This was a draft I started a while back and you can see why it never got finished, lol. The washing machine is ok, though! And the kitchen is shard-free! We stopped buying jam (and pb) entirely and switched to deli meat.
Not only is there an actual (but mild) storm meaning our planned outdoor time was reduced to about 15 minutes, but this has been my day so far:
- One child dropped a glass jar of jam on the floor
- At the same time I found out one of the laundry loads was covered in yellow paper which turned out to be cardboard from a lightbulb package (lightbulb did not make it into the machine though).
- So I went back and forth shaking out every single piece of clothing and then cleaning up the whole thing between closing the kitchen door and getting up the shards and jam.
One of the kids thought it would be a great idea to dump oats into the sugar jar since I said they could have a little sugar with their oatmeal. Then there were tears since it came up mostly sugar.
I thought I would have to toss it all, but then I remembered something I used to see my own sainted mother do when baking, which was use a sifter. I didn’t have to use a sifter, I just shook the sugar-oats out with a regular strainer into a mixing bowl. The oats were greatly reduced in sugar content and had maybe 1tsp a serving, while the sugar just had some oat powder left behind. Breakfast was salvaged for another few days (my children eat like the war horses at the local stable) and now I have a new kitchen task to train them on.
But the sugar jar is no longer in kid-reach.
The story of the transformation of the”housewife” into the “stay at home mother” providing “mother-care, not DAYCARE” in American society in the wake of the Pill and Roe v. Wade is an interesting one and there’s not much information on the internet about it because the idea that there was a transition (and that this transition destroyed a substantial amount of soft power among married women) is not compatible with either right wing or left wing narratives about the topic.
We didn’t really have the term before motherhood could be conceivably viewed as entirely intentional/optional, even within marriage. And nobody seems to ask why it bloomed so suddenly and took over, when by its nature it explicitly separates motherhood from marriage, while housewife emphasizes, well, property benefits of marriage for women foremost. Homemaker, it’s worth noting, has begun to turn up as a transition away from stay at home mother, but it lacks that wilful connecting of property with marriage and in fact shifts the domestic world to something a woman must make/build, rather than something she is inherently part of and maintaining/managing.
Since this is just thinky thoughts, I will close with the little data point that over half of American SAHMs use center-based daycare for children aged 0-4 and that we hit that point about 10 years ago and this is in every region of the country, not concentrated in one place, it’s about half everywhere. Employed or not, it’s 80% for BA or higher-possessing mothers.
The stay at home dad revolution will not be youtube streamed or, like, happen. Living where you actually run into them makes me solidly bearish on this.
Married black women, on the other hand, have experienced a pretty major demographic shift and it’s much more likely they’ll go from their current 5% SAHM to 10% SAHM.
Ancillary prediction is that nobody will be blowing up blue checkmark twitter or mainstream media about how great this is for feminism/black people/motherhood.
I have been pretty surprised by the sheer sprawl of the discussion spawning from the ACU post and as is ever the way of things, I can’t read much of it or respond to it, only glance at what the notifications show in passing because I have been swamped and continue to be swamped with the consequences of relocating in the middle of the school year. Around here everyone arranges kid stuff around the school year, even the freeeeeeeeeschooling/unschool types. Go figure.
Maybe I’ll get to necro some discussions tomorrow, but sometime in the next two weeks is a lot more likely.
And here I thought moving to suburbia would leave with a reliable 20-30 minutes a day of uninterrupted time since there’s less to do. Hahaha.
T.W.O. voiced this thought aloud a few days ago when we were going over how long it would take us to be unpacked. His guess is late summer, mine is late spring. I am always optimistic in such matters.
I laughed because it’s pretty funny. Anyway I gave him the other half of my chicken salad and he was happy, although it sent him on a quest to learn all there is to learn about the caper.
We eat steak (frequently but not always on a bed of vegetables) a lot because it’s nearly impossible to mess up when you’re exhausted and the kids will sometimes eat a little of it. But if they won’t it’s easy to give them eggs with their vegetables and let them eat bread for their starch.
His break was temporary, it’s going to be sirloin tonight. Which is, technically, not steak every day this week.
It could be more or less formalized, but training young women in the domestic, homemaking arts and giving them practical experience in childcare would be amazingly useful.
There are a number of avenues by which this could conceivably be enabled, not least as part of a general program of supporting women in their women’s work.
A model to start with would taking the system of the current international au pair program, and figuring out how to adapt it to the needs of young women who’d like to be keepers of hearth and home for their families and future husbands and families who could use the help of energetic girls in their late teens and early 20s.