Tonight I took stock of the responses I’ve received to my 10 questions about your feminist motherhood (and my two responses to feminist fatherhood) and I felt, corny as it sounds, honoured. First of all, there’s a lot of them and second of all, reading through them I realised that mothers (and fathers) have opened themselves up, they’ve really laid bare their parenting and personal paths, and they haven’t skipped over their missteps either. There has been fantastic variety among the identities of the women who’ve responded (queer and straight, partnered and solo, new and experienced, Muslim and atheist, living here and living way over there, funny and sad, conflicted and at ease, older and younger, staying-at-home and working-outside-the-home etc) but they all have this integrity of self-reflection and honesty. Thank you, all of you.
And here are two more mothers who have responded to my 10 questions about your feminist motherhood.
First eglantine’s cake. When a writer as accomplished as she takes on your questions you know you’re going to get some beautifully lyrical responses, I probably didn’t realise I’d get such wisdom though. What a thoughtful response she’s written.
2. What has surprised you most about motherhood?
I always thought when I had kids I’d be Penni + kids. I thought feminism would protect me from any kind of identity loss. In reality there’s an enormous chasm between who I was before motherhood and who I am now. Motherhood is an extreme, physical and emotional and psychic metamorphosis, and it keeps threatening your identity, even as your kids grow up – actually in some ways more so now that the kids are older. I yearned for a baby, and always knew I’d love being a mother (and I do), but I didn’t know I’d hate it too. Having said that, I didn’t know that I would be such a creative mother, nor that it would so completely and perfectly connect up my imaginative, intuitive self with my analytical, pensive side.
I discovered PhD in Parenting when she took on these 10 questions and I’ve found her story to be an intriguing one. Her partner is a stay-at-home father and while a stay-at-home father is not unique among the parent blogs I read, a blog written by the bread-winning mother of such a couple is a first for me. She has a lovely, easy writing style too. Enjoy.
3. How has your feminism changed over time? What is the impact of motherhood on your feminism?
I used to think that whichever parent made more money should work and whichever one made less money should stay home. However, my view on that has changed somewhat. I do make more money and am therefore the primary breadwinner and my husband is a SAHD. But, I see the value in both parents playing equally strong roles in their children’s lives and have therefore taken more leave from work (both maternity leave and other time off) to spend time with my children that I would have if finances were the only or the primary consideration.
And a bonus. A thoughtful post here from Garden Variety about finding a kind of peace with fairy tales like Snow White in her feminist home. (The post is untitled which means that when I linked to it it was named the first phrase of her post as a default title, and consequently shows up as yesterday it was raining and cold, which just sounds so poetic as a title to me, especially for a piece about Snow White. Or maybe I’ve lost my head because I’m listening to Quelqu’un m’a dit).