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  1. #1
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    Default Maternalistic feminists??

    I'm reading an amazing book called liberating motherhood. It's really got me thinking about so many things in my own life and in society these days. I've been home with my kids for nearly 10 years!!! But I'm still a feminist at heart in the broader sense that females are equal to males. I think we should all have choices and staying home to care for your own kids is just as valid as going out to paid work. I hate the housework end of being a sahm and don't feel that it's really my job. Nor do I feel like taking time out at home should mean I can never find a stimulating job again. But I do feel lucky to have been able to spend so much time with my kids as they grow up, especially when completely dependent babies. I guess I'm also quite an attachment parent which I'm realising now has caused some issues for my own mental health and my relationships with adults as we have no family here so no one to give me a break. I think this is why I've lost friendships as I don't think they can understand why I dedicate so much time to my family / why I haven't used paid care more frequently to get back into the "real" world.
    I feel less alone in the world when I read this book so just a shout out in case any bubhubbers out there can relate??

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    Mama Mirabelle  (19-12-2016)

  3. #2
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    I've been a SAHM for 10 years with a patch of 18 months in there where I worked casual doing bar work. I love it and don't regret it one iota. I'm also a feminist.

    Feminism is about women having equality and choice. If that choice is staying at home... and I mean real choice not forced choice iykwim - like wanting to go back to work but 'choosing' to stay home bc it isn't financially viable for CC. Then that's exactly what we are fighting for.

    My mother was a Germaine Greer feminist growing up and still is. Second wave, quite radical, believes that staying at home is suffocating and not feminist. Has pretty extreme views and really blanket labels men (I'm going to be clear that I know not all 2nd wave femos are really anti men but she is). What she fails to understand is that the fight of her mothers and grandmothers was really for choice, it just happens that back then working wasn't a choice.

    Well the first and 2nd wave femos fought for the choice *I* have made. My husband hasn't made me stay home, I hold a lot of power in my household (read: I wear the pants ). I make a tidy profit from my business plus there is no ' my money your money'. I bake, I clean and care for our toddler and other kids since DH works long hours. I also have tertiary quals and am half way through another, I'm smart and the idea I'm some downtrodden wall flower actually makes me chuckle.

    You can be maternal, at home, bake a mean cheesecake... and be a feminist. For anyone to dispute that is offensive.

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    I'm not in the same situation as you (I'm not a SAHP) but I understand. There is absolutely nothing wrong with WANTING to be a SAHP and that does not make you any less of a feminist.
    Men can't carry a grow a baby in their womb or breastfeed, most females struggle with jobs that require brute strength. Aside come this, we all should able to put gender aside chose to do whatever we damn want. If a female doesn't want to pursue a career and wants to stay home with her babies - why not do that? She shouldn't have to pick some other path for the sake of the 'feminist cause' or made to feel bad that she's letting the feminists down. Individualism rocks. Be a construction site supervisor, be a teacher, be a SAHP, be a CEO, be the whatever the hell you want.

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  7. #4
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    I identify as a feminist...but I was a sahm for 7 years by choice. My thoughts align with what has been said here...that being a feminist means getting the choice.
    When I was at uni I was taught by a tutor who burned her bras in her 20's and is a very strong feminist. She was talking about it in a tutorial one day and actually apologised to the mothers in the class and said that they were fighting for our choices, not to be forced in to doing it all (kids, work, home etc.). She was so genuine in her apology.
    I don't regret my time as a sahm. I am happy I got to have those years with my kids. I stopped being a sahm because I was ready for a change.

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    Freyamum  (20-12-2016)

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    I'd agree with all of the above.
    I consider myself a feminist, and I consider DH & I to be equals - when he is at home, we share the household duties and he knows that all the housework and parenting is not 'my job' just because he goes to work.
    I love feminist ideals, but my dream was always to be a stay at home mum. It's what I've always wanted, and working before I had kids was just killing time until I could get on with what I really wanted to do.
    I want to raise my girls knowing that staying home with them was entirely my choice (not dictated by DH, society, or even financial reasons), and that they can choose the same, or decide to focus on a career they love. I'd hate for them to think that I was someone who didn't achieve anything because I had kids and 'just stayed at home', I want them to know that this was everything I ever wanted and that they have the choice.
    One day I might decide to pursue a career, and again, my choice.

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    I'm so happy to read these replies! Sometimes I think I've absorbed so much negativity that I no longer even know how I feel about being a parent, nevermind a sahm! This book has really helped me to understand why this journey has so many bumps, highs and lows and that I should make my decisions based on how I feel, and not to avoid displeasing so many people. And above all not being a good housekeeper doesn't mean I shouldn't be allowed to have these years at home caring for my kids 😀

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    Loud and proud feminist here

    Being maternalistic does not make you any less of a feminist. The problem is that patriarchy assumes that all woman have strong maternalistic 'instincts' and that this is a definition of womanhood. That is, if you're not maternalistic, you're not a real woman or being very 'womanly'. If you are maternalistic then you should never deny this part of you or make it feel like you're letting the 'sisterhood' down. You're showing love and nurturing to a baby/child, you're raising the next generation. If you're not maternalistic then that doesn't make you any less of a woman.

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