Tuesday, August 01, 2006


So, I get on the net and the first story I see is entitled "Bored Mom Sparks Outrage." I sympathize with the mom almost immediately, but I have to read more. Apparently, freelance journalist Helen Kirwan-Taylor is under attack because she actually said the following things:
Many tasks associated with motherhood are tedious and boring. She'd rather go shopping or have her hair done than attend another child's birthday party. When she takes her kids to movies, she spends the two hours text-messaging friends on her cellphone. She says that when her children were young, she became a workaholic to avoid having to spend time with them. She begged the nanny to read them bedtime stories.
I'm not going to say much--I don't agree with those last two statements, but that's none of my business. But the rest of it?

Hell, yeah, Helen, hell, yeah!

There is nothing wrong with a grown-ass woman not being entertained and enraptured by her kids and their activities every moment of every day. Women are adults... we should have different interests and concerns. My sister and I always talk about how we don't want to go to some kid's birthdfay party where there'll be lots of screaming and pandemonium. Best friend Louisiana won't even give her son a birthday party. I hate taking my kid to the park--it's the South; it's hot as hell. And some movies I've taken him to see almost pushed me to slice my wrists with a butterknife.

And no one is going to make me feel guilty about that. Kirwan-Taylor isn't backing down either:
"Up until 10 years ago, parents did not spend every waking moment with their children. We became a society where everything children say and do and think is meant to be fulfilling. Women are not allowed to have a life of their own, and if they do, it's considered selfish," she says.
And that's the truth. Nobody is expecting all this self-sacrifice and adoration of juvenile pursuits from men. Because it's ridiculous.

Maybe because I was raised differently. My mom has always, always, always told my sister and me not to wrap our whole lives around any person--not our husbands or our children. Have something for yourself, do something for yourself are phrases she's repeated our whole lives. There's a difference between having a primary concern and a sole concern, and somewhere along the way, mothers have been forced into having the latter. Everything my son says, does, thinks, etc, is not cute or memory book worthy. He's pretty bland and mediocre at times--the same thing he thinks about me.

Of course, I make no pretenses about being a great or magnificent mother. I am, in the words of Kirwan-Taylor, "good enough." And somehow, my kid and I manage to love each other just the same.



Quinn said...

Sing it, sister! Honestly, if I have to watch Dora and her damn talking map one more time, I think I'm going to scream.

I enjoy spending time with my kids, but man! I look forward to the days they're at "summer camp" when I can get something done or converse with adults about something other than the contents of my son's latest diaper. And I refuse to feel guilty for that. (small voice) usually.(/small voice)

ps. Good call in uniting this with not wrapping everything in your life around a husband/sig-other, either. Nobody is that cool.

Elle said...

i know. the not feeling guilty is something you have to work at. at my son's school, i'm surrounded by moms who are sweethearts, really cool women, but everything is about the kids. just when that guilt starts nipping, though, i have you and my other friends who have other interests and sources of conversation. makes me feel normal.

JustMe said...

so so true. what is wrong with our cuture trying to make women feel guilty for not being infants. maybe b.c we were treated as such until not too long ago.

i second quinn, sing it!

Elle said...


Revelations and ruminations from one southern sistorian...