Saturday, April 28, 2012

A feminist's feminist, or not.

Today was my dear friend's baby shower. I was so excited to be able to dress like a lady--complete with makeup and a skirt--and not like a mom that I arrived at the party forty minutes early and waited in the parking lot.

Yesterday Sean handed me his credit cards and told me to go shopping for an outfit for the party and a new summer wardrobe. I don't like spending a ton of money on clothes so I drove to my favorite consignment store. He came home for lunch and told me that all I need now is some new shoes to go with all of my new clothes. Who are you and what have you done with my husband? I was elated and tried on at least four outfits while sitting in our living room.

I'm not good at being a woman. I don't carry a purse or wear lipstick or know the difference between pumps and heels. Nor do I wish to learn. But I'll secretly admit that I felt pretty today in my little pencil skirt and boots. I had zero clue what to talk about with my fellow baby shower goers--besides the topics I'm familiar with: baby, dogs, husband--but I was glad to be out in public without a child attached to my hip. Sean and Dylan were at home having a boys' day in and I was out socializing with the foreign sex, hoping that no one would notice that I didn't belong.

I posted on Facebook that this was to be my first real social outing without the baby, cough, er, toddler in 18 months and a friend of mine commented about how that is a long time to go without alone time. I hadn't thought about it, I guess. Sure I need an occasional break from tending to my child, but I'd rather be with him 99% of the time. Because I love him, yes, but also because he's rather pleasant to be around. I feel like a part of me is missing when he's not with me.

I feel the same way about Sean. We crave each other's company. I count the seconds until he is home with us. I brought this up to him during a trip to the store tonight.

Do you think we are weird for wanting to spend every moment together? I asked.

He replied, I think we are lucky.

This lovey dovey clingy shit doesn't bode well for me if I ever want to consider a career in feminism. I want women to have equal rights and be able to work alongside men while earning the same pay, for sure, but I also want the option to stay at home and raise my child. I read this great article tonight about how all of these co-sleeping, breastfeeding, cloth-diapering, natural birthing, placenta eating, home schooling trends that are popping up in the mothering world are taking us backwards through feminist evolution. We're giving a big "F you" to the women who worked so hard to give us the opportunity to work in the first place.

I see where the author is coming from. It's the League of Their Own story where all the women leave kitchens everywhere to save the face of baseball while the men are off fighting wars and are forced right back into aprons and baking when they return home. Except the difference is we are choosing this fate.

Or maybe we are evolving rather than regressing. Look at us now, being able to choose to stay home with our children, wearing them on our chests as we mop floors and bake casseroles for our manly men returning from the office! Take that, Equality!

It's all quite confusing if you ask me.

If you were to ask Sean who is the boss in our house he would tell you that I am and I would immediately disagree. He tells Dylan and the dogs that Mama wears the pants in this relationship and I laugh. I think we are absolute equals. Sure, he goes to work for 10 hours a day and pays the mortgage and the grocery bills. He works his ass off. But he realizes that I work just as hard if not harder here at home taking care of our son.

[Insert long winded paragraph about why motherhood is the hardest job ever, blah, blah, blah]

Should I feel guilty about wanting to put on makeup and wear a skirt? I don't know, but I do a little. My role as a woman has never been very defined and I've got this weird notion that dressing up is objectifying to women. Jesus, that seemed like a quote straight from Michelle Duggar. I think I would've felt just as pretty in a pair of slacks. Or in an old tee-shirt and a pair of holey jeans. Hell, I felt pretty simply because I was able to shower today.

And how did Dylan handle five hours of being without his mama? After a week of barely napping ten minutes per day, he took a three-hour nap. Maybe I should get out of the house more often.