I don’t usually do two blog posts in two days, but it’s time for a rant. . .
"The medium is the message."
I’ve often said that our kitchen calendar runs everything. If it’s on the calendar, it happens. Because for years, we’ve had one of these giant boxed calendars hanging on the fridge.
But I happened to see the new one sitting on the counter yesterday before it made it to its time-honored position above the water and ice dispenser on the fridge door.
And once I saw the title, I began to see why the calendar was running our lives.
This new calendar was called:
THE 2018 DO IT ALL MOM: FOR SUPERMOMS WHO DO IT ALL!
Are you kidding me?
No pressure there, right?
Aside from the RAMPANT sexism (I will bet my last dollar – which I can give you today because it’s December and I’m a teacher and I won’t be paid again until the end of the first month of NEXT YEAR) that there does not exist a calendar called THE DO IT ALL DAD.
Does. Not. Exist. Guaranteed.
How insidious that this calendar company knew that in most households, like this one, most of the family schedules are run by the mothers and so they would need to be organized in some way and would benefit from a calendar with giant white squares and a cover message that seemed to "get" what they are going through.
So you could argue that the name of this calendar merely acknowledges the struggle the modern woman endures in our culture.
But I would argue that the name of this calendar PERPETUATES the struggle the modern woman – and man – endures in our culture.
And look carefully at the picture. . .
It's a SEVENTEEN month calendar. Apparently we can't even get all the stuff we're expected to do executed within a twelve month year--we need FIVE MORE MONTHS to just complete it! Especially during this time of the holidays and a new year beginning, this is a toxic message for the women we care about!
Okay, maybe I'm being a little melodramatic, but imagine this. . .
What if you bought a calendar called. . .
The All-White Space Calendar?
The Take-Some-Time-For-Yourself Calendar?
The You-Don’t-Have-To-Do-It-All Calendar?
The Don’t-Worry-It’ll-All-Get-Done Calendar?
Wouldn’t that send a fundamentally different message to the women in our lives?
To our families?
To our teachers?
To our husbands, fathers, and male significant others?
When I think of the subliminal damage this does in my household it drives me crazy banana pants.
(And yes, that's an actual term in the DSM V.)
As an English teacher, I teach my students that WORDS MATTER.
And it’s why I sometimes feel like the message I send here is nothing more than a Voice in The Wilderness.
So thank you for being here.
Thank you for listening.
If we start small and close to ourselves, maybe we can change part of the narrative.
If only for ourselves. And those we care about.
Make your calendar.
Call the "I'll Do What I Can And Be Okay With It" Calendar.
Because Moms? Ladies? Dads? Teachers?
You're okay. Exactly. The way you are.
You. Don’t. Have. To. Do. It. All.
No matter what your calendar says. TZT