Yes, an alternate universe!
Stay with me.
In this alternate universe, the “Happy Kid” post never happened.
It neeeeeever happened.
In that alternate universe, there is a post lamenting the fact that I have lost the last three April entries. This means that this alternate universe is devoid of all things connected to dirtyolive and strawberry karma, space obsession or poop.
When I am at work, I see the post lamenting the other posts. Supa and my sister see this universe.
When I am at home, I see “A Happy Kid” and this little dribble you are currently reading – as does Barbara, Jess and Andrea.
Can someone, with more geek skill than I obviously have, explain this to me? I recently changed nameservers. Is this the problem?
Regardless, I know you are all breathing a sigh of relief that this is the side of the universe that still is privileged to read such incredibly “been there, done that” material.
The “been there, done that” is a teasing reference to a woman who may mistakenly think I am angry with her for presuming that I, with the one child, is so sufficiently fascinated with my life that I will post anecdotes on the internet about my son but which anyone who has already had a child has…. “been there, done that” and oh… yawn.
I’m kidding, Jess.
There is no way on earth that I would be angry with you for speaking your mind on your blog. I didn’t feel like you were slamming me – or my one child family. You were talking about what it feels like to be a family with four kids in a world where people seem to think one or two children are enough, for whatever reason.
If I were mad, I wouldn’t be talking about it on the net.
I would be marching right up to your blessed doorway and snapping my fingers like an idiot. Ha. Yeah, right. That would be funny though.
Seriously, I’m not mad.
I understand it is all part of the mother debate going on and the big hubbaloo surrounding that infamous book. To me, it’s not only exclusionary because the world (including the blogosphere) seems to concentrate on the single child families – although I can see your point.
If you are going to start commenting on who is excluded in the mother who works versus the mother who stays at home, then lets open the picture to both the multi family households and the women who work because they have no other choice. You feel there is little choice to be a SAHM because of the size of your amazing family. I feel there are far more who do not have the choice to stay at home OR have more children due to simple finances.
(And here, my other friend, Charity will scoff at my constant beef with our society’s invisible classism, which seems to range from Thomas the Tank Engine tales to crappy social commentary best seller books.)
So this book, from what I’ve learned, is a personal account of many wonderful women and their somewhat different ways of raising their children. Apparently, even Naomi Wolfe feels it is a great representation of “real women everywhere”, which actually surprises me.
You see, the working versus SAHM debate doesn’t exist in my everywhere. However, I have a feeling that Naomi Wolfe lives in a vastly different everywhere than I.
In my everywhere, most families can’t afford to have another child – with or without childcare. There is still a face-off in my everywhere, but it is not this way because women are defending their choice, but out of frustration, insecurity and “the grass is greener” envy of ignorance.
In my everywhere (and perhaps, for Jess), the women who have more than one child do not have a choice to work or not to work. The debate is thrown completely out the window. Thrown out that same window is the feasibility of childcare for multiple children – multiple meaning two or more. Infant care, toddler care, after school care…. Yikes.
In my everywhere, some women weren’t even ready to have one child and now they are doing it alone. SAHM? According to many in society, this is the role of a “nurturing mother” (excuse me while I roll my eyes). If this is the ideal, then why are single mothers on social assistance so vilified? Why does our government try to limit this opportunity? There seems to be a narrow image of a SAHM and I object to this.
(Incidentally, I absolutely love the stupid factoid they give about mental and verbal development on that linked site. Yes, lets makes the “other side” feel like crap too. Yawn)
In my everywhere, there are families who would love to be able to adopt a beautiful child without a stable home but are stopped due to their financial status. Today, I felt like crying as I watched a thirteen-year-old girl testify against her adoptive father’s sexual, physical and mental abuse. SAHM? Working Moms? Who cares! There are children out there who just need a loving home.
What about the Dads who want to stay at home? I have one. I’m sure there is a hell of a lot more. Is that even a question? Nowhere in literature or on the internet do I see this debate. Dads? Stay at home? They don’t bond with their children! They do sporty stuff! They are adoringly removed! They pat heads and straighten collars!
They don’t wake up in the middle of the night! They don’t wipe the noses, bums and tears! They don’t worry about food groups and chemicals and if Jimmy knows how to share.
If I make more than my partner, why is it odd that I would be the one at work? What if I (gasp) enjoyed working and knew my partner would prefer to stay at home? From my experiences, I find it hard to believe those who try to tell me that there is a wire inside mothers that isn’t present in fathers that make staying at home more of a desire for women.
In my everywhere, we are all doing the best we can and yet, everyone thinks that everyone else is doing a less thoughtful, less stimulating and less nutritious job of raising their children.
To me (in both universes) the “right choice” isn’t really much of a choice – either way.