Can We Talk?

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Can We Talk?


I love my son, but then, he’s forty. I love being with him. He has a great sense of humour and a real zest for life. However, looking back to when he was a baby and later, a toddler and still later, a teenager, it was all absorbing. Man, it was boring and later, just plain stressful. Still, I would not have missed the experience. But I’d never do it again.

I loved being pregnant. You get so much attention. Everyone around you seems so up. They hold doors and help you in and out of chairs. Your husband is so very attentive. He’s making sure that bun in the oven is baked just right. There is huge excitement at the birth. Especially when it’s a boy. Wow. Could anything be more wonderful or gratifying?

Then, you get home with the baby and everything changes. Suddenly, you’re on your own. Suddenly, he stays out late most nights. When he is home, he can’t stand the screaming, so he orders you to do something. Walk up and down the hall with the baby to get him to be quiet. Your back hurts. Lifting the baby and walking and swaying is hard on the body. Bending to change diapers and bathe the baby etc. is such a strain. Lower back pain becomes the norm. You feel exhausted all the time. Where is Dad? He’s in another part of the house. He’s angry because you can’t spend the time waiting on him hand and foot. You suspect, he’s resenting the baby. And you’re right.

Some mothers just love being mothers. I admire them. They live and breathe for their children. They don’t go anywhere without them. They have no other interests, it seems. These women are mostly Asian. What is it about Asian women that makes them such good mothers? They are not troubled by the fact that their men never come home early, anymore. As long as they’re with their children, that’s all that matters.

Well, I’m not Asian. I feel, if you can afford it, and even if you can’t – a live-in nanny is the answer. She does all the dull stuff and then she presents your son to you all bathed, fed and smelling nice. When he starts to fuss, she takes him away. That’s gratifying. That’s when you love being a mother.

I think of all that silliness the media feeds you on the joys of motherhood. They make it sound almost like a spiritual experience. It is portrayed as the most fulfilling adventure you could possibly have. Well, I’ll say this. It’s probably a necessary one for the propogation of the species. Let’s not make it something it’s not. It is not an extension of yourself. In fact, you give birth to a total stranger. There may be physical similarities but that’s where it ends. You can fool yourself into thinking he/she is just like ___ (fill in the blanks.) Hell, you can fool yourself into anything.

So there you have it. And, if you’re reading this, my dear son, don’t take it personally. Now that you’re a father yourself, I’m sure some of what I wrote is hitting a little close to home.

August 19th, 2006 Posted by | Family, Relationships | no comments

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