A Deepening Understanding of my Privilege

It feels like a long time since I have turned to these pages to share my passion for parenting. Since the election in November my understanding of the world around me has been turned on it’s head. There has been a lot of guilt to wade through, hours of education to be done and a whole lot of privilege to spread out for serious examination.

To think that the issues each person is fighting for today, under this new administration, are new is so deeply naive. Me showing up to the fight, that part is new. But the issues are not. People have been fighting a long time and I have been sitting in that place of blissful ignorance. I am owning that and it has been a tough hard bitter pill to swallow.  But it’s about damn time I got to swallowing it, moving on and rolling up my sleeves to dive in.

A huge part of this for me has been looking at my own privilege in a way I never have before. I would come to these pages to write with passion about the ways I think children should be treated, how we should parent from a place of partnership and throw down a whole lot of stories about how to go about doing that. Which is all so very nice in my white stay at home mom bubble of a fair world where we all have the same opportunity to do this. But that is just not true. We as mothers don’t all have the same opportunity to show up for our children in the ways we would like to. Don’t get me wrong, I still believe each and every child deserves all the love and respect I have written about over the years. I still stand behind my words. I see now clearly how covered in privilege they are which has be considering things in a whole new light.

I have know for years that being able to be home with the boys outside of the school system is a privilege. I likely would have argued that we gave up certain things to live as a single income family, which is true but does not take away the privileged piece of this. I was already ahead of the game by having a stable enough income to make this choice. I also did not have to worry what people would think about me out in the world with my children during school hours because of the color of my skin. I did not have to worry that folks would think my choice was harming my children because of the color of my skin.

But this goes deeper. My children can launch out into the world of work, college and choice from their homeschooled background with more doors open to them than can some of their peers simply because of the color of their skin. My sons will  be given a wider field of opportunities because of the color of their skin. It could be true that the unconventional schooling path will make for a door or two that closes on them but since ALL the doors were wide open because they happened to be born with white skin and a penis will make this almost unnoticeable to them. Begin able to consider an unconventional path to education was a privilege in and of itself. I didn’t have to consider how this would close more doors to them. I didn’t have to look at the world around them and choose school because it was a path most folks would respect and stood to open some doors that were closed to them because of the skin color they were born.

Understanding this privilege on this deeper level truly has left me a bit at a loss for words and unsure of how to move forward with my own work in the world. It has been for all these years about loving up these children with the best of our ability, undoing our own stories to show up for them over and over and over again without any foundation of understanding of all the steps up in the world I had giving me this pretty little pedestal from which to preach. Now that I can see where I am standing I need to re-evaluate what I am saying.

I think the answer comes, still in valuing the treasure that is each and every child in this world. The missing piece is how we come together and help each and every parent in the world become that parent for themselves. How do we join together to combine our resources so they can be distributed a little more evenly? So as you see here, I’ve only come up with questions which I suspect will be the basis for a slight direction change in my own journey as passionate parenting writer. I do hope you come along for the adventure.

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