Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Losing best friend to the trappings of motherhood

In the San Francisco Chronicle, a freelance writer authored a piece about the loss of a close friend to mommyhood:


OK, I won't argue. I know you accidentally got pregnant. But when I asked why you wanted to have a child, you told me it was because you didn't feel complete as a woman.

I never told you then, but it made me want to cry. You were always complete to me. You were always so confident, smart, bright and such a great friend. But that seems gone now, and in your place is this strange Stepford creature who tells me she's happier as a mother than she's ever been. Maybe if you say it enough, it becomes true.
This article apparently hit a little too close to home for one Salon author, who felt compelled to trash the piece in her own article:

Friends and mothers

Taken as a whole, this piece is a startling reminder of the level of rage that so many of us -- men and women, but mostly women -- attach to every issue surrounding motherhood. Motherhood has become so charged, thanks in large part to regressive forces that would have us think of it, as Gonzalez Clark rightly complains, as the be-all and end-all identity for American women. In this case, mommies may be taking the heat for the author's grief over friendships that have gradually grown distant for other reasons.
As many of the letters from readers point out, a large part of the Salon trash-talk is actually a mischaracterization of the other piece, which is a lot more about personal grief over losing a friend than it is "rage". Interestingly, Salon's "Editor's Choice" letters all seem to side with the author, even though many of the un-selected letters defend the original author. Where is the of Hip to Snip? and the book Maybe Baby perhaps, like the original author, we have lost an ally.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think that this article accurately depicts the loss of a friendship to motherhood. Motherhood does not have to be the "be all and end all" but the sad truth is that many women treat it as such. When you are childless, it seems as though all they want to talk about is babies, cravings, diapers, their weight, how perfect their lives are, what colour to paint the walls, etc etc etc. Come on - I don't talk about my graduate degree like that, which is very important to me, because I know it will bore you. Also, children, like religion, do not have to be shoved down the throats of those who do not have / do not like them. Pregnany friends have to come to the realization that just because they love kids does not mean that your best friends do. My god, how much can someone stand...9 months of nothing but me, me, me. I think it is very selfish and extremely annoying. I have lost several friends to motherhood...and honestly, as much as people say that the friendship should not have been lost, it is inevitable. She has someone else on her mind now. She has different priorities. The same things that drew you together often are no longer in existence. You can always still be friends, however women have got to realize that by shoving their pregnancies on their friends 24/7 actually pushes people away. It is your baby - not ours. We are very happy for you, but I don't talk about things 24/7 like that. It is important to you and thus I care. But consideration is 2-sided - mommies remember that when your friendships are dissolving.