Friday, February 23, 2007

Acts of Lèse-majesté

One of the things that I like best about the blogosphere is the fact that I get to read other peoples blogs. These incredibly intelligent people help stave off the "mummy dummies" with their insightful posts. They also bring to my attention issues of which I might have been otherwise ignorant. The other day, Her Bad Mother posted about a rather, um, interesting article. If you haven't read it yet, have a look. The gist is that us naive and, well, stupid women "fall for the motherhood trend, hook, line and pacifier, and are bewildered when the experience does not live up to (our) expectations." I'll save you from the majority of my problems with this article. HBM said it much better than I ever could with my limited literary skills, and you can read her post here. Suffice it to say that, as John Cage would put it, this article troubles me.

I won't go into the fact that this article is written by not only a woman, but a mother. I won't delve into how deeply insulting this article is to women in general and mothers in particular. I certainly won't go into the fact that someone who writes such hateful material obviously has deep-seated issues of her own. I will mention briefly that while motherhood is the most rewarding, and the most challenging, venture I've ever undertaken, I don't love all aspects of it all the time. And I resent the fact that to be considered a good mother, I am required to love every minute of every day and never once complain. It's human nature to complain . It doesn't mean that I don't love motherhood, or that I regret my choice to become a mother. Keeping things bottled up inside you is when you get into trouble with a capital "T". And that rhymes with "P" and that stands for "Poop". If you want to know what I really think about this article, that word pretty much sums it up. Poop. Juvenile, admittedly, but strangely appropriate. Motherhood is too complex to say that it's good or bad, fun or boring, fulfilling or draining. It's all of these things. It's vital. It's alive. It's human. It's not perfect, it's human. That's what's so great about it.

But what I really wanted to talk about is the author's assertion that motherhood is not cool. And that we're stuck in hell because we can't put the baby "into the Goodwill bag with the 80s hypercolor T-shirts and the side ponytails" when we realize that it's not the trendy new accessory that we thought it would be. Granted, I'm not the best person to discuss what is cool and what is not, but I have to say that Stajic really missed the boat on this one. In no other aspects of my life am I allowed to get away with the things that I do while I'm being a mum. I can walk down Bloor Street pushing a stroller singing "Here comes Peter Cotton Tail" at the top of my voice. I can laugh like jolly old St Nick in a posh food store. I can scream at an imaginary lion. I can eat pretend cookies from a book. I can say goodbye to cereal boxes, and goodnight to the Great White Shark bank. Where else in adult life can you do these things without looking nutty? Some may consider these acts of lèse-majesté. I consider them acts of love. And that, my friends, is pretty cool.

12 comments:

NotSoSage said...

Awesome. I love it. I have to admit, I was expecting a Thesaurus Thumping Thursday, but this was just as good!

Poop, indeed!

Beck said...

Yeah. One of the things that cracks me up is when people take something that's an INDIVIDUAL experience (i.e. the desire to put one's baby in the Goodwill bin) and then presume that is then some sort of universal experience. I felt like telling her, you know, most people DO enjoy their kids and that she was just a lousy mother. Not ONLY because she felt like that but also because she WROTE IT DOWN WITH HER NAME ON IT and someday her kid will read that and it will just kill them, if they haven't already figured out that their mother essentially hated them while they were a baby.
Not that I have an opinion on it, of course.

ewe are here said...

I think most women understand that there are going to be some tears -yours- when you have children. But they are so outweighed by all the happy little moments....

Nice post.

Kyla said...

When I read about this over at HBM's I had no idea a MOTHER had written it. How incredibly sad for her child (or children). I totally agree with Beck for the record.

kittenpie said...

Sheesh. Are any of us really vapid enough to consider this a "fashion foible"?

And seriously, I think she's got the cart before the horse. People in our generation are of the babymaking age all of a sudden, so there is a huge market - THAT'S the trend. A market trend that leads to marketing to them, not the other way around. And of course they are going to sell it in the most appealing way possible - they are ADVERTISING. And of course celebs make it look good - they have resources. They make dressing, aging, crying, and rehab look glam, too. For someone in the media, she's either suprisingly non-media-savvy or willfully dumb. Grrr.

Lindyloo said...

Having a baby is cool and trendy?? Hmm I must have missed that memo, Squidge probably puked on it before I had a chance to read it. She must have been hoping for a baby that would go well w/ her Manolo Blahniks.

Mad Hatter said...

Ya, that article really missed the boat. Critiquing hollywood or the media for selling a notion of motherhood as fashion is one thing; claiming that women who procreate are vacuous dupes for falling for it is another matter altogether. That writer should have thought things through a wee bit more before she put pen to paper.

What I want to know is "did she get paid any kind of salary to write that?" Is so, I would gladly recommend to her employer at least 100 better (blogging) candidates for the job.

Lisa b said...

I'm trying to steer clear of these articles. People must be asking for controversial articles to get readership. There is no way a woman and mother thinks we are all regretting our choices wishing the kid could go to goodwill. Despite the how it can be sometimes I am amazed at how much I love my child.
and what beck said.....

Mimi said...

Huzzah. Beautifully expressed. Good Lord, but that original article made me mad. You've nicely shrugged it off. Poop, indeed.

kgirl said...

the only people that actually think that having kids is trendy are those that don't. unless you consider puke, shit, not showering for a week, bags - no, fekking suitcases - under your eyes and saggy booby trendy. cuz, yeah, then i'm a superstar.

metro mama said...

Hi there...can you email me at metro_mama@hotmail.com (I lost your address). Julie

Her Bad Mother said...

I can't believe that I missed this post last week - *I've been here, I swearses it!!!* - and the perfect pic that punctuates it.

You said it perfectly - caca.