What do your kids do?

For the last 10 years I have worked as a nurse practitioner at the same Community Health Center. Over that time I’ve developed some long term relationships with patients. They have seen me pregnant and postpartum twice now. Sometimes they ask about my kids.

 Photo Credit: Erin Wrightsman

Photo Credit: Erin Wrightsman

Last week one of them asked me a question I’ve heard before, “What do your kids do when you’re at work?”

It’s possible that with regular work plus movie work I’m suffering some excessive mom guilt right now, but this time I kept coming back to it.

I imagined the ways I could have answered, “They stay at home with the chickens,”  or "Was I supposed to arrange something?"

The truth is sometimes they're with their dad and sometimes they are in the care of another trusted adult who loves them. They are growing and learning and playing and eating and napping and all the other things kids their ages do.

 Photo Credit: Erin Wrightsman

Photo Credit: Erin Wrightsman

My male colleagues never get this question even though they all have children. No one asks my husband when he’s at work either.

There is still a cultural expectation that children are primarily if not exclusively the mother’s responsibility. Yes it’s important for dads to be involved, but they are also expected to work outside the home and no one questions that this arrangement is acceptable for their children. When families make choices not in line with these deeply held cultural expectations it can be challenging.

While the mothers in this film birthed at home, they work outside the home. They have all faced these questions and the judgements that come with them.

Right now my friends and Paige Green and Izzy Chan are making one final fundraising effort to finish their documentary, The Big Flip.

The Big Flip is about families where the mom is the primary breadwinner and dad takes care of the children. It’s a film I have supported and continue to support.

Making a film is hard enough, but raising the money is even harder. I know I'm asking for finishing funds for my project, but I don’t want to operate from a scarcity model. I believe there's enough for everyone.

If you want families to make choices about how they spend their time at home and work based on what works for their personal situation and needs, without additional judgement from strangers, family, and friends, check out their IndieGogo campaign and support them today. There are some great perks too.