Saturday, September 25, 2010

The cost of motherhood...

Apparently the sacrifices women make to become mothers amount to one million dollars in lost earning potential over a lifetime. Those costs will be discussed at this important conference. This group was formerly the Association for Research on Mothering.

A good father? A good film?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Moms are mad

Being born in 1970's North America, I was taught that a little girl could do and be anything a little boy could do or be.
By and large, that's been the case throughout my life, thanks to the feminist movements that made that possible. I went to the university of my choice, became a journalist and aside from some relatively mild sexual harassment, I have lived life as free as any man.
I was, therefore, more than a little shocked when I gave birth to my son Adlai six years ago and felt like I had somehow woken up in 1956.
Because my boy had come from my body and I was nursing him, I found myself thrust into the position, as most of us do, of primary parent. That made sense and seemed right in those early days. But soon it became apparent to me that I was expected to be the 'default parent,' the one the baby came back to once he was done 'visiting' with his father. While my husband today does easily his fair share inside the home and with his child, it took us years of arguing to hammer out a fair system where we both felt we weren't ending up with an unfair amount of the least enjoyable parenting tasks. Meanwhile, all around me I see women who haven't succeeded in leveling the playing field in this way. Many I've talked to say it's just been easier to do it themselves than fight a man and a culture that would rather see mom do it.
The truth is most moms do most of the household and childcare work, even when they work full-time and even when their male partner is unemployed. This isn't fair. And growing numbers of moms are rising up to bring awareness to this issue and to close the equality gap that remains.
As long as women are spending an unequal amount of time up to their elbows in poopy diapers and buckets of suds, we're not fully free to do and be all we can. Mothering my son is the greatest job I've ever had, but that doesn't mean I have to be the only person who does the dishes.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

No better than 90 years ago

So, why is there a mothers' movement happening? Why are mamas mad? Let's look at the hard, cold facts. The University of Wisconsin's National Survey of Families and Households found that the wife does 31 hours a week on average of housework versus the man's average of 14 hours. For stay-at-home moms, they do 38 hours of housework compared to 12 hours done by their husbands each week. When mom works full time, those numbers go to 28 hours versus 16.
The ratio for childcare is even worse, a staggering five to one. Moms working full-time do 11 hours of childcare compared to three hours a week done by their husbands. For moms who are not working, they do 15 hours of childcare compared to two by their husbands. One sociologist involved in the study said this ratio is no different than it was 90 years ago.
We've come a long way, baby.

Book launch party

The book launch party for STUNNED: The New Generation of Women Having Babies, Getting Angry and Creating a Mothers' Movement will be Thursday, June 4 at 7 p.m. at the Toronto Women's Bookstore on Harbord Street in downtown Toronto. All are welcome!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Co-housing makes sense for women

Okay, here's an idea that really supports women and families:
Co-housing makes so much sense. Why do we shut ourselves up in our homes and try to get away from one another so much? With kids in tow, doing more together just makes so much sense...

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Feeling guilty when he does more...

So, many mamas feel angry when our husbands and partners don't do more around the house and with the kids. Many of us bitch about it, some of us demand change, but many of us just 'suck it up' and do it ourselves. Often this is due to the fact that we live in a society that tells us that's what good mothers do. Don't complain. And some of us feel superior by doing it, so we kind of like it on some level. This becomes especially clear when hubby starts doing more than he has been. My husband has easily been doing his fair share since I started working full-time. I give him major props for that. Now, at times, he actually ends up picking up the slack with the boy and food and cleaning more than I do, which has ruffled my feathers a bit. I hate to admit it, but it's true. I'm fine with him doing his half, but when it creeps into more than that, I start to think I'm being a bad mother. Funny though, that few men think they are being a bad father by doing less than an equal half. Society doesn't tell them they are bad fathers if they do less. We need to listen for the messages we're being fed. It's okay for my husband to do more than half sometimes.