Thank you, Tabitha, for allowing me to post a copy of your article here. Originally it was featured on Synergy Magazine. Tabitha is an esteemed friend who I didn’t spend nearly enough time with before our move away from the island. I’ve written about time spent with Tabitha and her family here.

Perhaps it’s because I cocoon myself with like-minded people a little too much, or perhaps it’s because I am an eternal optimist that thinks the world is truly changing in ways that I like to think of as “for the better”. But really, truly, I’m shocked when I hear of others talking disparagingly about stay-at-home parents, or when I face the discrimination of their judgments myself.

Don’t they know I’m actually a subversive?! I’m not “just a mom”. I’m a radical challenge to the systems failing our world today. I’m changing the world one fully-present, bursting-with-intensity moment at a time.

Throughout my day, I cook and clean and bake and do laundry and garden. I read stories and play games and visit the library, I soothe hurts and I cuddle. I meal-plan and meal-prep, I set the table and I do dishes. And with each and every act that I perform in my role as “mother” and “homemaker”, I am acting from a deeply political and deeply personal place.

For each time I feed my children fresh fruits and vegetables that I’ve grown myself, I am sticking it to the industrial agricultural complex. I am denouncing monocultures: the great fields of chemically-dependent wheat and soybeans and corn that pollute our water systems, destroy bio-diversity and concentrate land into fewer and fewer hands.

Each time I cook a meal for my family, I am laughing at the fast food industry’s sordid attempts to lure my children to obesity and diabetes.

Each time I grow and gather herbs to heal my family with, I am denying the legitimacy of the pharmaceutical companies. My family won’t be peeing out anti-depressants that will eventually make their way back into our drinking water, the ocean and several species of fish. My children won’t be one of the 10,000 deaths in Canada this year due to adverse reactions to prescription drugs.

Each time I mend an article of clothing for my family, I am standing up to Wal-mart and saying I refuse to have cheap goods at the price of human dignity around the world.

Each time I read a story to my children I am telling the corporate owned networks that I will not be bought, and my children are not for sale.

Each time I hang my laundry on the line I am telling the “independent” power producers that I don’t need extra energy – I am capable of cutting back and will not collaborate with them to destroy a river or a community.

Each time I walk with my children to the park, I am telling the oil companies that I don’t condone their unethical choices in the name of cheap energy to transport my family. I will not be party to Chevron’s destruction of the Ecuadorian Amazon, the severe human rights abuses used to protect their pipeline in Burma, or the purchasing of American government favours.

Each time I seek to understand my children and really hear their needs and feelings, I am creating peace in the world.

Each time I invite them to garden alongside me, to cook with me, to sew with me, I am denying the right of the corporations to own them later in life.

Each time I encourage them to trust themselves and trust each other, I subvert the system that wants to fill them with fear and tell them what and how to think, so that they may grow up to be good consumers – buying their way to happiness and financing it all with mindless work.

Each time I model creative problem solving and compassionate communication, I challenge the system that seeks to plug them in, shut them down and make them drones.

Is it enough? I’m not sure, but I do know that if I don’t do it, if I don’t seek to be the change I wish to see in the world, there is no hope. So next time you see a parent providing care for her/his family, recognize the actions of a political activist and offer your support. We need community in this changing world, now, when it has been put up for sale along with so much else, more than ever.

~Tabitha Tucker

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12 Responses to Parenting… a Radical, Political Act

  1. `*•?.•´*.¸.•´? `*.¸`*•?.•´*.¸.•´? `*.¸
    Oh Mee-Oh-Mee-Oh My!
    `*•?.•´*.¸.•´? `*.¸
    Yes yes and YES!
    I love love love reading what I think!
    I so rarely take the time to articulate never mind write my deep beliefs. So, thank you for taking the time Tabitha and thank you for taking the time, Annie to post it.
    `*•?.•´*.¸.•´? `*.¸`*•?.•´*.¸.•´? `*.¸

  2. tai says:

    I love this! I want everyone I know to read it. Would you mind if I link it on my blog? By the way, I am reading back on your blog and loving it. Perry too. We’ve been at a big turning point in our parenting, and your words are so good to read. cheers.

  3. Yes!

    That pretty much sums it up. I’m glad someone can write it so much more eloquently than I can! Thanks for sharing Tabitha and Annie:)

  4. Lucy Dolan says:

    Very true. And yet alongside it being a deeply political and radical act, living in a more simple traditional manner is simply doing what’s always been done. I think, too, that it’s tempting to be anti most “modern” stuff, but to me the main work is in rejecting what we don’t need while holding on to the new stuff that helps us. Or even just using things in moderation. I can’t personally reject modern medicine for example as we use it within our family for sound reasons.

  5. Amanda says:

    Inspiring thought to begin my day as mama and homemaker. Thank you!

  6. April says:

    I have this printed out on my kitchen table.
    My main criticism with the feminist movement is that it devalued the importance of mothers investing love and energy in the home environment. I love that so many mamas are realizing the power of feminine energy on the homestead.

  7. greenteacher says:

    Awesome, just awesome…she said it so, so well. I think I’m going to print this up and stick it on my fridge! :) Thank you thank you!

  8. Annie says:

    Tai- I’m sure Tabitha wouldn’t mind. I’d asked her if I could post it and she was pleased to get it out there.

    I’m so glad others enjoyed this article as much as I did. I mirror all of your added thoughts too!

  9. Vanessa says:

    wow- thank you Tabitha.
    every little step, every little action- they add up.
    so thank you for making a change!

  10. ruralmamma says:

    Thank you. Seriously thank you. That made me cry. It did. Thank you for giving Moms all around the world edification and uplifting posts like that. I will sleep sound knowing others are here in the fight! Yay! That was just too good. I feel like making a banner and standing on the street corner that says something like Moms unite stay at home or something crazy. It go me all riled up!

  11. Clelie says:


    Thank you for your wonderful article and for reposting it here. For those that are interested in more along these lines, then I would recommend reading Sharon Astyk’s Depletion and Abundance: Life on the New Home Front from New Society Publishers, 2008.

    In it Astyk advocates having both parents at home in order to focus on the informal ( home) economy as a way of meeting the family’s needs and minimizing the need to participate in the formal economy.

  12. Dawn Suzette says:

    Thanks for sharing!

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