I like this Annie Urban lady. There was an entire New York Times discussion about “motherhood versus feminism” (cringe) which is actually about attachment parenting versus feminism. The people have positions from the sensible (hey, maybe we should stop freaking out) to the ridiculous (fuck you too lady). However, of them all, Annie Urban was the only one to bring up the obvious elephant sitting on the couch and stealing the potato chips:
What about the dads?
Too often the discussion about women’s choices (stay at home, go back to work) ignores the role of fathers. To achieve meaningful equality, we need to push for a society that values fathers who strike a balance between their career and their family life too. Women shouldn’t have to be equally uninvolved parents to reach their goals; they should be able to ask their spouses to step up too.
My one objection here is the phrase “ask their spouses to step up too.” Fuck asking your husband to help you raise your kids! He’s their fucking father, it’s his job to be an equal partner in the kids-raising business. He shouldn’t have to be ASKED, he should just DO. I mean, Christ, could you imagine someone being all “you should ask your wife to step up and help with the family finances”? No? Because it’s stupid. In a marriage, the people are partners.
Now, of course, what “equal partner in the kids-raising business” means is different for every family. For some families it might mean that the dad works and the mom stays at home to clean and cook and raise the kids; for some families it might mean that the mom works and the dad stays at home to clean and cook and raise the kids. For most families it will probably mean some kind of compromise, involving shared chores, shared kid duties, parent tracks at work, babysitting, day care, etc.– all based not on silly and outdated gender roles but on the preferences and the desires of the parents themselves.
The other bit I like:
It requires a partnership (at a minimum) and a village (ideally) that rejects traditional patriarchal models of motherhood and instead adopts a nuanced flexible approach to balancing work, family and community.
I like this on a purely selfish level. There are all kinds of excellent reasons I shouldn’t have children, starting with “I’d be a shit parent” and getting steadily more convincing from there. But I like kids! I see no reason that I shouldn’t be allowed to contribute to a kid’s life, watch them grow, and know that I made my mark on the next generation just because I happen to not want to be their primary caretaker. The world needs more aunts and uncles, and more recognition of the awesome work they do.
Maybe then all those working moms can actually get some sleep.