“I think my life began with waking up and loving my mother’s face.” – George Eliot
Welcome to my Mother’s Day series of rants. Today: Episode 2.
This afternoon I shared some of my thoughts on MD with my own mother; she laughed ruefully at my observation that she is the only person in my life (besides my husband) who gives notice or kudos to my position on this planet as guardian and matriarch to one Sophie, 3, and Nels, 1. Perhaps she is trying to write a different history than the one she herself experienced?
Mothers are paradoxically pedestaled as goddesses and slapped with a special brand of sinister villainy. People (mostly men) wax nostalgically – and at great annoyance to their own wives – about the abilities of their mother to cook or care for boo-boos; meanwhile our media is filled with examples of the crippling ways mothers are prone to over-love, to martyr themselves, and to stifle true independence in their children. The talents of a mother are attributed to some divine sainthood – not the years of hard work, observation, and the remarkable resilience women show at getting their hands dirty in the shit and grit of daily life. The “uncanny ability” of our mothers to know when and where their kids are misbehaving does not come from a sixth sense of motherhood but rather a relentless learning curve of wiping noses and asses, paying attention to what matters, and getting the job done because it simply needs to be done.
One of my favorite Mom vs. Dad stories has to do with a friend whose husband won’t change his children’s shitty diapers – because he has a gag reflex. As our mutual friend CK summed it up, “Yeah, I have a gag reflex too – but that diaper has to be changed.”
I’m glad to be a mother, if a breeder at all. Fathers may have it easier but it’s really worse.
Had an extry kiddo today – Abbi’s Liv. Coffeehouse; Goodwill; park to meet other mommies. Home for lunch and naps – the girls sharing a room together to sleep which was so sweet. For my efforts Abbi rewarded me with a 3 PM vanilla martini visit. She brought along Courtney and her daughter. The three of us women had a wonderful afternoon in my living room, five kids occupied at tit, nap, or videos as we discussed our hectic family lives and thriving children. Then all home to cook and care for our families.
However – I am off the hook on that account! Date night tonight. I look forward to going out with my husband for those two precious hours as much as I used to driving down to see him Friday nights, ages ago before children besieged us.