The Family: Conservative, Psychoanalytical, Anarchist, and Materialist Readings

  • Faith Agostinone-Wilson
Part of the Marxism and Education book series (MAED)


If anyone doubts the relevancy of Marx for today’s world, or that his analysis is “inadequate” when applied to the domestic sphere, one should take a look at the numerous posting boards that are visited daily by countless moms— both stay-at-homes and working moms. The following post from illustrates the direct impact of capitalist society on the family and mothers in particular. It also makes glaringly clear the absolute lack of any kind of social safety net, leaving families to fend for themselves:

I am a stay-at-home mom with an autoimmune disease.… I know that if I stayed at home without doing activities with my daughter, I would go nuts. She is a late talker (diagnosed with pervasive development disorder) and most of the time screeches, whines, or drags me around by the hand. Unless of course we are outside playing, and then she is thoroughly happy and stops annoying me (the high pitch screeching has been really getting on my nerves and she does it because it bothers me).

I like being outside as well so going outside makes her happy, which makes me happy. I also get bored “playing” in the house. We go to the parks a lot. When it rains or is too cold, we go to the toy store. And I of course get followed around by the store clerk getting the evil eye while my 2 year old plays with every single electronic toy that you can press buttons in the packaging. I go anyways. Maybe I’m rude. I don’t know. I’m just trying to keep my sanity.

I joined a Mothers of Preschoolers group 2 years ago. It’s run through various churches, though you do not need to be part of the church or even Christian to join. They meet during the school year, but usually groups will have activities over the summer at homes, like play dates and stuff. Twice a month during the school year, they have meetings where other people watch your kids while you get 3 hours to socialize, listen to a speaker, or do arts/crafts. Frankly I think some of the speakers and arts/crafts are stupid, but being able to have the babysitting and socializing with other moms is still worth it.

Getting a network of friends, or failing that, acquaintances (I don’t really have friends currently, but I have a lot of other moms that I hang out with in various clubs/groups/church I belong to) is important to keep your sanity.

Do you have family nearby? You don’t necessarily have to have the best relationship to ask them for help. Having them watch your kids for even a few hours a week, once per week, might help you get some sanity back.

I know it’s hard having fibromyalgia. I have something similar. Your body aches all the time. Your joints hurt or your muscles hurt. And you have chronic fatigue that is quite debilitating. And no one else seems to understand or thinks you’re just being melodramatic. And for some unexplained reason, you seem to get sick a lot, and don’t have good immunity towards anything. People will say things to you like “just get over it” or “toughen up” or older people will say things like “you’re more than half my age, what’s wrong with you?!” Or you try to do activities with your kids, and by the time your husband gets home, he wants dinner on the table and the kid(s) screaming and all you want to do is go to bed, too tired to take your clothes or shoes off your body.

Just try to ask for help. It’s hard. Especially if you don’t know who to ask or have no one to ask. Finding your network is a chore in and of itself. I am about to move, and my network that took me awhile to set up I will have to reestablish. I won’t have family where we’re going. But, I’ve already gone on to the web and found a couple groups. My husband wanted to go to a church that didn’t really have kids’ activities at it and didn’t have many members. I stood my ground and said that our church had to have kids’ Sunday school by age, and have family groups to interact with, and be not too far of a drive from home. I am not sure if he’s still mad at me for putting down all those rules. But that’s what I needed. We had several weeks of debate. We haven’t moved up there yet, but it was based on a couple visits when he interviewed and then we house hunted. And visiting web sites. I also found the town’s “Newcomers” group which has a subgroup for moms.

I know there are lupus support groups. You might get ideas from other moms who have fibro, and what they are doing to cope or what they did if their kids are older. I don’t know if you have two cars or not. My husband and I did with one car for so many years, but when my daughter was 1, I needed a car for myself since public transit around here is unreliable… and where we are moving, there just are not public buses.


Child Care Nuclear Family Family Form Domestic Labor Romantic Love 
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© Faith Agostinone-Wilson 2010

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  • Faith Agostinone-Wilson

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