Parenting

Thanks to my friend @discoknitter I found myself nodding emphatically as I read this article. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, @abioborne for writing down the exact thoughts I have had for a while.

Before I continue, I would like to acknowledge that I speak from a position of privilege. I recognise that I am a middle class comfortable person who works and lives in a suburban area of a fairly free country. This is not to generalise across all possible situations, I am speaking only from my own perspective.

Having said that, just like @abioborne, I do not consider myself ‘lucky’. I truly believe that there is no such thing as ‘luck’, there is, of course, opportunity and there is hard work. It is hard work to decide to get married and build a relationship, but it is work that should be shared equally between all involved in the relationship. If a child is to be brought into the mix, whether through biological means or other means, then that decision should never be taken lightly.

Every adult in that relationship should then be equally responsible for the care of that child. Whether that means feeding, cleaning, changing, emotional support or whatever. This also means that other roles in the household may now need to be shared or redistributed.

My husband and I have a great relationship. We recognise each other strengths and play to those strengths. So, yes, I do not mow the lawns, he seems to enjoy mowing the lawns. If he changes his mind, and lets me know that it is no longer an enjoyable activity for him, then we can re-evaluate and share the mowing of the lawns.

When our children were in nappies, we equally shared nappy duty. Yes, of course, there was wheedling and negotiations on a daily (if not hourly) basis, but overall, a fairly equal distribution of nappies have been changed.

He does all the cooking. Frankly, if I did any of it our children would be at best, malnourished, and at worst, food poisoned or worst. I have never been and probably never will be interested in learning how to cook.

I have often been told, much like @abioborne, how “lucky” I am. I am not lucky, just like @abioborne, I chose to get married to him, and I chose to have children with him. If I had thought, for a second, he wasn’t capable of doing all the things I need my life partner to be able to do, I would’ve re-evaluated the need for children.

I’d like to conclude with the following take-aways

  1. A parent caring for their child is not “babysitting”, they are “parenting”
  2. I am speaking from a very particular perspective, I have no experience of arranged marriages or people who have no choice in these matters, I feel for you and only hope that the social change that feminism has brought to the western world will reach to all of the earth soon.
  3. Saying that someone is lucky or wishing someone luck, is in fact offensive. In a completely different example, this goes for all things where the person has worked hard to be where they are. “Good luck” implies they had no say in the matter and it was a case of pure coincidence that things worked out.

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