I’m passionate about many things: Ashtanga yoga, for example, and gardening, and the ritual of pouring myself a very large glass of wine the minute my children are in bed for the night.
That ritual is not meant to imply that I am not passionate about my children. I am. I love being their mother, their stay-at-home mother. I love the luxurious stretches of time I have with them; my ability to take them to the park or to bake muffins with them, to read with them or to engage them in one of our many strange science experiments that usually conclude with vinegar and baking soda all over the kitchen. Sometimes those hours together can feel like a sentence, but mostly I revel in my life of extreme ordinariness.
It is not a life I ever thought I would have chosen, but it is one I am extraordinarily happy with.
I have chosen this life, just as some women choose a very different path, one with a career and a paycheque. I am aware of this privilege of choice, and also I am acutely aware that some women have no choices whatsoever. Some women are constrained indefinitely, and are making do with the shabby hand life has dealt them. Around me I see mothers – and fathers too – struggling to cope, every day. What I’m most passionate about is remembering that we are all – from the mother with the Louis Vuitton diaper bag to the one with the third-hand stroller and faded, worn jeans – in this parenting thing together. I am passionate about the idea that we parents, all of us, make up a community who need to support each other regardless of what choices we do or do not make.