28 February 2007

Reader's Digest Condensed Rants

The following rants have taken place inside my head in the past 24-48 hours. The Cliff's Notes versions are presented here in more or less chronological order.

Her Bad Mother's Basement: (Not) Living The Dream:

Why is it that mother's are expected to not only put their lives (personal and professional) on hold to raise children or care for aged parents (their own or those of their spouse) but to enjoy it as well? What does it say that if a mom sometimes resents the losses that accompany parenthood, they question their worth and suitability as a parent? I read this confessary post and found myself thinking about all of the women throughout time who have been in a similar position and who have taken it with much less grace. I have no doubt that depression is a major issue in the household described. The thing is, the situation as written is has a lot in common with my own. The differences, however put us in different worlds... I am blessed with a remarkable support system. My mother-in-law (a candidate for sainthood if ever one crossed my path) is kind enough to take Sprout on occasion so that I can get work done or accomplish things that are nearly impossible with a toddler in tow. My husband does most of the housework, and is more than willing to keep Sprout busy while I do what I need to get done. I have friends (one in particular) who I visit and enjoy spending time with so that I don't feel so isolated.

I wrote about much of this when I wrote Interruptions Big and Small as part of my attempt to become a professional blogger...

A number of smaller rants managed to escape my mind and memory while I was writing the above. The most recent of my ravings, however, had to do with visiting a craft shop in an unsuccessful attempt to acquire size 8/0 seed beads so that I could begin knitting a 2nd pair of wrist warmers. What I learned, as I searched high and low for suitable beads, is that in order to merit inclusion in the stock of the average American craft store, one must somehow give the impression that your product is essential to every scrap booker within a 200 mile radius. Since beads are nice occasional accents but far from essential, the selection is minimal and there were only 3 colors of 8/0 sized seed beads in the entire store. Unfortunately, none of those colors would look good with the pretty brown wool that I purchased.

3 comments:

Maryellen said...

I struggle daily with the anger and guilt over not being the complete mother and now PTA maven for the good of my children. Women never talk about how angery they can be when they can't do work that brings them joy. I have next to no support syestem and do work in little incerements. But sometimes it's hard. One thing I won't ever let my time be sucked away by PTA. Politics and gossip just don't seem to be worth losing free time. I don;'t know where I'm going with this. just ranting I guess. Until next time...

Andi said...

One of the most critical elements is to figure out that you can't do everything. No one can do everything. Once you've realized that, you're freed to make some choices about your own priorities. As long as you're trying to do it all, and live up to an impossible ideal of motherhood, you're fighting a battle you have no chance of winning.

Her Bad Mother said...

This is such a good analysis of a very real problem - you're totally right that it's a GENDERED problem. WHY is it that women are so vulnerable to the force of 'ideal' models of motherhood, and (I would say) of womanhood generally. Why does our inability to be perfect weigh on us so heavily?