Can Motherhood Be a Mode of Rebellion? | The New Yorker newyorker.com
An amazing essay in conversation with Angela Garbes’s new book, Essential Labor.
a person can get paid more to sit in front of her computer and send a bunch of e-mails than she can to do a job so crucial and difficult that it seems objectively holy: to clean excrement off a body, to hold a person while they are crying, to cherish them because of and not despite their vulnerability.
Her husband’s job provided health insurance and regular paychecks; Garbes writes that it “may take me a lifetime to undo the false notion that my work is somehow less valuable than his.”
It feels shameful to admit that I don’t have the desire to hustle up that same ladder.
Parenthood likewise forces an encounter with the illogic of the market: good fortune means getting to pay someone less than you make to do a job that’s harder and probably more important than your own.
parenting toward a more just world requires more than diverse baby dolls and platitudes about equality.
She quotes the writer Carvell Wallace, who, after the 2016 election, told his children, “One of the most important questions you have to answer for yourself is this: Do I believe in loving everyone? Or do I only believe in loving myself and my people?”
How can mothering be a way that we resist and combat the loneliness, the feeling of being burdened by our caring?
motherhood has also granted me a chance to see what my life is like when I reorganize it around care and interdependence in a way that stretches far beyond my daughter.