Thursday, April 17, 2014

Homemaking: The Internet's Most Hated Profession

I keep seeing these listicles from Buzzfeed and its ilk being posted all over Facebook about how deeply uncool it is to post certain things on your Facebook feed and how annoying it is to have to deal with seeing those things every day. What things, you ask? What are these atrocities that people are griping about having to deal with when they log on? Well I'll tell you:

They are are (but are not limited to):
- What you're making for dinner
- Cleaning/caring for your home
- Your kids (That one seems to attract the most vitriol)
-Your work out

Okay...so...I'm a stay-at-home mom. So are a lot of the people I know. This means that my life mostly consists of:

- making meals
- cleaning/caring for my home
- my son
- (I'd add working out but...let's be real).

I get that maybe my younger, hipper cohorts might find those things uninteresting because they're at different points in their lives but...if I'm not "supposed" to post those things (God forbid I bore them when they're wasting time on Facebook), then what the heck am I supposed to post about?! Should I make up a life that I'm not actually living just to make sure that the time that they're spending on various forms of social media is scintillatingly interesting?

Or should I actually start abdicating my responsibilities at home so that I can...what? Go to bars or exotic locales and take selfies? Oh wait, though, selfies are also not okay anymore. According to the judges and juries of the internet, people who post selfies are vain, self-absorbed, and full of secret insecurity and self-loathing. Right? So...

Are people like me supposed to simply fall off of the social media planet the second that we start setting up housekeeping and having babies because our lives have become too boring to be tolerated by the masses? Are we supposed to pretend that we think it's more important for us to be having "fun" doing the things that people who are more "relevant" than we are are doing rather than doing what we're passionate about, which happens to be homemaking? Should we pretend that we don't think our babies are the most amazing little people to ever exist (because that's pretty much what I feel about my babies...I made them with my BODY, after all...) because it makes us seem...uncool? Or boring? Or irrelevant? Or irritating to those who aren't passionate about the same things that we are?

Sixty years ago, setting up housekeeping was celebrated. Bridal and baby showers were major events in the lives of young women and women who had already "been there, done that" turned up in droves to wish the young woman stepping up to these landmarks in her journey all their best. Cutesy games were played, advice was given (some good and some endearingly bad), and punch was drunk. Women celebrating being passionate about homemaking and sharing that passion with each other was a cultural norm.

Now you go to events like this and the room is full of eye rolling and snickering. Or there is outrage at the "irresponsibility," "laziness" or "wasted potential" of young women choosing to do this for a lifetime. And then to have the audacity to post the details of that choice to Facebook?! How dare we!!! How dare we bore people with our "silliness," with our children (did I mention that we made them with our bodies?), with our taking pride in something that they, frankly, don't value? The unmitigated gall of us.

Well guess what? I'm not sorry. I'm not sorry that I'm so over the moon about my son that I think that pretty much everything he does is magic (apologies for the obvious pilfering from The Police). I'm not sorry that, when I finally get that tricky bread recipe figured out, I'm going to be posting pictures of it like crazy because I will be so proud of myself! I'm not sorry that I take pride in my chosen career (because yep, homemaking is my chosen profession) or that I find joy in the everyday things that make up my life. Because it is my life.

It might not be cool or hip, but it's my life. It's what I'm choosing to do with my existence, so I take it personally when people turn up their noses at it and whine that homemakers like me are "like, so boring." I take it personally when you act like my being in love with what I do is less valid than a lawyer, doctor, or teacher being in love with what they chose to spend their existence doing. I love what I do, even on days like today when my son spent roughly 70% of his waking hours smearing various bodily fluids on me, and I want to share that love and joy with the people in my world.

That is what my Facebook page is for: sharing my life with the people in my world. If you are bored, irritated or frustrated by that, there's an "unfollow" button for just that reason. There will be no hurt feelings, I promise. What will hurt is if you continue to follow me while smirking and snickering behind your hand about how ridiculous you think I am.

What is the point of that? Presumably, people follow friends of theirs on Facebook, right? So...why on earth would you choose to learn the details of a friend's life on only to turn around and make fun of it to anyone who will listen in a glib, snide article meant to harm? After all, thats the point, isn't it? What else would you call writing something in order to get a good hardy laugh at the expense of people that you claim to be friends with?

I realize that the internet provides a convenient smoke screen behind which to mask your disdain, but that doesn't make it any less mean.

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