When good old Blondie asked me to guest post, I immediately started brainstorming ideas. Our blogs aren’t completely similar: I like profanity. A lot. I also talk about my vagina in a much less anatomical way than she speaks of hers.
But there are several common grounds to our lives and therefore our writing. We’re both American transplants to the UK. We’re both suckers for our husbands’ accents. We both love blogging, motherhood, womanhood and food. In fact, the first things that popped into my mind were Oreos and feminism.
So, I thought I’d be honest about my struggle with being a modern-day feminist and a foodie at the same time. It sounds like a weird combo to be conflicted about, right?
When I was growing up, my mother worked full-time and it seemed like she was too busy to cook. As an adult, I know that she was home in plenty of time to make supper, she just didn’t. But still, I grew up thinking successful, strong, career-minded, feminist women weren’t barefoot in the kitchen.
For now, I’m a stay-at-home mom. I LOVE to cook. I love the planning, choosing of ingredients. I love the preparation and combining of flavors. I love the process of cooking and of course… I love eating. Food is a very big thing for me.
It means I spend a lot of time in the kitchen, and a lot of my identity gets wrapped up in this fact that I’m a good cook and someone who enjoys feeding friends and family. It makes me sound like such a mom. It took me a very long time not to think that sounded like a complimentary-insult.
It also means that if I’m not really careful, I end up ten to fifteen pounds heavier than I feel comfortable. When I can so easily make myself really yummy food in fifteen to twenty minutes, and when I really enjoy the process, I cook stuff just because I can. Then it needs to be eaten. It’s not very feminist to be wrapped up in the vanity that makes me hate being squishy around the middle.
It’s taken me years to realize that I don’t have to burn my bra as a modern-day feminist (editors note: feminists actually never burned their bras; it was back of the backlash). My mother’s generation did that for me so that I don’t have to. I get to be in the kitchen because I want to be. I am staying home with my daughter until she starts school because I am lucky enough to be afforded the opportunity to do so. I get to do it because I want to. I could just as easily have gone back to work and found a good daycare if I’d wanted to.
I’ll be totally honest, I still struggle with the whole vanity pounds thing, but I figure that will come with time. At least I hope so. Because I know that loving myself means I should accept myself as I am, but do I have to? I just don’t know.
I just know that, luckily, most days my life has more important things for me to address. Like taking care of my kids; making sure they know they’re loved while still trying to set aside some time for myself at the end of every day.
Hopefully the conundrum of the extra ten pounds can weigh heavily on my mind well into old age when I finally have time to sit and ponder my feminist stance on vanity weight. Until then, you’ll find me in the kitchen at least once a day—barefoot, in an apron. Because that’s exactly where I want to be.