This post inspired by Ooph and her Monday’s Mother post this week. I realized after leaving a too long comment there that perhaps I should put those thoughts together more completely here 🙂
Yes, I’m a mom. And a blogger. So I guess that makes me a mommy blogger though I thoroughly chafe at that label.
I honestly never wanted to be a mom.
I was not like all the other girls growing up who dreamed of having babies and who babysat other kids as soon as they were old enough. If anything, I cringed at the thought of taking care of one of those screaming, stinky, wiggly things.
In high school when they showed the infamous “birthing video” in science glass my “oh hell no” reaction was deep. I was very much into visualizing my future (Ok, let’s be real and say I was a day dreamer) and I visualized the hell out of me being a traveling business woman. A potential husband was tolerable, maybe even desirable, but kids NEVER entered those fantasies.
Then life said “HAAA HA!” (you really gotta think of the Pee Wee Herman laugh when reading that)
Motherhood was dropped on my lap at the age of 20. I like to think of it as the “ripping off the bandaid” method of starting off parenthood. I know at some point I thought to myself quite clearly “Well, fuck it, Let’s Do This!” as if I was going into battle. Of course, I was really. All those teenage visualizations vanished because I had to get through a nasty little thing called reality. And it was harsh.
Music Man’s dad was useless, no, he was detrimental to the process for the entire four years I was with him. And that’s all I need to say about that. Just trust me on that.
My parent’s did their best & were my only lifeline to sanity, but there was still only so much they could do. They couldn’t be there every day.
None of my friends were doing this of course. No, I always have to be the rebellious trailblazer (yippee!). They were all off to college & parties.
There was no internet. (gawd, can you imagine – no internet!)
Come to think of it. This wasn’t the “Ripping the bandaid off” method this was the “Let’s throw you head first *with* your new baby into the ocean complete with rip currents” method.
But it was good. I figured it out. WE – my son & I – figured it out. And well, it was not so bad. In fact when life had smoothed out a bit and I took a chance on a second marriage I actually *wanted* to do it again. Of course, I suck at the whole marriage thing & so I am back to doing things on my own but it’s nothing like before. His dad IS pulling his weight. I *do* have a community of moms in real life AND on the internet to walk the path with me.
And yet – I still don’t LOVE kids. Sometimes I don’t even like them. The older my youngest son gets, the less tolerant I am of other people’s kids younger than him. They don’t scare me. I don’t avoid them. But I am still not a natural with them by any means. Co-workers bring their new babies & I perform properly. Ooh. Aaah. But I sure as heck don’t reach out to hold the new little bundle.
I also don’t tell childless women that they NEED to be a mom to understand. That it’s the Best Thing Ever and they Have To Do It or they Wont Be Complete or some such nonsense. Bull shit! Nothing pisses me off more than to hear lines like that! After my second divorce and once I had started dating SP, the questions immediately started: “When are going to get married and have ANOTHER baby?” WTF? Seriously? WHY WHY and, um WHY? I was 36 and had been a mom since I was 20 and I needed to reset the clock again WHY? Because somehow my relationship with SP wouldn’t be whole unless we had kids together?? If I was 46 you wouldn’t even be asking me that question! Why, because I was still of child bearing age, did people – No, check that, not people – Other WOMEN – project that onto me? And it was never phrased as “Do you want to?” It was always “When are you going to?” Gah!!!
So this is my feminist, you don’t have to be a mother rant. I hope no one raises their daughter to think that their life wont be whole without a child. That they must reproduce to be a real woman. I hope our generation of moms is turning that tide. I know we’ve gotten better about not fighting the mommy wars. About supporting each other whether we work or not, whether we do it on our own or not.
Motherhood IS awesome and IS one of the best things that’s ever happened to me. To ME. I don’t have ego enough to project that proclamation on anyone else. If you want kids, have them. If you don’t, then don’t. If you are waffling & are not sure & think that your apprehension about being around kids means you shouldn’t have them, well, that’s not so cut & dried. I think it is completely possible to love your own kids & be a fantastic, dedicated mom, but still not necessarily like the rest of the planet’s progeny.
Oh, and yes, referring back to Ooph’s friend’s question: Poo is still poo 🙂