Friday, January 25, 2008

When I was in high school I was in a "reverse Shakespeare" play. We had more girls than boys, so all the gender roles were reversed. I was the mother. At one point during rehearsal one of my "sons" said something to be about the type-casting that had been used in our production. I asked him what type-casting was. He said it was casting someone based on personality traits they already had.

Shocked doesn't describe what I felt. A mother? ME? NO NO NO NO NO!!!! I never felt maternal in any way, and I never perceived myself as the mothering sort. And yet here I am, mom to one and second mom to 5 others. I work from my home to be with my daughter, and although there are very bad days and very good days, I wouldn't change my circumstances one bit. Well, my tummy would have recovered from pregnancy a bit better, but aside from that, nothing.

Before motherhood, though, I had other dreams. I wanted to be an artist of some sort. Still do. So when one of my favorite bloggers at The Owl and The Pussycat posted and excerpt from "The Awakening" by Kate Chopin, I knew I had to read it. My response to motherhood was an awakening to me, as was rediscovering sewing (not everything you make has to be out of style and ugly!) and finding the craft (art craft, not that country kitch) community. I read the story in two days. I loved it, and was surprised by it. I in no way expected the end. But the book did not feature the awakening I expected, much like how this is not the life I expected. Worth it, but not the original plan, you know?

So reading about a woman's discovery of herself, her desires and her abilities, as well as her individuality and her rights during a time of extreme repression was wonderful. Here was a woman behaving like women do now. All she needed to do was decide that she was free, and she was. In contrast to that I've been reading Linda's posts on ParentDish, and I am appalled at the comments left there. Women saying that if you don't want to stay home you shouldn't have children? What the hell? We're not all meant to be the same, and I find it so sad that people treat each other this way. I didn't know I wanted to be so motherly until I became a mother. What would have happened if some of these women became mothers and found that they weren't cut out to do the job full time? So much anger and bigotry. I found myself furious after reading some of the comments by someone named Mel and a few others. I hope they are joking, either that, or I hope they get help. Lots of help. Soon. But I'm going to practice the Buddhist idea of non-attachment, and just let this go. I'm also not going to read the comments again for awhile, because I think that some of these ladies are deliberately starting flame wars, and that's just sad.
So, to summarize, I was accurately type cast long ago, The Awakening was awesome and surprising, and deciding that you are right and everyone else is wrong isn't nice. Ahhh, letting go of anger feels so nice!

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