Monday, March 14, 2005

Is motherhood a Myth anymore?

I don't think it is, just as this article in Slate suggests. Too many women have written about motherhood in the past 20 years or so for it to be much of a myth anymore. (Not to mention Oprah getting in on the action many times the past few years.)

Yet, take a gander (such a funny word considering its a female goose) at all of the comments attached to this one article. If you have a hotmail or msn account, you're good to go; if not, you'll have to create one. I have posted as singlemom25 and there are a few women on there who have zinged moms who work and put their kids in a daycare - especially the one mom from Canada who claims that her kids are in a daycare setting with unionized workers (ahhh, to be in Canada despite the high taxes). I replied as I felt they stepped way out of line. It seems they are stay-at-home-moms (SAHM's) and think every woman who has kids should be, too, without taking into account that more and more women are being indoctrinated into the lives of the low-income and poverty levels of our glorious capitalist system.

I guess I became angry as I don't think any mom should ever be criticized for her choices of staying at home or working outside (or in some cases, in) the home when each should be her choice and about what the family can afford and feel comfortable with. I don't appreciate being vilified for something I also don't have much of a choice in; there is no partner in my "family," there is only the 2 of us and I kinda like it that way. I think by working, I'm setting the example for my son that just because a woman is a mom doesn't mean that she has to be married or stay at home. If he marries a woman one day that chooses to do so, then more power to them both. But I hope to have taught him well enough that he will have the choice to stay at home with his children, too. I wouldn't want for my daughters to have the small scope of thinking they could only being a SAHM, but I also know that this isn't likely to happen as long as you instill in all children that they can be anything they want to be and to follow their dreams (the gender fluid thing is cool, too, you should check it out).

Plus, I like having an identity outside of my child as it gives me a sense of belonging to something outside of living for my son 24/7 (which, naturally, I do anyway but I've been able to gain a nice, calming balance over the past 2 years). There are plenty of times when having an extra person would be great, but those come so few and far between lately. What I do not appreciate is assuming all of America is married to opposite sex partners - heterocentrism and, coining a new phrase here, marriagcentrism. Both of these are highly evident in our current "free America" with multiple laws and amendments popping up banning gay marriages and such. It's absolutely disgusting but I'm taking myself off topic so that's a rant better saved for another day.

So yeah, those 2 moms got me riled up because I don't appreciate their extremely close-minded view of the world. Another poster made the comment, something like when is it time for parents to take responsibility for their own children and that Canada's taxes are so nuts because they have standardized health and child care. That poster claimed that Canada = "the village" and the parents = irresponbility because they are depending on their government instead of their neighbors/community.

As I brought to the attention of someone else recently, if all of our neighbors took care of each other, as is usually thought of by anti-welfare folks, then we wouldn't have needed such legislation in the first place, eh? Back in medieval Europe, there were still extreme poverty conditions more so than upper class folks. Were those upper class folks more generous because they had more to give? Obviously not because instead of the lower class diminishing, it only got worse. We developed welfare because it was a way to help out our neighbors without leaving any one group of people responsible for the care of others.

We all seem to come from the same school of thought: I'll let the next person do something; I don't want to get involved; it's not my job; and so on. America is a highly individualized society and we don't help our neighbors out much anymore or the homeless population would be declining instead of increasing steadily as the economy idles.....

Ahhhh, I could rant about this subject all night, so I think it's best to end it now. Check out the article and some of the comments as I would love to hear what you all think.