My mother worked a variety of jobs but, for the majority of my childhood, she cared for me and my brother full-time as a stay-at-home mom. While most wouldn't consider this choice inherently "feminist," I disagree. Feminism, after all, is all about choice, and while women staying at home to care for children used to be less of an option and more of a given, it's not a decision women are making for themselves. So, honestly, there are more than a few things my stay-at-home mom taught me about feminism and how to make my own choices about my own life.
In the modern age, feminists come in all shapes, sizes, and roles. A proud feminist can be a CEO of a Fortune 500 company, a work-at-home mom running her own business, or a stay-at-home mom investing her time, energy, and talents into raising a new generation of feminists. While feminism is about pushing against antiquated gender roles, it's not about forcing women into a decision (like working outside the home after becoming a mother) to "prove a point."
When I realized I wouldn't have a job to return to after having my baby, I experienced a crisis of confidence. I wondered who I would be if I didn't have my working identity. Could I still be a feminist if I looked after my new baby full-time and didn't work outside the home? I ended up having a total career overhaul and starting my own business from home while my husband became a stay-at-home dad. I guess most would automatically identity that as a feminist setup, and I have my stay-at-home mom to thank for teaching me the following lessons: