Have you ever stepped way outside conventional parenting practices? What was the reaction?
From my essay: “Re-inventing the F word: Feminism”
…After my daughter was born, except for six months when I went back to my market research analyst job part-time, I’ve been at home full-time. I was grateful I had the choice to be at home, but I’m no *Jen Kuhle who sounds like she’s peacefully shelfed her ambition for the time being.
After I left the workforce, when my daughter was seventeen months I enrolled her in a mom’s day out program. When she was three I put her in two concurrent preschools so I could have more time to myself and to write.
The latter arrangement raised more than a few judgmental eyebrows from some mothers and from a pre-school teacher who asked me if my daughter “got confused” by the schedule. No, she was fine with our routine I said, but I was confused by the question.
As you might guess, having one child wasn’t quite the norm either, fortunately most people today assume a small family is due to infertility issues and they don’t ask. But if they do, I tell them the truth, that I had one child by choice, which these days, doesn’t seem to shock people much.
Both traditionalists and old school feminists tend to get stuck on the quantities of their idealism, a woman needs to be at work or at home enough for their standards, when it’s really the in-between, the individual arrangements for parents that work best.
* From Kuhle’s post “Thank you, Sheryl Sandberg,” Facebook’s CEO who wrote the book Lean In imploring mothers to return to the workforce.