The things that will never make it in the baby books and other musings from a stay at home mom

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Mad Mommy, not Mommy Madness

I've been staying away from commenting on last week's Newsweek article on Mommy Madness because I've already ranted once recently about the news media's depiction of mothers and because others have already led more thoughtful discussions on the topic elsewhere on the web. But then the article got passed around a list for alums of my sorority and after watching all of the enthusiastic "me too" griping that followed, I had to weigh in. And once I'd started, I couldn't stop, so I'll (briefly this time, I promise) share my thoughts here, too.

Am I alone in not appreciating this article? Don't get me wrong -- I agree with virtually everything the author had to say. But I hate the whiny, negative way it's all presented. I think there's much better writing on the realities of mothering in this day and age (try an issue of Brain,Child magazine or Andrea Buchanan's Mother Shock: Loving Every Other Minute Of It, for example) that examines these issues in a way that inspires intelligent discussion and not just the collective griping of a generation that feels gypped.

I do think that our upbringing perhaps led many of us to believe that we could have it all, when the reality is that it's virtually impossible to have it all at the same time. And I struggle with how to encourage my daughter to pursue all her dreams without giving her the illusion that something won't have to give somewhere at some point. I think many of us, myself included, mother too hard, whether to compensate for the fact that we've left "important" jobs behind to stay home with our children or to compensate for the fact that we're still working and leaving part of the "important" job of raising our kids to someone else. And I think we have to talk about those issues. But despite the fact that I know I'm not doing a perfect job here, I love my children and I feel enormously fortunate to have so many wonderful things to balance in my life right now. And that's what's missing from this article (and, I assume, the book, though I haven't read it) -- that even though the glass is half empty, it's half full here, too. Parenting is a balancing act. And I believe that any worthwhile discussion of the issues we face as parents needs to be balanced, too.

Stepping off my soapbox now...


At 3:16 PM, Blogger Kristy said...

In a case of "I get my news from dooce", I hadn't heard of this article until reading your blog. Oh, the horror ;-)

I've chalked it up to this: parenting is (duh) intensely personal. The minute you begin to say anything on the topic, well, you've offended someone. Balance just isn't possible.

At 7:12 PM, Blogger chichimama said...

just orderd the book, couldn't resist. Will let you know if it is as whiny as it sounds...


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