Saturday, April 14, 2012
A to Z: Motherhood and its consequences
Yeah. I'm selfish. So sue me.
But I'm a pretty unique specimen where I live, and where I come from. My Mexican friends from childhood are all respectably married and have kids. Most of my friends in Curacao also have kids (the marriage issue here is somewhat alternative; wait for my post on Tying the Knot on T day for more on that).
They all love to ask, "when are you guys going to have a baby? Little so-and-so [their own child] wants a playmate."
Oh, for the love of peace.
I'm looking forward to menopause for two really good reasons. One, people will stop harassing me about why I'm not a mother and nodding away my reasons with a "you'll change your mind soon" that drips patronization into a syrup that gags me. True, this might be substituted with pity--"ah, you poor thing, you missed out on the greatest of joys".
The second reason is that the hassle of birth control will finally be over.
Take the lack of tech-savy. One of my closest friends, same age I am, is constantly lamenting why we live so far apart (she lives in Mexico, I live in the Caribbean--it's a good eight-hour trip, if you're lucky, a whole day if you're not) and how that makes it impossible to talk every day like we used to.
I suggest Skype.
She says she has it somewhere on her computer, but she's not sure where. I tell her to download it again (it's free). She says she doesn't remember her password. I say get a new one. Two days later, she calls me on my cellphone, from her land line. "What happened to Skype?" I say. "I couldn't figure it out," she answers.
Me, on the other hand? I hacked an iPhone for my boyfriend, back in 2008 when unlocked iPhones weren't available for international use. That was one cool Christmas.
I bet, once my friend's kids start tinkering with electronic devices, I'll be able to chat with them.
We have a couple of friends--friends who are a couple, as in they're married to each other--who seldom show up to our parties together. "We couldn't find a babysitter," the one that shows up says. Well, dang it, people. Does your social life get put on hold because you have a child? I'm not talking about a three-day hedonistic cruise here. Just a nice house party, maybe a BBQ at the beach. And you can't come because you couldn't find someone--anyone--to watch your kid for a few hours?
I've spent my life trying to overcome that kind of dependence, in myself and in others.
Look, I don't advocate shouting stuff from that time from the rooftops, but these are your kids. What are you going to do, pass yourself off as Mother Theresa to them? "No, Mommy's never had jello shots. No, Mommy's never danced on a bar, Coyote-Ugly style. Of course Mommy was a virgin when she met Daddy."
I agree it's going to be a hair-raising conversation, and one most of us would prefer not to have, especially not with wide-eyed eight-year-olds. But maybe we should have thought of that up there on that Coyote Ugly bar. We are who we are (and what we've done), and hiding it from our kids isn't going to make it go away. It just makes us liars.
Nice example, Mommy.
Don't get me wrong. You want to be a mom? Please--be my guest. You are a mom and you love it, wouldn't trade it for anything? I'm so happy for you.
Seriously. I am.
My thing against motherhood isn't about you, or even about mothers in general. I'm glad you decided to procreate and bring forth a new generation of humanity, and I really hope you understand the power you wield by having done that.
No, my issue with motherhood is that... Well, it's like the Mormons. Or Jehova's Witnesses.
I do apologize if you, beloved reader, are a Mormon or a Jehova's Witness. I know next to nothing about either religion, and this is not me passing judgment on its precepts or validity--just on the method of recruitment.
Someone shows up at your door just as the oven pings its timer and you've got to get the lasagna (or turkey or casserole or whatever) out before it cooks even one more degree, and the phone is ringing and a dog just snuck out of your bedroom with one of your favorite shoes in her slobbery mouth. And this person, all sweet and polite and primped up, expects you to accept Christ (or Mormon or Jehova or whatever) as your personal savior right there at your doorstep, all before the lasagna is ruined.
I just wish... Can't we all just accept that my god isn't better or worse than your God, just different, and--down at the core of things--actually the very same thing? Why should anyone have the right to interfere with anyone else's belief system?
There's a great video of this here. If you're nodding your head at all this, please watch it.
Silk, no less. The slobber will never come out.