I still sometimes find myself working too hard to prove to others that I am not some uninteresting, barely educated, oppressed woman. I focus on the fact that I'm now more productive as a poet and editor than I've ever been before, or that I'm working on prepping to go into a PhD program once Emerson goes to school. Sometimes it is the actual assumptions of others I'm working against, but often it's just my own internalized crap.
What's so hard to get across is that I'm not just doing the normal day-to-day of cooking meals, cleaning messes and wiping a tiny ass--it often feels like that's all I do. But, in all reality, my very awesome, very eccentric, very expensive education is being put to excellent use EVERY.SINGLE.DAY--from linguistic theory, to botany, to yogic philosophy...all the way to Oulipian procedures. And, obviously 15 years of critical theory has done something to my parenting, for better or for worse...
Part of what I keep coming to in parsing out what it is I really do^ is that I am at the beginning of a multi-year project in raising a feminist son who is also comfortable in his own power as a (I assume) masculine being. Everything that I do, every rule/habit/tradition my partner and I negotiate into our family, every aspect of how our home runs impacts Emerson's experience of work, worth, gender, and consumerism.
I have the opportunity to help raise not only a feminist man of strong character, but a feminist man who is also well-educated, white, and of a privileged economic class. This is no light responsibility.
In a world where our young men--one could easily argue--are a bit in crisis, where there is a fresh round of culture war on women being waged by those who run our government, and where patriarchal systems are evolving into trixier new incarnations....Yes, I think it is safe to say that raising a child in a conscious, compassionate, deliberate, feminist manner is a lot of work, regardless of their sex.
So....I'm working on not just knowing that being a homemaker and mom is a real job and a potential site for world-changing work, but also feeling that this is all true. Really grokking it.
^ The murkiness, the shiftiness of this term in our culture is so obnoxious. For years now, when meeting new people, I've opted to asked the question, "What do you do with your time?"