Why This Matters: There's Always a Lesson
As we head out the door my son asks if I'll be chaperoning his school field trip this Friday.
“I cannot” is my reply. It's the truth this time. It hasn't always been the case. There have been plenty of opportunities where I just couldn't bear the idea of spending a whole day with hundreds of other people's children. I generally can't stand kids. I love my child and I enjoy his small set of friends. But there are plenty of kids that play the role of birth control rather perfectly.
But this time, it's not that. This time it's work and me time.
We've romanticized motherhood. While our mothers called it a success if we were fed and were obedient, we've added several layers to our existence as mothers. We want to raise feminists, well rounded, extraordinary beings. All while living a balanced life.
Maybe that's why we never talked about feminism in my house growing up. My only reference was the stereotype of women burning their bras. As a busty young woman I couldn't get behind that - I liked my bra. I relied on it.
But when we talk about raising feminists it doesn't really matter if that word was used. What matters is that we recognize the lessons. The lessons are what we pass to our children. We will add our own layers, just as our moms did. But that's as it should be.
So when my son learns that women don't make the same as men I don't have to think about explaining feminism. He's already speaking those ideas when he says “I hope when I'm an adult everyone will be paid equally.”
So, on Friday, when I can't be there with him on his field trip I know he'll still be learning. Without a conversation about feminism, I get to teach him about responsibilities and all parents have them, mommies and daddies. In taking care of ourselves and our careers we lay the foundation for our children to do the same.