By Aimee Genter-Gilmore, PQ Monthly
As a result of Gayby Boom 2011, I have found myself a stay-at-home mom. Believe you me, I never thought that this was where I’d end up. I’m a big, bad butch. I work hard to bring home the bacon. Yet, right around the time my partner’s maternity leave ended, I was laid off. That was two months ago, and I’m just starting to get into the swing of things.
Firstly, and maybe most importantly, I am typing this as I hear the white noise machine in the nursery through a baby monitor. My son, Oscar, is napping. For how long? That’s anybody’s guess. When Oscar is at the baby sitter’s house, he naps for two, maybe three, hours at a time. I have yet to get him to nap longer than 45 minutes. I like to joke that he is so easy to put to bed at night that I can deal with the lack of naps during the day.
His inability to nap, however, does impede my ability to work. I am typing this hoping that the first screech to come out of the baby monitor waits until I’m finished. It’s like typing with a bomb that will go off if you type under 50 wpm. Quite a bit of pressure.
So two months of being a gay-at-home mom has opened up a lot of time for me to think, and the more time I have to think, the more out-of-place I feel in this new role. Did I mention that I’m a big, bad butch? I’m supposed to be bringing home the bacon and fanning my beautiful femme partner with a giant feather while feeding her grapes. Isn’t that how it’s supposed to go?
Needless to say, my ego is having a hard time with this transition. Luckily, I have an awesome partner and an adorable baby boy to help soften the blow. I know that the idea of needing to be the bacon-bringer-homer is really outdated and pretty much anti-feminist, but as a butch, it’s really hard to wrap my head around the fact that I have traded life in “a man’s world” for a life keeping the house clean, the baby happy, and myself sane. I mean, I am a woman, so shouldn’t this come naturally to me?
I guess that opens up a whole big can of worms, doesn’t it? Any other gay-at-home parents out there? How do you handle the gender dynamic? I’d love to talk to you about it in the comments!
Oh, and before I go, I need your help! I’m looking for a gay (or gay-adjacent) baby group that doesn’t meet on Tuesdays or Thursdays. I think it’s time for me to spend some regular time with other parents. It’ s mostly ‘cause I’m starting to “speak T-Rex” like Oscar, and think that maybe a little adult conversation will keep me sane.
Send mommy tips and baby group information to firstname.lastname@example.org. Until then, she will be doing the dishes.