(Originally posted Dec 1 2011. But i’ve noticed an uptick in the mommy wars, so i thought it would be a good time for a re post)
I was canning before canning was cool.
So, I’m trollin’ FB in the wee morning hours before the house awakens, and I come across this link to an article shared by Confessions of a Pagan Soccer Mom. (she didn’t write it–she was just sharing it)
And I read the post written (which, if you don’t wanna click through, disparages women who “urban homestead” by suggesting we are hipsters with 1st world problems and a silly distrust of our national food safety, and that we have in a sense stepped “back” in our feminism by choosing to live this way) and i think, WHISKY TANGO FOXTROT?
So then I click through to the Washington post article, (which was her original subject, which makes the “hipster” argument, but actually makes it sound cool–TOO cool) and I’m just gettin all worked up.
Because *I* am that woman she is talking about, and she’s not being very nice in her judgy assitude. (i’d love to take credit for that word–but someone used it in reference to this article, and I fell in love with it. Consider it now a part of my vocabulary)
I make bread. I make jams and pickles and can them. I spin and knit. I make a lot of shit from scratch. I sew clothing and other items. I try my damnedest to budget and stretch my food supplies to live a life of less waste. I recycle.
I do NOT however raise chickens. (but wish I knew someone who did) and I am a horrible gardener. I try every year and it’s just sad.
I do these things not because of some moral imperative but because I consider it my job as a SAHM. *MY* job–not your job, not her job not his job. MINE. I will willingly help someone learn anything I know, but I never expect anyone, ANYONE to adopt what I do. I don’t do it for any kind of status (although I can be a praise whore about it–but I think we can agree that another issue entirely) and I don’t do it in protest or whatnot. I do it because I can, and that enough for me.
But that’s beside the point, because it doesn’t matter why I do what I do. Who the fuck cares? Haven’t we had enough mommy judging? I also sit my kid in front of the computer or telly sometimes (OK, a lot of times), and lord knows there’s enough flack about THAT floating around.
I mean, WHY, as women, do we have to constantly DO this? I don’t care that a woman works outside the home bringing in money. I don’t think she’s any less of a woman. Nor do i find those who home school or are more “homesteadier” to be any better or worse than myself. We all do what we do. Do we judge men this way?
I’ll admit it: I get it, kinda. I mean–we (women i mean) carry around this self-judgy shit that isn’t easy to throw off.
Example–I’ve got a friend (I KNOW, right?) who is 1)gorgeous 2) skinny 3) GORGEOUS and 4) keeps an immaculate home. I mean FUCKING IMMACULATE. If she’s got dirt or dust somewhere, she must keep it in a secret fucking room where trolls live because I’ve never seen an out-of-place item or speck of dirt in her house. EVER.
And when I see her house, do I think to myself–“what a lovely home”? NO. First thought is always “WTF am I doing wrong that I cannot keep house half as well as she does? She’s got two kids fer chrissakes and I’ve only got one!” Instant self loathing. At least I am hating myself in a lovely space though.
(Really Mar–you are AWESOME, and seeing your home only makes me want to be a better homemaker. And thinner. Mostly just a better homemaker.)
So, it’s like we’re set up to judge and feel guilt when we feel we find we are not meeting some stupid self-perceived perfection mark. And sometimes, we lash out at those who are doing such as awesome job. Like hating on women who make their own bread because you never have.
Not to mention the fact that many of us feel guilt for either staying home or working outside of it because there seems to be this perpetual battle of “my mothering is better” on both sides.
I will admit that I feel guilt on a DAILY BASIS that I am not working (in the traditional sense), especially when we have to tighten the budget for one reason or another. And this is after I work two jobs from home and spend a majority of my time in therapies and teaching my son. I still feel guilty.
And there are moms who work outside the home who bring home the bacon, fry it up, help with homework and read bedtime stories and still feel like they aren’t doing enough.
We are thrust into this perpetual battle over the stupidest shit. Is your kid alive? check. Do you qualify for either “Supernanny” or “Hoarders”? No? Then you’re doing ok in my book.
Not that my book even fucking matters. Because my book only matters here, in this house, with my kid and husband and dog, and kinda the neighbors but not really. And it really just irks me that women still feel they have to play this game.
[Do men play this game? because I am curious as to what y'all judge each other on if you do]
I really disliked this author’s idea that by living my life like this, I was “taking a step backwards” in my feminism. (But I also dislike the idea that by doing this I am more of a feminist, as the hipster homesteaders tend to claim.) And then she just had to make it better.
I made a fairly ubiquitous non-comment stating some of what I stated here(without the cussing or name calling), wanting to point out that food dyes, at least in THIS house, are a problem, and that I try to control what my kid eats because of his Autism. And I get this:
Carry on? CARRY ON?
I realize she was just trying to be nice, but you know what I read with her words? That condescending nod and pitying look that says “oh you poor thing–the hardships you must bear!” and I wanted to cock punch the bitch.
(one might say pity makes me a little stabby. If one wanted to get shanked, that is)
And what’s with the “close to an autistic boy” shit? it’s like saying, “oh, I have a black friend” in order to justify the bullshit coming out of your mouth. You know someone with Autism, do ya? what, did you stand next to a kid having a meltdown in a grocery store once? Did you watch Temple Grandin and now you’re all knowledgeable?
Am I overreacting? Probably. But if she can write a piece meant to get her some attention in order to stir up the pot and draw readers to her blog, then I can overreact and stir the pot back, right?
Pity sucks. Period. I don’t need her judging my life and I DON’T need her pitying it.
Now if you’ll pardon me, I need to go start my bread dough and throw in a load of laundry and create a menu plan for the week. And to stop reading blog posts from women who would NEVER survive a zombie apocalypse.
You’ll recognize me during the apocalypse. I’ll be the one enjoying a fresh slice of bread…