Friday, March 7, 2014

The Work of Maintaining

International Women's day is coming up tomorrow! Woooo hoooo!

I've been working on a post for tomorrow about supporting women crafters and makers, especially women who are supporting their families with their work. You'll see this tomorrow (along with another exciting kids post if everything unfolds as planned)....

But now, as I am reading up with some of my favorite lady bloggers what is really standing out to me is how much work goes into maintaining. Without creating anything new, without doing something extraordinary, no new brilliant ideas or three unbelievable 5-minute-gourmet-pinterest-worthy meals a day...the work that goes into maintaining our daily lives is HUGE.

and so invisible

If you've met me, or seen at least two of my posts, you know that I love to be inspired. I love to put special touches on things, but its way to easy to overlook the importance of maintenance work: basic housekeeping, cooking real nutritious food, growing food, holding a baby and explaining one of life's everyday miracles...

what if that was enough to celebrate? I think it is.

I know, this is exactly the kind of thing that women ran away braless from decades ago to earn their right to enter the workplace.

But what about the workplace we left? Now that two income families are the norm, it's a struggle to be home with my kids. It isn't enough to maintain any more. We, as women, may have earned our way into the workforce, but traditional women's work* seems to be even less valued in the end.

The theme for this year's International Women's Day is "Inspiring Change." What could we do to change the way we see the work of maintaining? How do we (or would we) move toward a social structure that values this work?

*when I say that this is traditional women's work, I do not think that only women are capable of doing it, or that we should not have any choice but to do it. Whether it's a man or a woman or anyone else doing the work, the point is that it is not seen as valuable. We've all seen the articles about how the average mom has a 70+ hour work week and what her salary would be if she were paid for working. People who do have jobs in these areas are also some of the lowest ranking in wages and social status (childcare workers, restaurant staff, farm workers, etc.)

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