It’s funny to me, keeping in mind all that a mom does, that the “career” of motherhood is so looked down upon today. College educated women are putting off marriage and procreation in the pursuit of a successful career- sometimes at the sake of personal relationships- to support themselves in an ever increasingly expensive America. Our society encourages selfishness. Buy more expensive cars. Live in the “cool” part of the city. Wear the best brands/ designers/ styles. Wear expensive shoes. Coordinate your pets to your lifestyle. Don’t let anyone, be it the government, a member of the opposite sex, your parents, or your own misgivings, stand in your way to keep you from what you want.
Don’t misunderstand me- making and spending money is absolutely fun. To an extent, it is fulfilling. I am not “bashing” education, a successful career, having nice things or pursuing a fun life. But, eventually (I would think), living the “Peter Pan” life- the life where one never truly grows up, but merely prolongs adolescence in the pursuit of the next party- just looks silly. By “looks silly”, I mean, truly, the people that live the Peter Pan life, look ridiculous after a certain age. There’s no number for that, but the women in their 40s, wearing tiny clothing and getting trashed at the dance club, look absurd. So do the men picking up girls half their age. Having minimal adult responsibilities and putting off adulthood eventually produces an emotionally infantile grown- up. Relationship skills are pretty low on the importance ladder when you’re always on the playground.
What, pray tell, does any of this have to do with motherhood?
I’ll get there, itchy britches.
There’s something that bothers me greatly in our society today, and not just for the moral degradation of us all. Today we are bombarded with images and media telling women to quit acting like ladies if they want to “get the man”. What these girls, because let’s face it, women who aren’t ladies are really just big “girls”, fail to see is the flip side of this coin: the man they’re trying to “get” has already been “gotten” multiple times, by other girls, just like them. The sexual revolution has afforded girls the pretense of having adult things while still getting to act like girls (this goes for men too). You can have a big girl job, wear big girl clothes, live in a big girl apartment, and have big girl sex. There’s no trying involved- if you want sex you have it- and there aren’t any real repercussions for doing so. The men that jump in and out of bed with multiple women aren’t going to respect the girl beforehand, and he certainly won’t respect her after, so there’s not much to lose. There’s no courtship, no pursuit of a relationship, and half the time there isn’t even a phone call or breakfast after. Society tells women it’s ok to keep pushing off marriage (and who wants to marry bed hoppers when you can just keep bed hopping?) to keep having fun.
Do you remember that scene in Pinocchio when the puppet boy realizes that the party isn’t so fun anymore?
The degradation of society may lead to or stem from the complete deterioration of the nuclear family. Chicken and egg here- I don’t know which came first. There are single mothers, single fathers, and families where there aren’t children at all. Some of these situations occur by choice, others by circumstance- that’s not to say any given choice is “wrong”- but our society began to decline when the nuclear family began to do the same. Don’t agree with me? Look at the statistics from the sexual revolution to now- when women began to have children without a father in the home, when men and women began to be more promiscuous and flippant with their sex lives, when men and women began disregarding the importance of relationships, crime went up, welfare went up, and the cherishing of life went down.
Changing gears. I actually know people (women) who are literally grossed out by motherhood. They exclaim “EWWWWW” when they hear about breast milk. To be fair, motherhood is not a clean and neat job. It’s full of puke, spit- up, poop, pee, slime and goo of unknown origin. It’s messy, both literally and emotionally. You cry when your baby won’t eat, you are physically ravaged by the lack of sleep and what pregnancy has done to your body, and you feel isolated from the rest of the grown up world. But, good readers, I will tell you, that after all the jobs I’ve had, all the college education I trudged through, and all the hard work I’ve endured, there is nothing so difficult as motherhood. It is certainly the job at which I’ve worked most hard. I utilize every mental and physical resource I have every day to care for my child. When women without children say to me, “Oh, you’re a stay at home mom?” like it’s a freaking social slight, I want to punch them in their moronic throats so they can never speak again. I haven’t chosen to be a urine soaked homeless woman, I’ve chosen to raise a human, you ingrate. And, I bet, if these people are asked to step up to the plate in exchange for their responsibility-less at the moment they look down on mine, they wouldn’t be able to deliver. Until they’re ready to grow up, it’s too hard a job to do. It’s too selfless.
To make matters worse, other mothers judge one another. Back off! You know how hard this job is. For the mothers that breast feed until their children are 22, more power to you. I’m so glad that you are able to make that much milk and give your growing child what she needs. But don’t judge the mothers that can’t make milk, or whose baby wasn’t able to nurse. Mothers do what is best for their family, not for any one else’s. If a mom isn’t following all the rules of the ten thousand parenting books out there, chances are she’s found her own parenting style that works for a particular child. Don’t beat one another up because of different styles. Unless you see another mom feeding her baby broken glass, it’s not your place to judge. If the Time magazine headline “Are you mom enough?” didn’t grind your gears, then you are either mom enough (and good for you if you are!), or you haven’t given thought to the idea of pitting mothers against one another.
As you can see, I’m pretty fired up about all this “motherhood on trial” business. I am not opposed to having a career and living the fun single life. I really enjoyed it when I had it. I wasn’t pushed into marrying my husband, but we did unexpectedly have a baby. I put away “what I wanted to do” for what was required of me. I’m not less of a woman for doing so; I would venture to say that I’m more. To all of you enjoying the life you’ve made for yourself- awesome. I’m really not judging you for what you’ve chosen (this post is really me thinking aloud), so please don’t judge me for the life I’ve made for myself and my family.
This is a pretty heated blog post. If you have thoughts on it all, share it. Like I said, this post is me thinking aloud- it’s harsh (as my inner dialogue can be), it’s raw, and if I offended you, it was not intentional.