can stay home to raise their children - well, it's not something you hear much about from our secular society. Human beings aren't worth that kind of sacrifice.

h/t PWPL

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