Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I want to be like Tori ... Spelling and Hipster Homemakers

So, it's sort of funny how I get interested in something and soon it seems like the world is also interested.  It's, obviously, more that I tend to surround myself with people, articles, programs that center around my interest, but it's still funny sometimes.  Yesterday I had a couple of hours to myself (sorta) and watched a few episodes from last season's Tori and Dean.  Love her or hate her has little bearing on my thoughts about it right now, it's more that she seemed to be pushing toward a similar (if on a significantly higher budget) lifestyle that we are embarking on.  Of course, I can't say, "Oh, chickens are the next purchase," and run out to buy them, but the idea is there.

Mainly, I watched and wondered how she does it.  Must be some serious energy in that girl!  I know that we are seeing an edited version of her life and I'm sure there are far more bad days than what we see (however, I loved seeing her facing some 3 year old issues while Dean was away).  It still makes me think ... I want that!  I want to be so enthralled with my child that I have less frustrated days.  I want to have tons of ideas and then take those ideas and make something from them.  I love that.

Anyway, I had planned to post about this yesterday, but for some reason blogger was being a child and refused to open.  Then, today I hop onto facebook and see this article: Hipster Homemakers and "Extreme Domesticity" by Rebecca Cusey.  I would love to just copy/paste the article here, but it'll really just take up so much space.  I encourage you to read it and then let me know what you think.  Essentially, Ms. Cusey describes the modern housewife/stay-at-home-mom as some kind of rebellion against feminism and a life choice that should only be made if you just love it ... you know, those people who are just naturally talented in the garden, with their kids, at the stove, etc.  She talks about new methods being unequivocally better, simply because new must mean better. Another of the huge beefs I have with this article is that those of us who are "hipster homemaker's" are doing this out of an excess of wealth (ha!) and neurosis. Maybe I can't argue against being neurotic ... hmm.

Now, I don't know this author, so maybe her words aren't translating the way she means them to (something she, herself, claims responsibility for should her points be misconstrued).  I have a lot of arguments to this article.  First, I don't live this mom/gardener/homeschooler/cook, etc, life because I am just so damn good at it. I'm not, not at all!  I might, on some level, even be happier if I was back in my working woman lifestyle.  Surely we'd have more money because we're fortunate right now to live near so much family.  Would I be happier, though, hitting the drive-through because everyone was too tired to cook or shop?  Or when I came home and spent an hour with my son before we went to bed?  The idea of being drained from an outside-of-the-home career and then trying to pull together a bit of energy for my family and home just sounds so sad to me.

Having fresh eggs and produce from our own garden may not save a ton of money, but putting the effort in, watching our work grow and then the satisfaction we get from what we receive is so much bigger than saving, or not saving, money.  It brings us responsibility and a relationship with the world around us.  Composting allows us to do something productive with the waste we generate ... and we actually learn why that's a good thing.  Having such an active hand in my family is FAR more satisfying then being able to buy more.  I don't have to wait for someone else to tell me what my child is learning or struggling with.  I'm there.  I see it.

And, on to this "excess of wealth" comment.  So funny!  Now, maybe that's the case for a celebrity or someone who is wealthy, but who cares?  I mean, teaching your family to garden, to raise animals, to do things for yourself ... how can that ever be a bad thing?  Shocking, truly!  But, for most of us, there isn't excess wealth.  But, what's so odd about this article is that Ms. Cusey goes from accusing this modern homesteader to having too much money to saying that instead of trying to save money by recycling, growing food, etc, mom's should go out and get a job.  That this extra income is better for our kids than having less and having one or both parents at home.  What?!  I'm very confused by all of this.  

Feminists who want to work, go for it!  But, isn't feminism a movement to allow women to make their choices?  Just because my husband goes to work and comes home to a (sometimes) clean house, dinner (usually) in the oven and clothes (now and then) clean and put away, doesn't mean that my lifestyle challenges that of the feminist movement.  Not at all!  I boost that movement because I am doing what I choose; what I deem best for my family.  I'm not doing what I think society expects of me.  I'm making a choice to live the way that I think provides my child the best opportunities and creates a home that is safe, loving and supportive.  I am doing what I think is one of the most important, necessary jobs ... in our life.  Now, if someone wants to live a different life, well, go for it!  Just stop analyzing everyone else, look around, find what works for you the best and use that.  Let the rest go.  Women should be the very last people criticizing other women for choosing to live a certain way.  Men shouldn't complain either ... they either get a career woman who brings home the bacon or a woman who fries it up in a pan!


Herbalmomma said...

I freakin' love you girl!!!!

Amy said...

I love you too! Now, which friend are you?! Lol I have an inkling.