We're still at the shore and it's Alessandra's first birthday today, so there are really more important things I should be doing, but I'm so exhausted that a quick post is a nice time out. We've been here a week and won't be leaving for two more days. The extended time in close quarters with family has reaffirmed my desire to never live with in-laws and also highlighted the terrible sexism that occurs between Brazilian women.
Listen ladies, it's bad enough that it's a highly patriarcal society and women are seen as wives, mothers, cooks, cleaners, and little else. Do we need to see each other in the same light? How many times must I be in one room only to have the Donas of the house run to tell me that the littlest expat has a soiled diaper or is hungry when she's with her father? He's fully capable and competent of changing a diaper and making a bottle. Do these women not remember the exhaustion of doing everything by themselves? Although neither my husband nor myself work, I still do 80% of the child rearing and 97% of the housework. I do it without complaint because really I have little else to do. But do we need to perpetuate the idea that only women can handle these roles? How will society change if you instill the same patriarcal roles in your sons and daughters?
Further, it's been over a decade, sometimes two, since you've raised babies. While I appreciate the advice, times have changed. No, I'm not a bad mom if I skip a morning bath today. I'm fucking exhausted and they slept in an air conditioned room all night. No, I'm not a bad mom if I don't give my baby a bottle of water. She doesn't need empty calories. As of today I have successfully raised two children to the ages of four and a half and one year old. I think at least Roseanne would approve.
Brazilian women - a little more support, a little less judgement.