I've been at this blogging game for awhile now. I've had my share of shit thrown at me in public and private for my decision to write about my life, family and permanent seat on the train to crazy town in this forum. And while 90% of what you read is True ( to my specifications of True), 10% is exaggerated. It's kind of what being a writer IS - blending truth and fiction, telling a story which captivates while still imparting some kind of truth.
And here is where I tell you something you already know: Truth is Terrifying.
Not just "Hey, don't go up those stairs, cause the killer is hiding in the shadows" terrifying but Entirely, "I just realized I am human battery in the Matrix" terrifying. Soul Changing. World Blowing Up. Core shaking.
When I started True Wife Confessions, I knew that there were secrets and omissions we keep from the partners we love. I knew that we keep those secrets for Lots of reasons, some universal and others entirely personal. Some shit just HAS to go under the rug to keep day-to-day life running smoothly. Every Dirty dish left on the counter, or pair of underwear on the floor can not be your relationship Waterloo.
To believe that Motherhood is any different is insanity. Yes, it is a Job - just like marriage - that many of us skipped towards, sprinkling rose petals and lavender in our wake. For women who struggle with infertility or pregnancy losses, I can imagine it looks downright fucking ungrateful to occasionally complain about Motherhood. And, in part, I would agree. It IS Ungrateful. Maybe even Selfish.
However, Truth is rarely pure. Truth is almost always wrapped up with tinges of ungrateful and swaths of selfish. This is because truth is Intimate. Personal. Even in a marriage, The versions of events that make up my Truth and those that make up Terrance's are fundamentally different.
Yes, when I was handed Emily after a ridiculously short labor ( I know, I can seriously Suck it), I felt....Curious? Glad that the Pain had stopped? A Bit perplexed? I mean, I was aware that a baby had just been placed on my breast and was now moving like some kind of crazed animal towards my nipple, but Did the Sky part and Angels burst forth with my Mom Certificate? No, not really. I was, dare I say it?, ambivalent.
Post Partum Depression aside, I obviously grew to love my daughter. To say that she has so firmly wrapped herself around the core of being that I can not imagine life without her existence in the world is utterly true. To admit that I have considered punching Teachers and small children ( and occasionally her Father) directly in the face for upsetting her is wholly true.
However, the lesson I learned in those moments, days, months and years after her birth was that Motherhood was a Job that many of us take On, but not all of us are entirely Suited for having. That doesn't mean we shouldn't have children...just that the experiences is going to be different than what the popular concept of "Mothering", distilled down from those crazy Victorians, has come to mean.
Like any job, there are days when I am really good - really on top of my game. I can multi-task, soothe hurt feelings, manage to get food on tables, pets fed and watered and encouraging words said over homework. Maybe I will even have sex with my husband later on!
Other days? Well, you can take this job and shove it so far up your intestinal track that it tickles your duodenum. These are the days when I am Done. I want a Drink. I want to Sleep. I want to be LEFT ALONE. I want to be selfish and ungrateful and work out whatever I need to work out in my juvenile temper tantrum. I don't want to be a mother or a wife or anything that owes anyone any kind of explanation.
Rather than deny myself those thoughts, as I once tried with disastrous results, I let them Rage. Roar. Rumpus. After twelve years of parenting and twenty of togetherness, Terrance no longer tries to cajole or chastise me out of those feelings. He knows better. I will return in my own good time.
Which bring me back to the Mommy-Haters.
In my experience, the thing I hate or react to the most tends to be the thing I need to face in myself. Just as when I watch the people who loudly defend marriage as being between a man and a woman, I often wonder how long before we see them in a gay sex scandal, or hear of how they like to have their diapers changed by prostitutes. I can't tell you how many people have told me I am destroying marriage with TWC, only to find out later they are all having affairs. I mean, it's almost like a pre-written Greek play to watch this stuff play out. Rather than be deeply angry with this type of person, I tend to pity them.
Fear is a powerful motivator. Fear of Truth is the most powerful motivator. My empathy comes from my knowledge that the fear of speaking the truth out loud to others - that these women sometimes hate their children, hate their husbands, hate their lives - is so powerful that it threatens their own very carefully constructed self images in such a way that the only choice is to divert this to other women. The "Look over there" strategy which is defined by many feminists, like Dr Lyn Mikel Brown as "horizontal aggression"
Girlfighting gets acted out horizontally on other girls because this is the safest and easiest outlet for their outrage and frustration. Girls are essentially accessing and mimicking the male violence they sometimes know all too well; and they are choosing victims that are societally approved— other girls. This pattern of horizontal aggression has long characterized subordinate groups since it manages the inevitable anger in the group being controlled without jeopardizing the over all structure of male privilege.
Its Easier to rip apart another woman than to face the issue within - that Motherhood is, at times, a thankless shitty job. It can put you in some blender of the cult of motherhood which strips away things about yourself that you value and allows others to assign you roles, ideas and feelings which you may not wholly believe. When you see a woman who has clawed her way out of the mold, she must be stopped because then, well, then what will everyone know about you - About ALL of us?
I know that I, and many other Women Bloggers, will never stop speaking our truths. Including those on motherhood and the many other stages of women's lives. When those other women are done raging against our uppity, ungrateful, selfish ways ( which again, means to me : "I wish I had the cojones to do/say what you are doing/saying") I am happy to welcome them into the fold.
Forgiveness through empathy trumps pooping on peeps any day.