I am also finished reading/listening to Girl, Wash Your Face. I know this is the book du jour and there are parts of I have really enjoyed, but there is one aspect of the book that has seriously disturbed me: how she talks about Stay at Home Moms (SAHMs).
According to the author, SAHMs wear yoga gear and do pilates every day. She made it very clear that SHE did not fit in because she was wearing professional clothes and not yoga pants when she volunteered at school.
According to her, SAHMs live for baking goodies for our kiddos and nothing makes us happier than spending every waking moment with them. THAT is our ultimate goal in life. If I had a paper copy, I could quote that. I almost threw up. I do love my kids and ironically, I like to bake. But I do not live to be Donna Effing Reed.
According to the author, working moms are busy showing their children, and most importantly, their daughters what it means to be a strong, independent woman capable of running a company and being a mom. They are showing them not to give into a patriarchal society that unfairly places women in the domestic role of raising children and restricts them to the domestic sphere.
And so, SAHMs are showing what? That we are living in a patriarchal society and they must be RESTRICTED to child rearing?!
She was very careful to point out all the different reasons women work, but did not even imagine that SAHMs could be in different scenarios as well.
Everyone is different. What I plan on showing my daughters is that love and marriage is a partnership. My husband and I are a team. When I wanted to go freelance, he worked his tail off so I could go after that dream. I wasn’t bad at it (two published cookbooks, a handful of magazine articles, a steady income for three years), but I did not take over the bread winner role. It was my dream and still is my dream. But now I am helping him pursue his dream. He is building his business and I am allowing him to do that by managing the domestic side. You can’t always be in the starring role. Sometimes you support. Relationships and partnerships ebb and flow and that is life.
Here’s the other dirty secret: I love staying at home with my kids. And there’s nothing wrong with loving it. It does not mean I am any less a woman for staying at home and it does not mean I am any less an example for my children. I am all about feminism, but I feel that lately it seems to be slanting on the side of having and doing it all all the time. I don’t want to show my kids they have to do it all. They are able, but the pressure of doing it all is so great. Partnerships allow us that breathing room and teaches you compromise.
And to get back to the book, it’s about way more than that. Overall I think she is incredibly self righteous and I personally wouldn’t want to be her friend. Anyone who shames women having an escape whether it be reading novels or watching a TV show is not someone I want to spend time with. I also don’t appreciate the mixed message of ‘give yourself grace’ but ‘if you are not thin, you disrespecting god’s gift of a body to you’ and ‘don’t poison yourself with bad food, booze, and diet soda’ but hey ‘you be you girl’ and ‘don’t be so hard on yourself’. It falls into the trap of it’s cool to say give yourself some grace, but here are 100 things you should be doing to be the best you at all times.
I have nothing against self improvement but everything against being everything at all times to everyone. Sometimes it’s okay to be just okay.
Thanks readers. You allowed me to be socially acceptable at our next book club meeting and not stand on the chair screaming….
Has anyone else read this book? What did you think? What else are you reading?