Taking it personally

30 May

Wow. Thanks to everyone who read and re-posted my submission to the Ontario government on Bill 13. After writing this blog in total obscurity for months, it’s hilarious to see my readership stats jump from a handful of people to hundreds. It seems that I touched a nerve with my submission, and I am so happy about that. Writing and presenting the piece was a great way to launch my year “off” as a full-time parent, occasional writer and more engaged activist.

I am so pleased that the Ontario government is doing the right thing, after accepting amendments to the bill from the NDP that only makes it stronger. They are putting the needs of LGBT students first and appear ready to fight the Catholic school board in court, if necessary. I am thrilled that the issue of public funding for homophobic and discriminatory Catholic schools will finally have its day in court. I will be following this issue closely in the coming months. As a soon-to-be-queer-mama, this one is close to my heart.

Now that I am “out” as the author of this blog, I can share a few more details about myself. My name is Ariel. I live in Ottawa. I used to write a column for Xtra and a blog called Dykes Against Harper. My day job is at a kick-ass public sector union, where I wrangle media and do a lot of writing. I took three years off of blogging to do an MA in women’s studies and to ride the crazy fertility roller coaster that brought me to my current state. I am now 36 weeks pregnant and will be home for the next year — first gestating, and then care-giving. You can follow me on Twitter if you’d like. I tweet a lot about pro-choice politics, sex worker solidarity and queer issues. Though I’ve been whining a lot lately about indigestion and other thrilling third trimester foibles.

I will admit that I am still daunted at the idea of being home for more than a year. It’s a privilege — one that parents in the U.S. and many other countries don’t have access to. Paid maternity leave is a win-win for families and for employers. It’s a right that women fought for on my behalf and I am so thankful. But I am also curious to see how this fundamental shift in identity sits with me. I have always been rather work-focused. I get excited about being politically engaged and working with a dynamic team of other campaigner types. I am a bit of a home body, but I don’t sew or craft. I’m a great cook and a terrible gardener. Though I am anal-retentive about tidiness, my wife and I outsource toilet-cleaning, dusting, vacuuming and mopping to someone that we pay every two weeks. I believe that domestic labour is hard and skilled work that deserves to be compensated accordingly. But I have no desire to be a stay-at-homer for longer than a year. I grew up with a lawyer Mom who was always passionate about her job and the world around us. This is the kind of role model modelling I hope to pass on to our daughter.

That being said, my mother-in-law is an equally kick-ass woman, but she stayed home and raised kids / volunteered for 30 years. Also a valid and noble choice — just not one that I think I would particularly enjoy. It will be interesting to see how I feel after embodying this role for a year. To be honest, I am worried about getting bored and isolated. My wife and I worked very hard to get me pregnant and are so excited about becoming parents. But it will be interesting to see whether I start feeling like a Desperate Housewife by December.

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3 Responses to “Taking it personally”

  1. Janet May 30, 2012 at 9:08 am #

    36 weeks…wow…almost there!! I’ve been thinking of you, wondering how you have been so it was great to hear from you! Perhaps a coffee sometime?

    • Queer Femme Mama May 30, 2012 at 9:32 am #

      Hi Janet! I have been thinking about you too, especially since your latest disappointment. I am rooting for you and cannot believe what you have been dealing with. I have nothing but time till the babe arrives. Happy to meet up for coffee some time. My email address is [firstname].[lastname] @ gmail … send me a note and we’ll set something up!

  2. Janet June 5, 2012 at 7:03 am #

    Sent you an email…hope I had the address right!

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