I did it! One year ago, on my son’s first birthday, I set a goal for myself: I would write one blog post a week for the next year. I would focus on how mundane parenting moments can be used to promote social justice. I strayed a little from that original mission: instead of just focusing on the mundane moments (like diaper changes and bedtimes), I also included so big, important parenting moments like choosing a name and giving birth. Regardless, this goal forced me to take 30-60 minutes a week to sit and think consciously and write critically about parenting with privilege. I made it a blog, because the public nature of blogs held me accountable to my goal. My parenting journey is uniquely privileged, so I don’t claim to speak to every parent out there. There are definitely moments during this blog process where I felt insecure—like I wasn’t digging deep enough or assessing myself critically enough. There are other moments that I’m proud of—like when I opened up about my miscarriages or committed our family to individual reparations.
If I’m being totally transparent, one of the reasons I started this blog is because I was in a really low point in my professional life. I was in the middle of writing a dissertation, feeling a little bit lost and hopeless. And I found myself more and more happy when I was actively engaging in parenting moments. But so much of my identity as a privileged person who cares about social justice was wrapped up in my professional identity. So, when I thought about changing my priorities from career to family, I was worried I would lose that identity of someone who cares about social justice. I started this blog as a thought experiment to see how I could maintain that identity and prioritize parenting. In the last year, I’ve realized that I still love my career (and that a dissertation is a short phase of a career in research), so the identity threat no longer persists. But my absolute love and respect for caregiving and parenting persists.
Throughout this year, I discovered I loved parenting and thinking about parenting more than I thought I could. One of the blog posts that I am most proud of is about the value of caregiving. Not necessarily because its particularly well-written, but because I believe it so strongly. I’ve gotten a bit soap-box about the issue honestly. I started off this blog by asking, Can wiping butts be woke? And I think I’ve discovered that yes, it absolutely can be. Caregiving itself (including butt wiping) is radical and when you add on top of that certain mentalities and practices, wiping shit off your kids butt can be an act of social justice.
Thank you so much to all the individuals who have checked in with the blog every once and a while throughout the last year. Though ultimately, I am writing this blog for myself and my family, knowing there were at least a few of you reading kept me accountable and made me want to do my best. I’m not quite sure how I will move forward with this blog. My professional life will be very busy starting in August, so I am hesitant to commit to weekly blog posts for the next year. I encourage you to sign up with your email in the sidebar, so that when I post (perhaps biweekly, perhaps sporadically) over the next year, the blog post will be emailed directly to your inbox. This anniversary post isn’t my last sign-off (I might even post next week! The mystery is what will make this fun…), but it does mark me accomplishing my goal of blogging for one year. And that feels great!
Thanks so much, and happy wiping–