Australian philosopher + feminist
Today I am very pleased to welcome Elise Addlem to the podcast, a philosopher and feminist based in Europe, and a mum of 1.
Elise is an Australian philosophy educator with a background in academic philosophy (MA) and Early Childhood Education.
After teaching philosophy at an academic level and to the public, and working with kids, Elise became passionate about public philosophy.
In particular, she is developing resources and courses on feminism, neoliberalism and general philosophy for parents. She believes that philosophical and intersectional feminism connects directly to our everyday, lived experience.
Elise is passionate about sharing her ideas and encouraging others to challenge norms and think critically, and putting ideas into practise in realistic and achievable ways ... and bring to the public the academic ideas without the condescension and jargon.
If today’s episode is triggering for you in any way I encourage you to seek help from those around you, medical professionals or from resources on line. I have compiled a list of great international resources here
Music used with permission from Alemjo my new age and ambient music trio.
When chatting to my guests I greatly appreciate their openness and honestly in sharing their stories. If at any stage their information is found to be incorrect, the podcast bears no responsibility for guests' inaccuracies.
Podcast transcript at the bottom of the page
Thank you so much for tuning in to this episode of The Art of Being A Mum Podcast. I'm beyond honoured that you're here and would be grateful if you could take 2 minutes to leave me a 5-star review in iTunes or wherever you are listening. It really helps! This way together we can inspire, connect and bring in to the light even more stories from creative mums. Want to connect? Take a screenshot of this episode and share it on Instagram tagging me in with @art_of_being_a_mum_podcast
I can't wait to connect. And remember if you or somebody you know would like to be a guest on the podcast, get in touch! I love meeting and chatting to mammas from all creative backgrounds, from all around the world!
Alison acknowledges this Land of the Berrin (Mount Gambier) Region as the Traditional Lands of the Bungandidj People and acknowledge these First Nations people as the custodians of the Region.
Welcome to the Art of Being a mum, the podcast. It's a platform for mothers who are artists and creatives to share the joys and issues they've encountered. While continuing to make art. Regular themes we explore include the day to day juggler, how mothers work is influenced by their children. Mum guilt, how moms give themselves time to create within the role of mothering, and the value that mothers and others place on their artistic selves. My name's Alison Newman. I'm a singer, songwriter, and a mom of two boys from regional South Australia. You can find links to my guests and topics we discussed in the show notes. Together with music played, how to get in touch, and a link to join our lively and supportive community on Instagram. The art of being a mum acknowledges the Bondic people as the traditional owners of the land, which his podcast is recorded on. Thanks so much for tuning in. It's a pleasure to have you back if you're a regular listener. And if this is your first time, welcome. It is such a pleasure to have you here. Today I'm pleased to welcome Elise Adlam to the podcast. Elise is a philosopher, and a feminist based in Europe, and she's a mom of one. Elise is an Australian philosophy educator with a background in academic philosophy, and early childhood education. After teaching philosophy at an academic level, and to the public, and working with kids, Elise became passionate about public philosophy. In particular, she's developing resources and courses on feminism, neoliberalism, and general philosophy, parents, she believes that philosophical and intersectional feminism connects directly to our everyday lived experiences. Elise is passionate about sharing her ideas, and encouraging others to challenge the norms and to think critically. And to put those ideas into practice in realistic and achievable ways. And to bring to the public the academic ideas. Without the condescension and jargon. I discovered Elise by Instagram. And I really resonate with her thoughts, and her opinions and also the ways that she shares these. And I really hope you enjoy hearing from her today. And I encourage you to check her out on Instagram, her YouTube and her website. The music used on today's podcast is from LM Joe, which is my new age ambient music trio comprised of myself, my sister, M Anderson, and her husband, John, thanks so much for tuning in. I really hope you enjoy today's chat.
Thanks so much for coming on. At least it's a real pleasure to meet you and to welcome you today.
You're welcome. Thank you so much for having me on your Instagram.
I'm sure you might be on other platforms. But I've come across you on Instagram. Yeah, what you're doing is awesome. And I just had to have you on the show. We're not going to spin it that you're an artist of any kind. Yeah, because you do creative to get your point across. But I just wanted to have you on because you're one of those people I really resonate with. I really love what you're sharing. And the way you share it too. It's very concise and straightforward. So without me blabbing on can you tell us what your sort of pedagogy and childcare? Your your? Yeah, like your one on one? Yeah.
Yeah. So basically, my background is in childcare, I worked with kids for quite a long time. I studied it a little bit. And then I worked as a nanny for a long time. And that was at the same time as studying for a lot of years, I was studying philosophy. So I did my undergrad degree, that took me a long time, then I did my honours that we have in Australia. And then I did my masters overseas. And so yes, I was really interested in academia. But as I went on, I really came to become more interested in what I like to call public philosophy. So basically bringing philosophical ideas to the public. And I thought it was really important to do that in a way that's digestible in a way that people can understand. Because often it seems like philosophy is something that's really removed from society and people will purposely or not be talking about things in a way that's really hard for people to understand. I think that it doesn't need to be that way. And I really wanted to try and communicate things to people in a way that makes sense. Because why do we have all these big ideas, these ideas about society if we can't communicate them, as well as that? When I worked with kids, and then when I became a mother, I really got focused on this idea of how we can communicate these ideas to children and to parents because I think the children have these amazing minds where they're so so open minded. They don't have these constructs in their minds yet, like we come to Have which societally given to us, and which we are given through certain binary ideas through the schooling system, and just through the progression of, I guess how our, how our minds grow. So, yeah, that came to be really interesting to me. As well as that, obviously, the as well as that political philosophy and ethics is really important to me. And, obviously, so many problems with the capitalist system with patriarchy, and things like that affects parents, particularly mothers. And so all of that I kind of try and bring together in this way that I can, yeah, I can share with people on social media. What sort
of got you first got, and it's interesting. I didn't realize you're in childcare before. That's my I was in childcare for nine years. Now, I'm in the kindy system. So I'm sort of switched into. Yeah, it's very interesting. But what got you interested in philosophy? Do you remember sort of what was the
Yeah, I do. I do. So yeah, the childcare thing. I mean, to be honest, that was a way for me, because I always love kids. That was a way for me to work while studying because I mean, to be honest, I just didn't want to do retail or something like that. For years. I loved working with kids. And I thought, why not do that at the same time. And it's such meaningful work. It's really difficult work. But it's so meaningful, and impactful with the philosophy, so I grew up in a working class background, and I didn't even know philosophy existed until I went to uni. I was the first one to go to uni, my family. I'm the oldest of my siblings, my sister also ended up going. But yeah, I discovered it before that I was really interested in literature and writing. And they're really linked, I think, because it's both to do with ideas. So yeah, I took that first philosophy class in first year, and I kind of had my mind blown. I thought, well, you can talk about all these ideas and think about things. And then it took me a few years to sort of realize, yeah, this is something I'm really interested in and want to do. But it is quite a, it's quite a tough area to be in, in the, in the sense that I mean, you probably know, within neoliberalization of education, all levels of education, higher education, really, the number of positions in the humanities departments is very, very low. And like, the grind for academics is really, really hard. And so yeah, so actually, I'm completely obsessed with it. But I'm still wondering, Am I going to go on and do my PhD? I think I have this pardon me, you know, this academic part of me that really wants that, because that's like, you know, like to have that recognition from academia that I was trying so hard in. On the other hand, after I had my daughter, I really, you know, I thought, I don't want that life. I don't want the life where I'm just grinding away, barely seeing my daughter. And if we have more kids having to move everywhere, just for these jobs where you barely get paid anything. You don't have job security. So yeah. I think that I kind of had to work through my ideas of what it means to do philosophy. And and yeah, and I think this idea of public philosophy is kind of a white assault that
I like that it's like, yeah, you're not completely consumed by that. Academia world where at night, it's almost like the outside world doesn't exist. You go to high school, you go to in you go to uni, and you stay in this system forever. You've come.
Like, honestly, I had a few years out of it anyway. Because I, I went, I went straight from school to uni. And then I kind of had, I realized that because I initially thought I wanted to the journalism then I kind of dropped out ahead a few years and then I went back. And I kind of did it a slow way. Just because I had to work and things like this as well, you know, like, and then yeah, I, but what I've observed and experience with people, there's this there's a really insular quality to academia. I don't know about other departments, but particularly in philosophy, maybe because it's to do with ideas. It can become really abstract. And sometimes the things you hear are just not related to people's real lives, you know, like, there will be people should do this, or people should behave this way. It's just not recognizing the real nature of life, the real struggles people go through, you know, like, because there is a elitist quality to university, and there are still a lot of privileged people there. Mostly, of course, white men, especially philosophy has mostly white men. And I mean, I'm a white woman, you know, I'm not, I'm not a black or brown woman, I'm, I live in a smaller body. So I also don't experience I'm able bodied. So you know, even having said all of that, I feel like I experienced a lot of I don't know whether I would call, I wouldn't call it discrimination, but just little microaggressions and things like that, you know, you feel it, you feel that you're not the main type of person. So, yeah, so that's another one of the reasons why I think I maybe don't suit that,
huh. Yeah. And like you said before, there can be this sort of particular way of speaking, like you said, whether it's deliberate or not, it's almost like a condescending way that like, you don't know this. So I'm going to say,
I really, really dislike this. And I admit that I drank the Kool Aid as an undergrad. Because I think because when you're learning and you're thinking, wow, this is so exciting, I need to be, I need to be that person that I admire you who can talk in this way. So using all these neologisms, all the all these new words that have been made up? And, yes, sometimes, for sure, that can be helpful for the theory. But if you've made up a term, you can also then explain what that term means. And yeah, I just think, I guess that some, some people are, you know, really made for theorizing, and some people are made for teaching. And I feel like maybe teaching is my, my thing.
You've got a very sort of down to earth approach with that, like, you can see that it's an important thing. And we've all got to, you know, challenge these, the norms, and this critical thinking is really important. But then you actually have to be able to put into practicing in your life in a realistic way. You can't just be barking theories and ideas at people.
To be honest, yeah, I mean, some people do do that. And it frustrates me a lot. This is one gripe I have, of course, it's not everyone. There are some fantastic people there. And, you know, some just amazing people that are so down to earth, and that really are fantastic teachers and are able to communicate things in a really clear way. But there are also a lot of people that just aren't interested in doing that, to be honest. They're not interested in the real world in there. Yeah, exactly. Well, to be honest, the all the ones you know that the other ones they've never been in the real world things you hear from people, you know, these older men who their father was in academia, then they were in academia, and they literally maybe have never caught public transport. Or they've never, you know, they've never done a job, they've never had to, you know, serve someone at a takeaway plate, or MCAS or something, or they've never had to, you know, get yelled at by a boss in retail, or you know, just those everyday things that are part of life for most people. And so then to then theorize what a good life is, or what we need to fix in the world.
Wanted to ask you about you mentioned Neo liberalism, and that's something that you do know about a lot on your Instagram. Can you explain to people who might not be familiar with what it's about?
Of course, yeah. So I think it's important first to talk about what liberalism liberalism is, and then neoliberalism came after. So liberalism, generally came from the enlightenment. So this was a movement in France, in Germany in the UK, in the 17th century, that focused on the liberation of people from a kind of, I guess, cloud of closed thinking now. The idea was that we should be free to To govern our own lives. So, thinkers like Immanuel Kant, John Jacques Rousseau, who some people might have heard of, they had these ideas that people should be able to govern their own lives, they should be able to choose what they do insofar as it doesn't hurt, but as long as it doesn't hurt other people. And importantly, they should be free to think, in a free way, not restrained by outside ideas. Importantly, at this time, their context was a religious society. So it's important to mention that we're still religious men. And this is the interesting thing, perhaps because of the times, but they, they believe that these rules shouldn't govern all of society. So that was super important to be. So to have your thoughts led by reasoning, by thinking does this make sense? Instead of buy doctrine from the church. So this was an enormous moment, because really, at the time, you know, people still couldn't read. So a lot of people still couldn't read, only the elite could read. So that means that if you were told something by a religious leader, that is the truth, you didn't come to truth, by some sort of scientific process or some process of reasoning, it was just what you were told. So this was a huge, huge moment. Then we also have lived in come to have liberalism as a political system. So this is a system in which in which people should be free to do what, sorry, people should be free to do what they want. Or sorry, I'll say it again, people should be free to do what they want, insofar as it doesn't hurt other people. And people should have their rights protected to be free. Now, neoliberalism then, is a political system that began in the 1980s. So in America, you had Ronald Reagan in the UK had Margaret Thatcher, who people probably might have heard of these people's names, because they're pretty important. Australia, I don't remember who we had. So basically, they were really pushing for everything to be privatized. The idea of near liberalisation is that anything that is owned by the government, any sort of welfare state, so a welfare state is like, where the where the government will give people a pension, where they'll give people disability payment, they'll give people payment, if they are without a job, they will give and all these other things like they will fund the schooling system fund, hospitals, even some things we don't even think about, like the Postal Service, ambulances, everything that is public. The neoliberal process, made all of these things private. So that means that companies, some, some rich person bought it. And then that is now owned by a private person. That means that there's no longer this sort of idea that it's a public good, or it's something that everyone should be able to use just because they live in this society. Rather, it will be something that you have to pay for, and that will be based on whatever the company decides. So this process was a really ideological one. And it meant that so many things were privatized, to varying extents. So we've seen the we see in the UK, and particularly in America that so so many things have been privatized, that society comes to disintegrate. So in Australia as well, we had it. But America is really kind of the hallmark of this because in America, even things like the Postal Service has started to be privatized, we see that the schooling system has just been absolutely gutted. And you know, teachers even have to pay for their own resources and things like this sometimes. The other important thing that I do talk about a lot. I hope I'm not explaining in too much detail. No, this is great. Okay, so the other thing that's really central to this that I love talking about is the idea of the neoliberal individual. So going back to the enlightenment, the idea of individualism is really invented, at least in Western thought. So like I said before, enlightenment thinking and liberalism was based on this idea that we should be able to be free as individuals. So then we start to have this idea of an individual, I think that now we probably don't even think about it because, you know, we just think we're all people. We're all separated. But this is actually a really cultural thing and a really I really within our historical context, some societies today don't have this idea, you know, they're more collective societies they don't think always i. So this was brought to light through this enlightenment process. And this kind of shows how these ideas do affect real life, because first of all these thinkers came up with them, then they come to be proliferated, or, or they reach the world, through governments and through leaders through schooling. And eventually, it becomes common sense thinking that we are just all these individuals who are separated from one another. And the most important thing is that I get to choose what I do, and I am in competition with you. In neoliberalism, this becomes even harsher. So like, like I said, before, under neoliberalism, there's really this idea that the government should not infringe upon our rights. Because if the government is doing anything to it, if the government is telling us anything to do, then that is immediately an infringement upon our rights. And it's interesting, because in philosophy, we have these two ideas. They're called positive and negative freedom. So positive freedom is my ability to act. So I am free to do, I'm free to do something. Negative freedom is something that was completely forgotten in neoliberalism. But it's something that's also really important, it's when you are given some restrictions that allow you to be more free. So for example, they protect you. So for example, you can really think about it, I think, a really easy way is when you think about a toddler, right? With a toddler we're always trying to do, we were always having to protect them from doing certain things, or we're always having to sort of given the conditions in which they can flourish. Because if that if they are just if they're just allowed to do anything ever actually, they can't develop and they can't become self governing people. Because they can't become people that can look after themselves as human beings that you need these restrictions on yourself. So other ways. Other things that would be examples of negative freedoms are like a schooling system, you have to, you have to learn this in this, these in these things, mathematics, reading, and things like that. So that you will actually be able to be more free in the world, because you have then have this logical understanding of how things work. You can read and write, and so you can manage yourself in the world. Neoliberalism kind of completely did away with this idea. And I think that that's a real detriment. So everything is rather just seen as a intervening on an individual who, who really needs to be deciding 100% for themselves all the time, what they should do. Yeah, I think it's, I think it's also Yeah, it's also a huge mistake, because of course, we are still living in a society and we, everyone has roads, right? There's still a push for good. There's still a social thing, we still always have stuff that is part of society that actually taxes and the government has given us. So I think it's kind of misunderstanding the world. But yeah, this is so important to me, because I just think that this really impacts every everything we do, really every part of our lives.
It seems to me, sorry, that's not a way to start a sentence that sounds like I'm gonna say something really profound, but I'm not. I've never really learned about this in like a steady kind of way like I'm aware of. But I sort of find it so interesting that it seemed to start out as a good idea that you question things and you learn things, but then at some point, it's just gone to the extreme kind of like, when did it become a good idea not to support people in our society that need help, like, yeah, it just and that's, I think worth, like Thatcher has got such a poor reputation in a lot of cultures. Yeah, in a lot of circles, because she just, it was like, I don't know if I enjoyed watching her portrayal on the crown on that series.
Yeah, it was fantastic. Ryan, I really liked it.
If anyone wants to learn about Aaron in an accessible way, that's a really good introduction.
It's not all true, obviously. But I also I also really enjoyed that because I think they did portray really well. How Yeah, kind of the her really special nature because she was a very special person, I think an interesting political figure, not one that I agree with a lot. Yeah. Yeah, it's definitely an interesting path for now. And it
was interesting to see the conflict between, you know, two women I'm taking this in a different direction now. But in the term feminism, something that I'm really all over I love the other day, it seems like the other day because I happen so quickly. But when, when Liz truss became prime minister in the Yeah. And everyone was like, Oh, it's so it's a woman, we should all be so happy. And I felt like saying, but will we all happy with, you know, Thatcher? And she was yeah, you know, this this? I don't know. Absolutely universal. I mean, just because it's a woman.
You know, it's really a simplification, I think. And yeah, I really agree with you. I'm exactly the same. I think just because it's a woman, it doesn't mean it's suddenly going to be fantastic. And I we still have, and this is the importance of I think when when feminists are being intersectional, which has, you know, this idea that we look at all these different ways that people are disempowered, different power structures. So yeah, she's a woman. But she's already within this power system. You know, so she and she already has these values. So, you know, she just because she's a woman, doesn't mean that she's immediately going to stand up for women stand up for black and brown women stand up for trans women, you know, urge poor women?
Yeah, exactly. Yeah. And I thought, yeah, there was a lot of that. That was funny.
That was a funny, funny few weeks in the UK, wasn't it? My
gosh, I listen to BBC Radio, like at night. Overnight, I have an EN. And gee whiz, even they were just, you know, for country that everything's meant to be proper and seem to be right from the
Yeah, I? Yeah. Gosh, I mean, I think my husband and I were talking about a lot. And we, I don't know, I kind of have an idea that it's like a bit of a falling empire. Like in the, in the past, you know, it was this world empire that really, obviously colonized everywhere, you know, an empire and in a terrible sense, usually empires a lack of that they do a lot of colonizing and all these terrible things. But yeah, it was an empire. And you know, they thought, the leader of progression and it's not that anymore, and it's interesting. Yeah, it's not in a very good situation.
So nearly realism, bad putting it? We don't like it. We don't like it. Yeah. What, what's the opposite to that? Is there a term that Yeah, yeah, tell me all
about that. Look, I never, I never like to just prescribe and say, Look, this is 100%, what we should do, we always say, to look at the individual conditions of a particular society. So every society is different. But in general, I argue that a social welfare system would be much better for a system of government where there are these basic protections for everyone. So all these things we talked about. So you know, childcare would be affordable, the minimum wage would be really high so that everyone can afford to live. Health care would be really accessible to everyone, there'll be a universal health care system. They wouldn't schooling wouldn't have public and private schooling, you would just have a schooling system that was accessible to everyone. There would be less of a gap between rich and poor. And at the level of decide ideology, or the idea of the individual, there would be less of a sense that we all need to be completely separate from one another, and more of a sense that we do live in a collective and that we are as human beings, in our very nature. We are collective beings and that we do flourish, we live better lives when we're more connected to one another. So there would also be these grassroots and bigger level structures that really facilitate us always connecting with people. I think that then people would also be flourishing, they'd be leading better lives, but they would also hopefully be less lonely and less isolated.
Hmm, yeah. Yeah, this sort of it's such a weird Student thing, isn't it that we've all got to be in tune, we've lost this sense of, you know, it takes a village, you know, that still rings dry. So many countries, it literally does take a village because you've got everyone around you
look at even in even my husband's culture, he's not Australian. I just see how people behave. And it's so different. You know, like in Australia, we kind of have this idea that we'll all help each other. And it's kind of true. But when I see it in these small collective cultures, it's just a totally different thing. Like you don't even I don't know you, you don't people don't even think about it. It's just part of life, you know, that you everyone's always helping one another. You never really feel alone. Sometimes it's the opposite, you know, you feel feel smothered by people. But I don't know, even things like, look, I think when it comes to being a mother, which is obviously something that both you and I are really interested in being a mother, you know, mothers are so isolated. In Australia, America, Canada, these so called Western countries, because we've been told we have to do it all alone, it doesn't make any sense. Even. You know, we have that these ideas that grandparents, you know, they shouldn't be around the family all the time. And I'm not I'm not saying that they have to have to be some slave to their grandchild or something. You know, everyone has their individual circumstances. But but you know, that other cultures do have a different idea of family where, where you're just always together and you're, you're coming popping in and out. It's not the scheduled thing where you know, you're like, Okay, well, Grandma will look after you on set at Saturday from two to four. And then I don't know, it's more just like, more of a floor. Yeah. So yeah, I think we've kind of gone wrong in that way. It's really, it's really sad thing. Yeah, I can, I mean, people are becoming more aware. And I think it's something we can change, you know, you know, if we, if we recognize a problem, I think we can start to change it. Absolutely. And
that's what I love about this, like, you know, so many people on social media, and through podcasts, and all sorts of things that are saying how they feel about things, and questioning, you know, just because we've always done this a certain way. Why do we have to keep doing it this way, is
really important. The really important thing is we haven't always done it this way. And this is something that is really, really what happens with ideology, you know, an idea becomes the main idea about something. And then the best the way it works, the best is that everyone thinks, well, we've always done this, you know, I've heard people say, like, with capitalism, a woman and older woman said to me, we've always done it this way. University has always been, you know, really expensive. And I said to her in your life, it was free. Like, in your own life, not not only so it's amazing in the cultural imagination, how we can forget.
Yes, that is very true. That is a good point. Yeah. And it's almost like, whatever idea is at the forefront of the time, that that idea wants us to forget everything else. Sort of going down. Yeah. Yeah. No.
with critical thinking, because you know, this idea of thinking about things and picking apart why something is the way it is, particularly Yeah, for kids because I think that you know, if they grow up always picking things apart. I hope that then there'll be a little bit less, like you said, brainwashed or a little bit less accepting of everything. Yeah,
absolutely. No, I love that. Talk about this idea of introducing children to these to the, to the notion of critical thinking and to social what is you had something really good on your Instagram?
Social justice? Oh, social justice concepts? Yeah. I said, You should introduce them from the very beginning, rather than sort of when they're old enough to what we think old enough to understand them. Yeah, I guess my big thing for me is that we can really break this down into ways that kids can understand whether because, yeah, I worked with kids a lot. I have my own kid. And I think it's really fun to think about for me as a challenge. Think about how we can break them down into things Kids will understand. So you really got to bring them to their level. So, yeah, if we're going to talk about social justice concepts with little kids say toddlers, we got to think, what are we really talking about with social justice? You know, we're talking about inequalities in the world and the way that some people are prejudiced against other people. Some people don't get as good a life as other people. We're really talking about what's fair, aren't we, that's the basis and you know, actually, we talk all the time to kids about what's fair, anyway, because we're really, we're teaching them this, they don't sort of come out and have an idea we anyway, we have to teach them. So why not then bring it up already, you know, in ways, you know, when I've talked to people, um, for example, on my Instagram, I've collaborated a bit with this wonderful woman Kinesia, and she does work on anti racism. And she says that, you, you, you need to actually name the things you like pretending, not saying black, not saying that kid is black, that's not going to help anyone, if they are black. And there are differences, we need to point them out and point out how they're beautiful. And point out how they're great and interesting. So you know, from the very beginning, when we're reading books with kids, make sure that they're diverse books and say, Look, you know, that mommy has white skin, that Daddy has black skin, that mommy has red hair, that day has brown hair, it's sort of you know, everyone's different. And that's what's special about us. And that's what's beautiful. And then you can point out instances, you know, in the playground of like, people being, I don't know, maybe, you know, that kid was being mean to that other kid, because they're smaller than them. That's not nice. Because just because they're bigger than them, that doesn't mean that they should be allowed to push the person around. And they you're talking about power structures? Yeah, but it's not. Yeah, I think I'm not being naive when I say that all these things are connected, I think that you're, you're setting them up to think about these things. And I just think that children are so so capable of thinking, you know, the questions they come up with are just the most amazing questions. So we should just really kind of feed into that. Yeah. And,
and you're right, like kids, they don't come out. Like, we were the same, you know, we were little the world has formed us into who we are by, you know, the concepts in the world about racism, and, you know, all those sorts of negative judgment of other people. Yeah. And if we can sort of be aware of that, and I don't know, not to that to our kids like,
exactly, putting it.
Yeah, like, Yeah,
I think we can never be, you know, part of human nature is to group ourselves. That is something which, you know, I think there's always going to be, it's always going to be a process of learning and unlearning, and it's never going to be a thing where I'm like, now I don't, now I'm not prejudiced against anyone. I like to kind of pull myself I mean, take it that I'm always racist, you know, I have internally not on purpose, but I'm always gonna have inside me, or I'm always I always have misogynistic ideas. So I always have ideas about men and women that are based on their gender that I've learned, because these are internal, we're always going to kind of have them to a certain extent. And as much as we try for our kids, they will have different prejudices, or the same ones that continue. So it's also teaching them to constantly question those as well. And to say, it's not that not to feel guilty not to say that I'm a bad person, because of this, that doesn't help anyone. But just to say, look, I'm not perfect, no one is perfect, but we're trying to build a better world. And let's kind of all be vulnerable in saying that none of us you know, none of us have pure thoughts or something like this, you know, but we're all we're trying. Yeah, we were all doing our best. Exactly. We're all doing our best, be realistic and just try our best. Yeah, I think that children are capable of, you know, of taking on the complexity of the world. And you know, like, yeah, you're not gonna say, you're not gonna make it kids obsess about it, or something. You're not gonna be like, but also we, you know, and this is something that it's hard for all of us. It's hard for me, children are people and they're, you know, they have all different emotions, like everyone, they can't be happy all the time. And, you know, so it's not a bad thing that they feel sad. And I think when when we grew up often, there was this idea that you just shouldn't point these things out. You shouldn't talk about it. Yeah, at least where I grew up, and yeah, and yeah, but If you didn't see it, right, like, as a kid, you're kind of confused because you're like, why someone talking about this stuff? And then you think it's a bad thing to even address or talk about, I kind of feel like we're living in a different context now, because we live in a much more global society. And, you know, we have access, and our kids have access to people from all over the world via the internet, and, and I kind of knew that they might grow up having a more global sense. And having said that, yeah, I think the only way things really change in the end is kind of at a smaller level. So that's it, isn't it? Yeah. But
I was gonna rely on it today, we decided it was a good idea not to use plastic straws. And on the, you know, it's just one straw said, you know, 13 million people, you know, so it's like, every single person and do something. And yeah, you know, it does start with little actions. And I don't think exactly, the value of those.
Exactly. I'm always kind of the arguing that the minute that it needs to be we need to as individuals push for structural change, we need to stop, you know, governments and big companies from doing the things that they are because often with this, with our society being so focused on individuals, they, the dialogue on purpose is pushed towards these individual changes. So yeah, for us are important, but as long as they speak, all companies is still mining. And still, you know, as long as governments are still in Australia, you know, the government is heavily heavily embedded with a big mining companies. As long as this is the case, then, if we recycle, that's only going to do so much that's going to be both.
Yeah, yeah, I definitely agree with that. Yeah, for sure. You're listening to the art of being a mom with my mom, Alison Newman. I want to read out one of the quotes that you have on your Instagram, completely relate to and I love it so much, I want to frame it and put on my wall, a mother's identity and sense of self is tied to the and then in brackets, lack of social recognition she receives for her labor. Now that basically in a nutshell, is how I felt. After I had my child, my identity went down the drain, because all I was expected to do was look after a child and I kept thinking, I'm so capable. I've worked full time I've done all this stuff. But now all society wants me to do is sit on the floor and play with this baby. And it just felt so weird. And I was challenged very much. So yes, yeah, that's,
that's, um, yeah, I think so many of us go through this. And you know, on the one hand it is there are two sides to it. On the one hand, you have that. For some, for some women, this is so monotonous. And this is just, you know, women are told that they need to absolutely love being a mother every single moment. And this is a this is a patriarchal idea, because it's based on the idea that women are just naturally made to be nurturers. This is your God given role. And some women simply don't feel that and that's totally okay. And, you know, one person isn't meant to completely bring up a child. On the other hand, I think that capitalism really puts this emphasis on our job, and our identity is totally tied to our job. And I talked about that a little bit in the in the Instagram post. So identity is so tied to our job that when we go on maternity leave, have this complete identity crisis. You know, it's an existential crisis, that just means crisis related to our understanding of the meaning of life existentialism, yeah, meaning of life. So yeah, whole idea is what does my life actually mean? I'm not doing anything, and that's because doing is always within capitalism producing. Yeah, and also, I'm not earning a wage for this. And so therefore, this is meaningless. When actually what you are doing is you're contributing to society by bringing human beings into it. You know, you this is a huge part of it. I mean, this is one of the biggest ways that you are contributing to society, like babies fundamentally cannot look after themselves. So Yeah, so I think that we're kind of women and mothers are really put in this catch 22 situation you can't win either way, right? If you stay home, you want to be a stay at home mom, no, you're not doing anything meaningful, you're not producing. And then you're in your, you know, even some people will say, Are your bad feminists, which is completely not true, because feminism should be about women choosing what they do with their lives. So as they're not harming anyone else. And then on the other hand, you have, if you want to go back to work, you're abandoning your child, your your role as a woman is to look after your child. So yeah, women really can't win in this literally cannot
win. I'm just looking for this quote, I had a guest last the last year or this year, I can't remember now. Charlotte Conde who's an an artist from the US, and she had a quote that I love, and I'm finding it because I've got to say it right? I can't, I can't not say it right, because it's awesome. Where is it? Hello, Charlotte, if you're listening, alright, here we go. This is it says, as mothers were asked to raise human beings and also contribute to society, as if those two things were different.
It's exactly what's so well, what's because society somehow under capitalism has become the economic world. Yeah, it, it has become just that and not all these other aspects of society. Yeah, and, you know, sometimes the word care economy is used to talk about how this is that, you know, is also a sort of economy where we're producing but I think even we don't even need to use those terms. It's just the fact that nurturing one another is one of the main human acts in the way that we, you know, part of being human and living a good life. Not to mention that we, there's no way around it like either way. Either way, look after our children at home or other people look after children in a childcare center. It is still this care, right? Yeah. Yeah, people need that. So yeah, we is really the fact that they consider different things as a real problem.
Hmm. And again, I think that's, yeah, this one off, like I sometimes bash men too much. But this whole it's not individual men. It's the snobbery. It's been going for hundreds and hundreds of years. It's not a new thing. But here's an interesting post. I can't remember who wrote it. Just last night, I was reading that. The whole idea of being a natural mother. Nurture is a concept that was created by men by the patriarchy.
Exactly, I'm sure.
Because that's yeah, I felt that when I was first giving my baby his very first bath, and did not know what to do. I thought, how, like, I remember saying to the nurse, I was verbally like, how do I push with the facewash? Like all these? You don't know, just your instincts. I'm like
yeah, you got this tiny, tiny little, little alien looking thing. That's the funny thing. Yes. Somehow, when actually moms and dads Oh, parents, just learning the same as one another, you know, like, what? Yeah, when, when my daughter was born, my husband and I were both equally terrified of giving her a bath. Because you know this. So like, how do I hold them? What do I do? And it's like, yes, you're all learning together? Yeah. absolutely absurd. This idea. And you're right, it, of course, does come from patriarchy. Because there's this thing called Gender essentialism. I'm sure you kind of know the idea, or at least maybe not the term. So I was gonna say not probably not in those words, but I know, you would know it for sure. Yeah. So gender essentialism is basically just saying that certain qualities are inherently female, and certain qualities are inherently male. So the female ones would be nurturing, soft, emotional, kind of soft, and all these things and then the male ones would be hard reasoning. unemotional because of anger isn't an emotion in this context. And kind of separated from other people. And these ideas, yeah, are really fundamental to the way that we think about people of different genders and then yeah, becoming a mother. You're just so pushed into this. Because I guess in the workforce, you know, you can kind of there are a lot of still a lot of limits on women, but you can kind of go into a field that you're interested in that but with mothering, you're really, really pushed into that. I am a nurturer. I have to be a nurturer. And it's done. You know, like like with any things some people take more than that. And some people don't. And that's totally okay. And also, we're all learning mums and dads we all learn when none of us are just just born to be parents.
Yeah, that's so true. And like, even with my two kids, like, I've adjusted the way I've parented them, because they're different people. So I'm learning as I go. Yeah, because not every child is the same everywhere, like every person is different. So it's an interesting concept, isn't it? I love all this creep. I love this stuff like this. Just why? Why do we think like this?
When we started, get addicted to it, and sometimes people are, my friends are annoyed at me, because you know, you kind of have a normal conversation. You're like,
Oh, I love that. Other things that you've sort of delved into, on your page? Obviously, politics, but diet culture? is a good one. Can you share some of your interesting thoughts about that about? Oh, yeah. And I noticed earlier, when you described yourself, you said, I've got a smaller body. Yeah, I live in a smaller body. Yeah, sorry, are you live in a smaller body?
I'm not an expert on this whatsoever. The with this, just like, you know that I would never say that I am the person that everyone should be listening to about racism. I'm not the person that people should be fundamentally listening to about diet culture. But I do think that it's a really important thing to talk about. But look, it's women that are people that are living in larger bodies, that really the ones we should be listening to, because they're the ones that experience, the experience, prejudice, and fat shaming and all these things. So I'm trying, I'm really in the process of learning as well, I think. Because, you know, this idea that to be thin is good. And to be bigger is bad. This is something that's so deeply ingrained, you know, that like, somehow these are moral things. And also, somehow these are things that we can totally control. And, and if you're not, then you just need to try harder with them. So, yeah, so yeah, I like all of us, I grew up, just hearing from everyone around me, people are constantly criticizing themselves about their body, you know, and especially women, not only women, but especially women is such a collective thing we do you know. And then, of course, after you have a baby, it's the thing we do, and we just waste so much time focusing on our bodies, how much were the things we want to change and what we paid about our bodies and things like this. But the reason why I think it's important to talk about it as a diet culture, like as an ideology we have in societies because what we learn from fat people are people that are living in larger bodies. So I purposely use the word fat because, you know, when we grew up, we're taught you shouldn't use the word fat. It's like an insult to someone. And there are some activists like Aubrey Gooden who I don't know whether, you know, the podcast maintenance phase, it's one of my favorite podcasts. Yeah, yeah. You know, she, she kind of says this, this is a descriptive term. I believe that different people kind of have different ideas like about this. But what I've learned is that, yeah, it's just a descriptive term. And as well as that to say things like I'm living in a smaller body, I'm or someone who's living in a larger body with saying that this is just the body we live in. We're not. We kind of haven't chosen this. And we know, it's just based on genetics. It's based on, you know, our stress levels. It's based on what our social context is, you know, how much money we have the availability of food, how much time we have to prepare food or exercise, what sort of weather conditions, we have just so many things we cannot control, we fundamentally cannot control it. And so I think it's so important to talk about how there's so much prejudice against people who are not thin, just fundamentally and this is quite a new thing that is being talked about now. And there's so much pushback against it because we have so much obsession with thinness and, you know, the things that people talk about that they you know, the prejudice that they face, even just simple things like to get medical care you would know, from listening to maintenance phase, you know, the stuff that Aubrey Gordon talks about and how people you know, as kids, they will be put on diets. And everyone says that, well, that's okay. Because they just, you know, we just want them to be healthy. And the psychological effects of that are just terrible. So I think it's so important to talk about. So while Yeah, you know, while I, as a person, of course, have gone through a process of, you know, learning to have more neutrality toward my body, and things like this, and I am really trying to teach my kid to have a positive relationship with food. So for nothing, this is good food. This is bad food. Often Intuitive Eating is a term that's caught that's used around this. I think, really, though, the fundamental thing is that we need to think about these power structures and how fat people are just completely completely, you know, they really suffer from inequality in so many ways, because of this prejudice. And someone pointed out to me correctly that, you know, on social media on Instagram, so many people talking about intuitive eating and talking about diet culture, are people living in smaller bodies, and often white women, you know, so. So we, you know, I, we can only say so much about this, it's not really our authority, I think we need to really have a lot more diverse people talking about this, and, you know, to really listen to them.
Yeah, I think that's really true. Similarly, with, like, we're talking about before about how I sort of speak to my children about things, we found weight, like I I'm a fat person, I'm not ashamed to say that because there it's like saying, I'm, I'm tall, and I'm fat. You know, they're descriptive. Exactly.
This. Yeah, this is the thing. I think, also, it's like about everyone's own relationship with themselves, like, whatever, I guess whatever you choose to identify with. Yeah, is important. Yeah.
But like, I explained to my kids that, you know, I showed my, my youngest son's never seen me, in a thin body, I was, I have a different time in my life. My weights fluctuated. But I showed him a picture the other day of when I was my lightest, and he couldn't believe it was me. And I said, I'm exactly the same person that I am, as I was, then like, I'm actually a happier and more settled person now. It doesn't change, like, you know, whether I'm good at something or bad at something, maybe, you know, Netflix is different. But you know, I'm still, but it's
not like a moral a moral thing. It doesn't say that. Because, like, Okay, I live in a smaller body, but I'm not good, athletic, you know? And I'm not my diet isn't the best, you know, that's the other thing that like, no one ever is sort of looking at me eating pancakes or something and being like, oh, you know, gee, you should pick a healthier option or something. I mean, of course, like, maybe my grandma did, because, you know, like, that's that generation. And that was like, you know, just so ingrained for them that they're always kind of policing and worrying, maybe you will get bigger, maybe we'll you know, like as it but you know, no one, you know, for fat people that it's a public thing that can go in, you can go in public without being harassed in this way. And this constant microaggressions. And yeah, so I just don't think it makes sense. Because, yeah, people don't know what anyone's diet is. And also, it's irrelevant. totally irrelevant to other people what someone eats. I mean, I just think tying the moral thing as if it makes you a good or bad person is absolutely absurd. Like, how is it got to do with anyone else? Or whether you're a good person? Because like I said, it also depends on so many factors like, like, ultra if you're, you know, if you're tired parent, if you don't have much money, or so many things, and even if you even if you do have the ability to eat healthier and choose Not, not the word health isn't very good to eat more whole foods or something. If you don't, it's your own choice. You know, like, just like people choose to do different jobs, people choose to have leisure time doing different things.
And it's funny, though, like, we talked before about this, neoliberalism is all about the self, but we're so obsessed with everybody else. It's like, yeah, there's you so big, like, has it always been? Yeah. People always.
I think, I think it has, yeah, I don't like this something about, you know, like, I don't agree with the idea that, you know, society is worse than ever, in that sense. Because, you know, also even when we talk about neoliberalism, look, there were periods where we had greater social welfare and things like that, but fundamentally looking back In history, it was much worse, you know, because we were like, kings and staffs. We were there was just slaves and slave owners, you know. So that was funneling until there are still slaves in the world. You know, there are a lot. So, yeah, we have to put it in context like that. And when it comes to beat judging each other. Yeah, I think that now we just, it's more public because we have these avenues. But look, when we, I mean, I don't really know what happened before writing was a thing. But you know, you look at these old publications from few 100 years ago, newspapers, that it's all gossip there, it just does seem to be this human thing. to gossip about each other, and to compare and to judge. Yeah. Um, yeah, I mean, we, we kind of do do that. Yeah. And, but the difference is with this constant, it's more constant now. Because we just can't, I mean, think about the amount of different opinions and messages we're reading a day, or we're listening to a day, it's just so much. So I think that's why it can feel so overwhelming.
Now, I'm gonna lead this into something that I talked to all my guests about, is this concept of, of guilt, or particularly mom guilt. Yeah. And the more that we talk about it, the more I believe that the whole culprit of it is this, what society expects us to be as mothers, so that we think we've got to do so we put these on ourselves, and when we don't meet them, then we feel bad about it. So it's an external construct. It's a thing that's coming at us. And I feel like, because of social media, it's just heightened the whole thing, because we can see so much more, you know, before we heard that, such and such down the road was doing such and we go, oh, shouldn't do that. Blah, blah, blah. There's she might not have known that. But now, it's, you know, people can tell each other what they think of them all the time.
Exactly. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. You're right. It's, it's just constant. And also, it's, it's really difficult, because I think as well, we seek out connection on social media. And I think, and I think that, you know, for isolated mothers, we do kind of want to see others that are in the position like us that are also mothers at home with their kids, especially when they're little you know, when you're on maternity leave, or when you're in that really difficult phase, then you really want to think like, and you and like you said before, you're thinking what is my life, all I'm doing is Baby Alive. So on the way Yeah, and that is kind of maybe part of the reason why we do also we're so vulnerable. And then, and then we look to these images of other people and social media. And I think that there is just there are parts that are really positive, and I kind of try and stay stick to them. There are parts that are really saying that, you know, we just need to be good enough parents, and you know, we're all doing our best. And then there are parts that you know, they'll have this really nicely curated feed where it just shows them doing this lovely activity with the kids and they're all wearing matching outfits, their hair is washed, and they're like, there's no mess. There's no crumbs on the ground. There's no like,
and you know that it's not real. It's not
real. It's not real. But on the other hand, like when you're in this vulnerable mental position, you kind of can think how can how can I live that way? And how come I don't? Yeah, exactly. Yeah, like, for me personally, I don't know. I think in those early days of being a mom, like in the newborn phase, I never I never thought that you know that that was real. I never thought I want it to be like that. But at the same time I I definitely did. And I still do experience mom guilt just thinking because we have these were socially conditioned, like you said, to have certain ideas about what a mom should do. We have. I think that this is ideal of a mother that it's not even it's not a person. It's like this thought, you know, that we all have in our cultural thinking. And we compare everything according to that. And it's this idea that's been perpetuated by patriarchy so not by men, but by this idea that women are a certain way and that women are meant to do this. And women play a big part in perpetuating it as well. You know, women also perpetuate patriarchy we all we all do. But because this is they are ingrained thinking. And yeah, so I, I would think, you know, I think I would compare a bit more with like other mothers I saw around, you know, like, why does she look so well dressed and I'm wearing trackies and haven't washed my hair and have stressed pimples or whatever, you know, like, or why do I feel? Yeah, or I don't know, when my daughter started becoming an older baby. You know, my daughter is on super energetic side is she's amazing. She, I mean, she's just full of life and ready to go all the time. And it's completely amazing. Like, people always comment on it, but it's tiring. Yeah. Like, I mean, even. And so once she started, I don't know, I was so obsessed in love with her and still am. But as a baby, I sort of said to my husband, like, do you think? What would you think if I took longer maternity leave? So I am in a really lucky position that we've sort of could choose how long I would stay home with it. I don't get paid for any of that. And we're not like, in a insanely good financial position. Like we sort of said, Then during this time, we won't save. But of course, having said that, compared to most women in the world, that's a hugely privileged position. Like for me, for us to even say that. So yeah, and he was like, Yeah, of course. But you can, however long you want, you know, maybe till two or whatever. And then she got close to one. And I was like, starting to think, Oh, my God, I cannot handle these days of constant energy, like, because it would just be like, if we were at home, she'd be running around, and she would be kind of annoyed. And it makes sense, because she's, like, pent up, she needs to get this energy out. There's not enough to do in it. We live in an apartment. That's not enough. You know, in Australia, houses are super common. And a lot of the world people live in apartments, and it's fine. But um, yeah, and we would, I would take it apart twice a day, and it wasn't enough. And I felt really guilty because I was, like, I love my daughter. I should be loving this, when actually it doesn't make sense. But just because I love her doesn't mean I need to love every second of it. Yeah, yeah, we ended up sending out a daycare. And we're all she asked if she is thriving, you know, I, and I'm a much better parent for that. Sometimes I do still feel guilty. You know, my husband has to remind me. And it's interesting that he reminds me, he's, he's a very good feminist. You know, he, he understands why he wouldn't say that, because I think he always he doesn't like to say, you know, like, as a man, he doesn't want to say that. But I think he is aware of all these things and sort of tries to think critically about it. But anyway, he says to me why you feel guilty? You know, she loves it. She wants to be there. But then I don't know just decide. I guess it is just this cultural ideas of like, oh, but she should be with me, even though it doesn't make sense. If she was like, the other day she was home sick with me. And we're both are not in. Too much. You know, she wants to be there playing with other friends and doing the million activities they do at daycare. Yeah, I can't provide her with like, 10 activities a day.
Yeah. Yeah, look, what you're saying is so, so true, and so relatable. It's that notion that, like you said, we love our children, but we don't have to love every second of this mothering roles that were you know, an
expectation. We love every moment. We don't love every moment of anything, but yet, but then
he was coming back. We're hauled over the coals if we say, if we publicly you know, say, Oh, gee, this was really hard today. Well, you want
to become a parent. Yeah.
Many people whinge about their job. Like they love their job. But jeez, I had a hard day. Oh, well, you shouldn't winter is reserved for us.
Of a year, this is our natural role. That's what we're supposed to be doing it. Yeah, it's absolutely ridiculous. And I think that, yeah, like, like, we really need this outlet to just say this is hard, sometimes just like everything, and also fundamentally that, like, society doesn't really support mothers. And so because we don't have that village, because we don't have the it makes it that much harder.
That's for sure. I don't know how many of us do it, to be honest, when you think about everything we've got going against us. Yeah,
I mean, I mean, I don't know. I feel like I'm, you know, in such a privileged position, and I'm really tired all the time. And like, you know, people do that so much harder, you know, and I had to know, it's, I'm just in awe, really, but they shouldn't have to, they shouldn't have to, you know, yeah,
that's so true. It's frustrating, isn't it? Now I want to ask you, there's a great reel that you made a few weeks ago. It's great. I'm really that bad.
This is a big thing for me, because I actually want to, I want to talk about this again, because this is like this obsession, absolute obsession with AD generation. I feel like all parents at the moment, and yeah, look, if you look at it, if you look at it in a historical context, like I say, I'll just kind of repeat what I said in the real because I mean, it's true that every generation has this crisis about some new technology that's going to destroy young people in the time of the ancient Greek philosophers like Plato, so this is like, about 2000 years ago, they thought that writing was going to destroy everyone, because the oral tradition was how we, how they communicated. And you know, through memorizing, that was a huge thing. Because of course, if you didn't memorize, then how were you going to ever remember anything? And how would ideas ever be passed on so that I will now we write it down, now the kids aren't going to remember anything, how, you know, this is going to be a catastrophe. And then, of course, then the printing press, we have books proliferated, that was a crisis. And then of course, the ones we know, which are like, radio, radio was a disaster. Now, of course, it's funny, because people think the radio is like a good alternative to screen time. Not watching. People just gonna be listening all the time. And then they're sitting there listening, and they're not moving around. And then TV, of course, which still goes on, and then the internet, you know, so I just think that yes, there are these recommendations that we have. But when we obsess over them, we're just really not thinking in context. Because we're, we're not thinking about the fact that, like, the alternative, we think that the alternative to screentime is like this, this 100% quality time with a parent or with some other caregiver, where they're just flourishing, and they're, you know, they're just absolutely taking everything in and learning. And, you know, for like, in the past, the alternative was probably working for a lot of children in the world. Now. The alternative is working, bored, either working in paid labor or working at home helping with the helping maintain the home. Or if it's not that, you know, it won't necessarily be this quality one on one time, all the time. And even if we talk about, even if we don't talk about that, we just talked about our own context. Then it, I just don't think it's the worst thing in the whole world. They don't. Kids don't need 100% quality time, all the time. It's impossible. And you're also going to have parents who are kind of regulated and feeling okay, and, and I really think it's part of this mom guilt, it feeds into this mom guilt thing again, because realistically, how are you going to cook dinner? With, you know, a few kids around you, especially if they're young? Or how are you gonna, you know, get all chores done? Or how are you audits? Maybe you just need to relax. It doesn't even need me that, you know, maybe you just need a minute. Yeah. You know, without them doing this. And I think that often the people that do do no screen time ever, at least the ones that I've heard are in a really privileged position, you know. And so then for people who have juggling so many things just feel so bad that their kids watching TV. I just think it just, I don't know, it's just guilt for nothing. And also, I just think that when we look back historically, like, maybe we won't be like, Oh, my God, look, they were staring at screens all the time. Maybe because that's just part of our world. Yeah, like springs are part of our world.
Yeah. And the truth is, I think if you don't give your child a little bit of access to that technology, they're gonna get left behind at school.
That's the other thing. Yeah. Because Because actually, they need to learn these skills. And that's kind of the approach we're taking that we're going to try and as soon as we can I don't know what age they started at, like four or five or I haven't looked into it yet, but it tries to do like kids coding for. Yeah, yeah. because, I mean, that's kind of gonna be really important. And yeah, that's the future. That's the world now, and I don't know anything about coding. And so I'm kind of like, in the dark already, you know. And so I just don't think that, yeah, that track, we're trying to protect our kids from things. I think rather, we just need to think how we can nurture them to safely and, and in a nice way, use those things.
This is a really long bow to draw. But it's like, in the times when you'd say to teenagers don't have sex, it's like, well, they're gonna have sex, so teach them how to use a condom.
Right? So Right, exactly, you just say just don't use it. And then they're gonna go on the internet themselves. Or watch shows? Well, anyway, they watch shows on the internet, go on social media, whatever themselves, and they're gonna have no understanding if you don't teach them, like how to tell if something is factually based How to tell if something is safe, you know, or something that is comfortable for them, you know? Or how to ask you if it's something uncomfortable on the internet happens to them to tell you and yeah, exactly like this creepy purple, they're selling to me or something. Instead, they'll just hide it.
And then they're getting more on. Yeah, yeah. So
I'd say waiting until they're teenagers to talk about their safety on the internet, and to let them have access. I think it doesn't make sense. That's not to say that I'm gonna let my kid sit there and do anything on the internet. Yeah, of course not. But but you got to, you've got to give them I think, begin was small levels of freedom and make it bigger and bigger in ways that they can cope with. Yeah, and it's
no different to like, if you sent your kid out a little, a little toddler out into a big kid's playground, or, you know, just gonna go get run over and go sit and drink your coffee and not watch you know, it's, it's a part of life and trying to do it in a safe way. So your child's protected and, and if that's important, that communication to like, to bid for them to come to you and say, Hey, this happened, what do I do? Or how do I navigate this? Or, you know, it's so important that they keep talking to you?
Yeah, I mean, I'm sure you, of course, would have so much more experience with this. For me, this is all theoretical, and just thinking about it. Because I know it's so hard for parents to work, navigate this whole online thing. But like you said, we just got to, we got to acknowledge this is the world this is the world they live in. They don't, you know, they don't remember a world before the internet. You know, we, you and I remember when it shows our age, but we remember, you know, I had the time before the internet. And so I really think of it as something that happened. They don't think like that. They're just like, yeah, that's the world like when I my toddler she has she's on a tablet. And I don't think that it's some huge disaster that she knows how to, like change the video or something. You know, she can press it as like, yeah, like, because that's just like she's learning all these other skills in the world. Yeah, just letting her do that. Yeah, of course. It's so much easier for her. Yeah.
And yeah, it's a story I often reflect on my seven year old we were talking once about how we used to have our phones on the wall so you remember to pick up the phone it only went a certain distance like the cord was stuck to the curly cord Yeah, and he said how did you play your games while it was stuck on the wall? I'm like what? Because had it because he's imagining I've got my phone stuck on the game's
amazing I love it.
It's not normal world that didn't have this stuff in it and it got it blows my mind
like how different because especially because we live in a time when technology progressed so rapidly and now it's kind of seems like it's a little bit plateauing again, like we haven't you know they're trying to do like VR and things like that now but but you know, within the last kind of 20 years it's just been massive with the smartphones and with how fast the internet is and things like this. But yeah, it's so funny. This is really good channel on YouTube, which is something like teenagers try out old technology or something.
Yeah, yeah, I know what you're a
funny how like they're trying to use a video player and they're trying to work out like how you would put it in. And the funniest thing is when you know that cord comes out, you know the tape or whatever. The real inside it comes out and every one of our generation discuss art because then you have to fix it with a pen.
I love that. There's a post it's like what's the relationship and they show? Only certain faithful over certain days you'll know what you
find mental part of our life and now like, yeah, they just have no idea what it is. And yeah, it's okay to because, you know, things change and we don't need to, like be romantic about it, but I think you know, because but yeah, it is funny. It is quite incredible, but I think that they're gonna be, you know, do amazing things with this technology is such capability. Yeah. Oh, absolutely.
And again, I think if your kids not aware of it or understands or knows what even what it is like that is the future they will they will get left behind that's not present. It's literally sorry. Yes, it is. It's the present. It's happening right now. And if you can't engage in that way, you are just not going to be involved in the conversation, which is
Yeah, yeah. Exactly. Bla bla
what what platforms are you on? I know you're on Instagram. Are
you on? Yeah. Yes, I'm on Instagram. I've just started a YouTube as well, because I wanted to do longer videos. Because obviously, all of these concepts. I think it's really fun. And I really like it that I can communicate things to people in a really short way on Instagram, but I'm, yeah, I'm on YouTube. So I'm, I'm, yeah, so you can find me there. And I'm on Twitter as well, if you use Twitter, and I'm just, I'm just developing my website, I hope that it will be out soon. And my kind of hope with this whole project is and this is why I started this whole thing is I wanted to move toward or incorporate doing courses for parents and really for people in general, but focusing on parents like feminism for parents and different critical thinking for parents things like that, and provide different resources. So yeah, I'm really working a lot on that at the moment.
Yeah, excellent. I love that. I'll put all the links in the shownotes for people if they want to find you. I've just found
that I mean, I'm still learning. I'm still learning.
It's good fun. My. Yeah, it's good, fun. Look, thank you so much for sharing your ideas with the world and for communicating in a very non condescending manner. It's really lovely.
Honestly, I think if there's one thing like, we're all learning, and I just, I don't know, we're all learning and yeah, and the more we can all talk about things, the better, I think but it's been so nice. Thank you so much. Yeah, no, no
worries at all. Thank you.
Thanks for your company today. If you've enjoyed this episode, I'd love you to consider leaving us a review, following or subscribing to the podcast, or even sharing it with a friend who you think might be interested. If you or someone you know would like to be a guest on the podcast. Please get in touch with us via the link in the show notes. I'll catch you again next week for another chat with an artistic mum. Helen Thompson is a childcare educator and baby massage instructor. And she knows being a parent for the first time is challenging and changes your life in every way imaginable. Join Helen each week in the first time mums chat podcast, where she'll help ease your transition into parenthood. Helen aims to offer supported holistic approaches and insights for mums of babies aged mainly from four weeks to 10 months of age. Helens goal is to assist you to become the most confident parents you can and smooth out the bumps along the way. Check out first time mums chat at my baby massage.net forward slash podcast