Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Motherhood Lie





There is this lie that we hear as mothers.


People tell us that we have the most important job in the world.

That's not something I'm disputing.  But they also tell us something else.

That we should invest ourselves completely in teaching our children to be better people, and that they will rise up and be activists and change the world, and then we will have done our good for society.

But I've been thinking about that a lot.

And realizing that we've been telling mothers that for generations.  Your children are your purpose.  Your legacy.  Your children are going to do the things you are not able to do because you are doing the most important job in the world: mothering them.

I think it sounds all well and good when you don't dig too deeply around it, but I've been doing just that and my shower thought this morning was a kind of rage.

Society has been telling moms this very thing for eons.  And here's the issue.  We tell moms this.  Who raise their daughters to be amazing active people who want to go out and change the world.  And then they become moms.  And we tell them the same thing.  And so on so on and so on into infinity so that a small percentage of these amazing women ever actually do the thing their mothers counted on them doing in the first place.

It's a circle of oppression.  It's a way of keeping women down in their best years for activism.

Here I am.  Thirty-six years old.  And my excuse for not standing up stronger and harder and fiercer has been, over and over again, I'm raising my children.  That's the most important job a woman can have.

And you know what?  It's a super important spectacularly incredible job that is vital to civilization's continuance.  And we need to buck up and get some babysitters.

We moms need to stand up.

We need to stop our armchair activism and we need to make our voices heard.  And we need to be loud.  Because most of us have fully formed frontal cortexes and energy our kids' grandmothers are dreaming about now.

So I call bullshit on that: your contribution is your child line.  My mother counted on her contribution being me.  It's time I made good on that for her.  And her mother.  And her mother.  And her mother and on and on back to the time when women were first told that our children should be our contribution.  My children are vital.  And amazing.  And important.  But so. am. I.

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