A year or two ago, I had this brilliant idea to host a virtual book club at the blog. I called it Parents Who Read, recruited some folks to join me, then basically let it flop and fall on its face. I embarrassingly (and quietly) deleted the mailing list a few months after that and put it out of mind.
Recently, I’ve been trying to get back into reading. Partly because I enjoy reading, but also partly because I want my children to be readers and one of the best ways to encourage that is for us to read, too. Y’know, being role models and all that. Now I just have to put down the iPhone and pick up a book.
I’ve got quite a few things on my shelf begging to be read, but I decided to go back and re-read something that’s been nagging at the back of my mind since Boo was born: Radical Homemakers. Being a feminist and at-home parent by choice is a funny thing.
When I wave my husband off to the train in the morning and then settle in to do some arts and crafts with the girls, or walk to the playground, or head to the library for a spell, I sometimes think what am I doing? Then I fire up the crock pot, knead some bread dough, and look longingly at my knitting needles and I want to kick my own ass.
Didn’t my feminist foremothers work hard to get me out of the kitchen?
Or, rather, did they work hard to allow me the choice to get out of the kitchen?
And, if the latter, why exactly have I chosen to return?
Radical homemaking is the notion that homemaking is, in and of itself, a noble and worthwhile occupation. And that shoving all of our able-bodied adults out of the home and into the paid workforce is detrimental to society at-large (not just families!).
Does this sound awfully conservative and “traditional”? On the surface, yes. But it’s so much more than that. It can be an empowering act. A [gasp!] feminist act. And a noble move for both women and men. Don’t believe me?
Then pick up a copy and read along.
Let me know if you’re interested and I’ll add you to my list. Finish the book by October 7 and I’ll send out a list of discussion questions via email that evening to get the conversation started.
We’d love to have you!