Monday, August 29, 2011

Question of the Week - New Passions

I've been thinking about Jac and SarcastiCarrie's comments on my last post. Specifically, I've been thinking about how becoming a parent can bring out things we didn't realize we cared a lot about until we had children. Whether it's realizing we think more about feminist issues after having a girl as opposed to boy or about the institutional sexism of school systems that are geared towards girls over boys or even about high fructose corn syrup in bread, there are topics and areas of, well, life that simply didn't cross our radar until we had kids.

As I said recently, I've always been a feminist. I've even always been a bit of a hippie. But since having kids, I have become passionate about topics that I hadn't even thought about before. I'll bet you have too.

This week's question of the week is:

What have you become passionate about since having kids?

I've become passionate about feminism from a mother's perspective and how sexism will affect my kids. I've become passionate about eating healthy foods, organic foods and cutting down on sugars, artificial dyes and other processed foods. I've become passionate about breastfeeding and supporting breastfeeding. I've become passionate about infertility and the availability of fertility treatments to everyone. And I've become passionate about the Montessori method of teaching and Montessori schools.

It's not that I always rant about these things, or even follow through with the support I want to provide others and myself. But internally, I feel the passion for these things. I may not be able to afford to buy all organic, but I do prioritize some organic foods, especially the foods the kids eat. I may not want to give my son processed chicken tenders with high fructose corn syrup, but since it's all he'll eat most days I do give them to him. I may not be breastfeeding my kids anymore, but I do give a smile of encouragement and support when I see another mother breastfeeding in public. I may not have a lot of time to be involved with my kids' Montessori school, but I do explain the method and why it's been so good for my kids to people around when the topic of my kids' pre-school comes up.

As the kids get older and I start to have more time and money to myself, I do plan to support my new passions more. But even before then, I do feel the passion. And it amazes me that things I feel passionate about I didn't even have a clue about pre-kids.

What about your passions? Have you developed new ones since having kids? Do you feel fired up internally about feminist issues or race issues or the state of the schools today? Do you do anything to support other parents or their kids under the umbrella of your passions? Do you now buy all organic, locally grown foods when you used to live on Hot Pockets? Which new interests have you developed since becoming a parent?

7 comments:

SarcastiCarrie said...

I always had an interest in education, but now it's personal.

I have a son and I never realized how school isn't so great for boys (and that's probably true for physically active and wiggly girls and also kids with different abilities and needs outside the mainstream). I mean, I'm female and school was pretty awesome for me (grade school, at least). Now I'm constantly on the look out for bias and sexism against boys in school (and the whole redshirting thing has me so angered up I just don't know what to think since my kid is now 18 months younger than many of his classmates...and I really liked what someone wrote at AskMoxie that if the cut-off age for kindergarten is truly X in your district, then the school should be willing to meet the needs of kids who are X and if they're not, push them to change their age cut-off to one they can meet).

I've always been into more healthful eating (no HFCS, no dyes, limited preservatives, limited-to-no caffeine). Our chicken nuggets are white meat with whole grain breading (Costco), but my kids eat bologna sometimes which is not even food as far as I'm concerned. So, I try to balance my ideals with the realities of life (plus my husband like bologna...ick). Our hot dogs are nitrite-free though.

songbird said...

Breastfeeding. Never knew how hard it was prior to having Child. Am now passionately in favor of making it easier for moms to pump, NIP, etc.

Anandi said...

Great question! I feel like my whole life has turned upside down since I became a mama almost 2 years ago (!). The thing that surprises me the most is how passionate I am about parenting in a way that allows my daughter to be herself and respecting that, rather than expecting/demanding "obedience and respect". Having grown up with Asian parents, this is a huge difference.

It comes through in everything from breastfeeding on demand when she was tiny to explaining to her *why* she has to hold my hand in the parking lot when she doesn't want to. It also irks me when adults talk about the kids in the room in a patronizing way, esp when it's older kids. Seems to happen a lot in my parents' culture.

I've also become ridiculously domestic - ie, I *want* to organize our house, and cook nice meals, and be the happy homemaker. So now my outside of the home job is cutting into my housewife time ;) Never thought I'd feel that way...

Anonymous said...

Not sure if I can alter this on my computer alone but the brown with white font is pretty difficult on my eyes. (Could only be speaking for myself).

Voting for previous layout. clt xoxo

Cloud said...

Hmmm. All I'm coming up with are the obvious mom-related things: breastfeeding support (so that all women who WANT to breastfeed can) and issues related to being a two-working parent family (as evidenced by my recent string of posts).

Also, I'm fairly passionate about the way our society is so judgmental about parenting, and mothering in particular.

And I feel the income inequalities in our society more. I'm on the side that has enough money, and I see how much I can use that to make my life easier and make my kids' lives better, and I get so sad/angry that so many things that seem essential to me (access to high quality day care, for instance) are so dependent on having money.

Becoming Mommy said...

Food has also become pretty important to me. To the point that I put in an organic garden, make my own bread, and became a rabid label checker.
I've also become way more health-aware in general and am always sure to question a doctor's decision of treatment or medication for myself before okaying it. It's turned out to be a good idea because double checking has been necessary in a few cases.
School and education is more my husband's passion, while I'm more concerned with my kids "happiness quotient" with the school and those untested qualities like how much do they developo the kids in non-academic ways.

hush said...

Anti-bullying and personal dignity issues seem to be of more importance to me since becoming a parent. Maybe because I see the childlike vulnerability in all of us so much more acutely since becoming a mother?