When I first heard that women were going on strike on International Women's Day, to show their families, coworkers, bosses, and the world what "a day without a woman" would look like, my initial reaction was, "Hell yeah! Mommy needs a break." This reaction, however, was followed in quick succession by all of the ways striking would be logistically challenging for me, and all of the ways that I'm privileged to even be able to think about going on strike. Besides, I'm a mom, and moms can't go on strike. Not really.
What would a day without moms in 2017 be like? Cue tired joke about clueless men not being able to handle "women's work," like dinner, dishes, and laundry. But also envision empty offices, hospitals, daycare centers, classrooms, call centers, retail stores, hair salons, and restaurant counters. We live in a world where many moms choose to (or have to) work, so if all moms were able to go on strike they'd actually hurt more than just the patriarchy: they'd hurt their families and other moms, too. Also, many people can't afford to take time off or risk losing their jobs by not showing up.
Single moms and breadwinning moms and moms in poverty need to work to support their families, and if no teachers or day care workers go to work, other moms will have to scramble to find childcare or call in sick, so they can stay home and watch their kids. So much for striking. And what about stay-at-home moms? If they go on strike, their partners (if they have partners) would have to take time off from work. Which sounds nice, but is often impossible.
Even though I have an awesome supportive employer that actually went dark yesterday to support the strike, I couldn't really go on strike. As much as I normally like a spa day, could I really enjoy it, knowing that the woman rubbing my feet couldn't do the same? Did I really want to go a day without snuggling my newborn, putting my son to bed, or cleaning my messy house? Not really, so here's what I did instead.