This is a difficult topic for me because I do not consider myself to be a political junkie. If anything my politics are more of the green
variety. That said I’m only to happy to get on my soap box when it comes to my feminist aspirations, however those opinions are not born out in reality. It’s not easy to be a feminist when you’re married and a stay at home parent.
I was thinking about how my feminist values had petered out recently when I listened to a snippet of a radio interview where a journalist said that her husband came first, before her children. Her point was in part that when women became mother’s they switched roles from partner to obsessive women thoroughly absorbed in raising their children to the exclusion of all other aspects of life.
Whether or not this is true is debatable, but it made me think.
It made me think about how we didn’t exactly plan to have four children neither did we plan to have two differently abled children, autistic boys.
Whilst I was busy perseverating about life the universe and everything else in-between updating PEC boards and snipping itchy labels out of new summer clothes, I also caught a snippet of a television programme that my daughter was watching. The programme was about autistic twins, women in the 50’s. It took account of their lives following the death of their parents and then their sole supporting sister. Savants indeed, but life skills and survival in the big bad world proved to be a trial.
The word ‘institution’ was whispered. The equivalent of Social Services came on the case. The possibilities of respite care, supportive services and day centres for both the family and the women. Common sense made the light of day. There were positive possibilities and a willingness to make it happen.
And that’s when it dawned on me, because I’m sometimes a bit slow on the uptake. Regardless of the politics, feminist or otherwise, that’s my job. Whilst I have “many” “responsibilities” and “aspirations,” we created these children and brought them into the world. Our job is to do the very best we can, like all other parents, to ensure that our children have the best chance at life and all it’s possibilities.