Monday, September 21, 2009

a few things that child-free women can't possibly know.

New Mama: From Princess to Queen
Inevitably someone from the latter camp would fire off the hurtful missive, "You girls don't get it. You don't have kids of your own!"

Back then, I disagreed. But now, as I look at all the things my 11-year-old and 6-year-old have taught me, I finally get it. I do know a few things that child-free women can't possibly know. So, what was it that I didn't "get"? And how could I explain to new mothers that they are about to transform into another animal entirely?
. . .
Speaking of power, I think that's the biggest transformation that a new mother makes -- from your lover's hotty princess to a fully developed queen. Mothers are the queens of their world. There's a saying in the South that sums up the power of motherhood: "When Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy." You are now the emotional lightning rod and the gentle soothing wind to every other person in your nest. And this power can bring feelings of self-esteem unmatched by any paycheck. Mothers are the life force of a household, providing food, a comfortable shelter, and, when necessary, a gentle admonishing or a supportive cheer. Whether you work outside the home, from home, or on your home, you are the most valued member of the team.

You have proven yourself. You have the capacity to create human life within your womb and nurture it to greatness in your nest. And this is the thing child-free women will never know -- the secret confidence that comes from knowing you did something so magical. You created life and forever more, you will nurture life. Mothers are almost God-like in that way. And when you carry that force out into the world, you will be awed by the power you have to effect change everywhere. You are now a mother in the world. All hail before you.

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Anonymous said...

Even dogs push out puppies. You ain't shit, Bitch.

flamencokitty said...

Why do mothers always think they're the first ones to reproduce? Magical? The sperm and egg met, it grew. That's science, not magic. Creative? All the mother did was incubate an embryo that grew without her intervention. She didn't mold or fashion or truly "create" it. Granted, she does need to live in order for the unborn to live inside her, but it'll go through cell divisions, mitosis, meiosis, growth without her thinking about it. In that sense, it's no more magical than breathing. And though the fetus grew inside the mother, it still might grow up to be nothing like the mother. Just because you spit something from your loins doesn't make you a "queen." Not every mother deserves praise. You have to earn it. Yeah you birthed it, but now you have to raise it.

Anonymous said...

I thought this was hilarious!

Real queens are waited upon, not the ones waiting upon everyone else. They're the ones who eat first, not the ones who cook the meal, eat last, and then clean up after. They call the shots, instead of begging and bargaining with willful little tyrants who don't feel like wearing clothes today.

But if it makes mopping up kid puke that much more bearable to think that she's somehow royalty, more power to her. My mom called it right, though: the day to day of parenting is slavery.

Anonymous said...

It's great if giving birth makes you feel more confident (as long as that's not the only reason you're having a child). However, that doesn't make you any more important than anyone else. Saying that you're 'the queen of the household' because you have a working uterus is as absurd and prejudiced as the belief that having penis makes you the king.

CF4Life said...

Beautifully said, Christine!

And guess what, it also ain't a miracle or magical if it's happened 6 billion times (not counting ALL the people who have come and gone since the beginning of time!)

Anonymous said...

Risible posting, full of clich├ęs I am tired of listening to, from people trying to convince me children are "magical".

This person has absolutely no perception of adequacy in publishing such a silly display of egocentric and selfish behaviour, specially here.

Frankly, I've begun to operate under the assumption that motherhood causes some sort of hormonal imbalance which leads to dementia and loss of reason.

emma said...

I agree, it was hilarious. In the sense that it just makes me chuckle and shake my head at any woman who would undertake such lifelong misery and subservience.

Queen? Uh, yeah. You just keep thinking that as you're wiping snot while snooze on the couch with tea and a novel.

Maid, chauffeur, nurse, cook, or waitress....but not queen. Not by a long shot.

Anonymous said...

"Proven yourself" ?

Proven that you have a working uterus?


(Slow clapping.)

Anonymous said...

a few things that mothers can't possibly remember... motherload...from fantasy to fat.

- sitting in privacy and losing herself in a book & a glass of wine.

- keeping current on quality music and other artistic expression

- listening to your favorite Jay-Z in the car, rather than princess tunes, teenie-boppers, & easy listening; going to a rock concert; singing in the car without a 12 year old rolling her eyes & shushing you because you're so totally embarrassing her.

-what her feet look like

-how to apply cosmetics

-how to not freak out about a millisecond boob flashing wardrobe malfunction

-giving 100% of herself to her darling nieces when her sisters are frazzled to the core.

-what it's like to really laugh; to guffaw & snort; to giggle

-having a sense of humor; lightening up already; sitting at the kids table so you can have some fun

-how not to scowl and look forever miserable. (a great advertisement for parenthood, btw)

-how to learn and do new things

-that fun, close and relatively low stress life she used to have the baby-daddy.

-the bliss of spontaneous sex in unusual places.

-what it is to work hard all day making a difference in the world and then come home to a quiet house and big screen TV to recharge for tomorrow's difference-making

-having energy

-lavishing love on the dogs and getting a return on the emotional investment.

-how to dance; the desire to dance; the energy to dance

-that loving feeling

-walking through the world without the imagining how every little thing will lure your child into crime, sex and drugs or otherwise spoil the perfection of your thoroughbreds

not worrying about dying

-the freedom of not having to be a 24 hour role model

-not wearing jumpers

and she can't possibly know...

-the hurt of being stereotyped as a selfish, cold, materialistic, unfulfilled, stupid, immature, evil, sacrilegious child-hater.

-how it feels to finally come to terms with the fact that it's not gonna happen, choosing to see the positive aspects of not becoming a parent and preferring to view the future as child-free rather than child-less; only to be forever ridiculed, judged, condescended to and blatantly told your existence on the earth is insignificant by JEALOUS BITCHES.

Anonym said...

The article completely invizibilizes adoptive mothers, foster mothers, stepmothers,all fathers as well as those who raise their significantly younger siblings...

There's more than one way to influence a child's life. I may not know what it's like to be a parent, but I've been a kid and I know for sure that parents can't control who the child bonds with. Though she didn't live with us full-time , my grandmother had just as much of an influence on me growing up as my parents(who were also great). Being an aunt or uncle may not be the same as being a parent, but you have no idea how it looks from the kid's point of view.

You think just because you pushed them out you own them?? They are "yours" but they are not "yours".

goddiva-11 said...

Let's see laying on your back foregoing birth control and allowing a man to inseminate you is a 'Great' accomplishment? Puhleeze. A blind, deaf, mute, comatose 8yr old with a period can be impregnated. Should she be applauded and does that make her a WOMAN let alone a Queen?

Momza said...

I loved this post. Not because I am a Mother. But reading it enlightened me about myself! It's true. Becoming a Mother did show me my own strength that nothing else ever could have. I would never ever condemn a woman who has chosen not to have a child, or who simply cannot have children--I find it to be truthful that there is nothing more powerful than simply learning to live happily. Choose your love and love your choice.

kelly said...

I'm with Anonymous #1. I've seen goats give birth while walking AND eating. Now that's something to be proud of.

Anonymous said...

WOW! Such strong emotion and hate. As a mom, I can see where she was going with the article. I may not agree with here terminology, but I understand where she was taking the point. That being said, I by no means think any one woman is better than another.

I was reviewing this article for a research paper I am doing. The topic being "Are woman/couples who choose not to have children discriminated against". I never believed in having children "just to have children". And, as a side note, I have a teenage daughter, that at this point in her life is very adamant in the fact that she DOES NOT want children.

Whether a woman decides to marry or not, work or not, have children or not (this could go on and on) is her choice. As woman, I believe we should support each other and the choices we make. No one can get along in this world without someone else. Woman who choose not to, or can not have children deserve respect. As do those who choose and do have children. Not one path is right for everyone, that is why we are all different. But, because someone chooses a path that you don't does not give any person the right to put them down. I did not take anything from the article that put down those without children. What I took from it was this individuals personal change from having a child. However, the vast majority of responses to the article seemed to me extremely offensive. Why couldn't the responses been more toward "we are glad this is right for you", "here is why it is not right for me". It seems it would have been better served to make this a discussion on each others points of view. I'm sorry to see that a post is viewed as an "us" verses "them" rather than a means of open honest, non-hurtful communication.


Anonymous said...

I think the author is narcissistic. Seems like an attempt on her part to create some meaning in her life. I don't need a child to love myself and my life...I feel like a Queen or princess every day.