Everyday, or almost every day, I open my reader in anticipation. That someone will be writing something that makes me smile, makes me tear up a little and get that “huff” in my chest. That someone will make me angry because they’re right. That someone will write with such clarion beauty my heart will pause for a moment to acknowledge it.
More and more, I open it glad that I subscribe to so many news and science feeds.
It’s not just online fatigue, although I know it’s some of that as well. There comes a time when it’s all been done-where you’ve had the breastfeeding discussions and the organic arguments and the daycare hissy fits. You’ve talked, you’ve bonded, you’ve agreed. You’ve found your kindred spirits, reveled in the fact that they are your kindred spirits, embroidered their names on trucker hats. But then, life, real life, you know, the one at your door with a package or the one blowing on the breeze through the window? It intrudes and people wander away.
Leaving, in many cases, either new people singing the same songs, or old people singing the same songs for money.
At least once every 3 days lately there’s been a post or a reference to some “bad mom” movement that’s suddenly everywhere-in papers, magazines. How it’s ok to not be so perfect all the time.
It’s funny-I seem to remember having that discussion with Karrie, Edenza and Kim a lot about 3 or 4 years ago, all of us agreeing we weren’t that perfect mother, never would be, and not much caring. Our mothering identities were weird, but solid.
Post after post seems to be filled with hand-wringing and proclamations about how we’re all just mother’s, and no one is bad or good. (Gee, coulda used that in January) Or how it’s terrible to be a bad mother, harming our children, or embrace it! Let them run with scissors and fall asleep eating gum! RIOT!
Are we so insecure in our parenting that we have to rush to embrace the nearest and dearest cause celeb in order to define it? Or is it just another way to generate page hits? Are any of us TRULY worried about this, or are we writing about it because we’ve seen it in a few places, and it might look good to be worried. Wouldn’t want to actually think we’re good mothers.
I’ve had my moments of worry, but they’re buffeted by the knowledge that I’m not a bad mother. I’m A mother. No more, no less. I’m not hurting my children, unless punishing Vivian for a major offence with the loss of her birthday party is considered pain. I parent them as I believe children should be-hands off, standing back, just enough rope to choke on. Raising them to the adults, the women I want them to be.
That’s what missing in all of these posts-it’s ALL about the mother. What SHE does. What SHE likes. What SHE believes. The children?
Well, they’re there. Somewhere, if the writing is to be believed. But it’s bad, or good, to act like the children don’t matter, that the only person with a point of view in the parenting relationship is the mother.
Hooey. Sticky, green hooey.
Parenting, mothering can be done without labels, without cute t-shirts illustrating how badass we are, without posts rattling on about how labeled or UNlabeled we are.
I’d settle for mother’s who didn’t judge the shit out of other people, but that’s just me.