Moms don’t go crazy because they are inherently crazy. There’s no ‘mom’ gene that I know of that makes us snap. We go crazy because of years of time deprivation. Time? Years of a lack of it? Yes. Yes, exactly.
Time spent doing things, even things you love, is not the same thing as time spent doing whatever the hell you want and need to do for yourself. It’s not that we don’t want to do what we’re doing–we do (“we” being my totally unauthorized way of speaking for all mothers… which at this point, you should realize, I don’t). I’m five months into this, and I’m already losing my shit. Not because I don’t want to be a mother– or a stay-at-home mother– or even what is shaping up to be one of those attachment parenting mothers– because I do. I am doing what I want to be doing. My life right now is a result of planned, deliberate, luck-drenched choices I’ve made.
However, no matter how much a person loves his or her job, is fulfilled by it, challenged by it, believes in its purpose– everyone needs breaks. And the nature of this job, folks, is that those breaks are few and far between. Even in the best, most privileged circumstances (I count myself, absolutely, to be in this group.)
I don’t mean for this to be one of those Reader’s Digest rants, or something that your mom’s friend or weird, yet folksy neighbor had stuck to their refrigerator or sent you on Facebook… even though I’m rehashing the same material, my education and upbringing somehow leads me to cringe at the comparison. They make good points, those trite little tidbits on mothering– the time invested, the socially invisible work, the effort that goes into the job without easily demonstrable outcomes at the end of each day (unless you get metaphorical on that sh#t, which is fair, but it isn’t the same as having a PowerPoint or report or sculpture or amount of cash or something else that the rest of society can look at and say, Yep, you’ve been working!)… And I agree with all of those points. Who wouldn’t, assuming we’re polling a group of people without their heads up their asses.
But my thing right now is the time. Life is spectacular, and I can roll with all the sh#t that comes along with the job because it’s worth it, but I also need time to myself. And as a stay at home, exclusively breastfeeding, first-time mother, I don’t have that. Even when I’m not “working” in this metaphor, I’m always on call. Always.
Case in point– my husband came home for a couple hours this afternoon so I wouldn’t lose my shit, and I’m taking a break from this short post to go breastfeed. —- Two boobs, a poop and a puke later, I’m back.
Ok, so my already dubious sense of focus is disrupted. I had some stuff lined up about Hanna Rosin, the stupid mommy war stuff and what it might signify, whether “soccer mom” is now a derogatory term, and what that might mean, a bit of feminist analysis of the “crazy mom” trope…and also some stuff about how my husband is a rock star, my dog is the coolest, and how I’ve got the greatest kid in the world, bar none. Oh. There was likely to be some basic grammatical editing involved as well.
But as far as time goes, at least I just had some. And that short bit of time to myself (which is now over– My Man just headed out the door back to work) makes me feel sane again. I feel good. Screw the editing. This was time well-spent. 😉
- Attachment feminism (thefword.org.uk)