Modern homesteading: Empowering or enslaving?

I read this article yesterday, and I'm still mulling over how I feel about it.  Unlike the author, my grandmother canned, sewed, and cooked and baked from scratch.  She also used some convenience foods, like Velveeta, but the overall theme in her life seemed to be to make your own, make do, or do without.  She was always very frugal, and despite only working outside the home for maybe 20 years of her life (including the time spent working at a bomber plant during WWII, after which she returned to homemaking), she managed to end up with a nice little nest egg. 

My mother had a different story.  As a single parent, she had to work full-time.  But she still found time to cook from scratch, and she taught me that life is more about experiences than material trappings.  All of my aunts are crafty, and they all cook. 

While I disliked cooking and domestic pursuits growing up, it seemed kind of natural that I would grow into it.  And then I took it a step further.  I am the only one in my family with livestock.  The last I knew, I was the only one who gardens.  And while my aunt and two of my cousins get together every year to can tomatoes, I'm the only one who cans and freezes in any sort of serious volume.

Do I feel enslaved by my efforts to be more self-sufficient?  Not at all.  I love knowing that I am providing healthful food for myself and my family.  I love knowing that I am helping to continue what women (and men) have done for thousands of years by working the land and growing food from seeds and sunlight.  I love that it's good for the earth.

But.  I do feel like feminism has seriously backfired in some ways.  Women now seem to feel like they should work outside the home, whether they want to be a stay-at-home mother/homemaker or not.  I know that when I've mentioned to some friends - and male friends at that! - they have actively discouraged me from staying at home.  "But what will you do all day?"  "Won't you be bored?" and, "Women who stay at home always let themselves go," are all things I've heard when I mention how nice it would be not to work.  While the feminist movement opened a lot of doors and highlighted that women can be just as capable as men in the workplace, I don't think that it ever considered whether it was right for everyone.  Staying home was portrayed as slavery.  But now aren't many women just as enslaved by their 9-to-5 jobs?  Work is work, whether you are keeping house or working your way up the corporate ladder.

Right now, I'm doing it all.  I'm raising my son, cooking from scratch, canning, gardening, cleaning (though Shayne takes care of the kitchen [thank you!]), and working a full-time job.  Is it stressful?  Sometimes.  Do I feel pinched for time?  Occasionally.  But would I give up my domestic pursuits?  Not a chance.  I'd ditch my job first.  Right now, I'm working so that we can afford to fix up our house and pay it off sooner.  Once that's done, you can bet your hat that I'll quit and spend even more time living my real life.

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