R*E*S*P*E*C*T

I think it is interesting, at times frustrating, to ponder why we loathe to be labeled as “mommy bloggers” while at the same time demand to be respected as “mothers”.

I ran across this sentence via a comment to a post on a blog written by Jessica Gottlieb that pondered the uncomfortable nature of blogging and being recognized. The commenter blogs anonymously, which is something I find fascinating but wonder at its feasibility in the long term. Regardless, her musing intrigued me because I don’t like the mommy-blogger label or the fact that as a woman writer, who happens to blog, that I have to be a mommy blogger in order to find outlets on the web. It is a social media glass ceiling of sorts that condemns women to shilling for wampum by trading their cute kid stories and making fun of their husbands.*

How?

Because I’ve put my uterus to work just the one time, this has somehow made what I think about anything not related to child-rearing, housekeeping and female related consumerism irrelevant. My experiences and perspective are tainted by marriage and procreation. I am clearly not in my right mind.

Clearly this would have been the case anyway, but the second part – about needing to demand respect for the whole luck of the sperm bagging an egg thing – is not something I can wrap myself around.

Because I don’t care.

When I was teaching, I had occasion here and there to point out to a recalcitrant child, or classroom full of them, that teaching was not a democracy. I would not be polling them for input nor did I need their approval. Teaching them was my job. My decisions were in the best interest of their learning, and sometimes they would not agree and that really didn’t matter.

Parenting is not a democracy. Polling others for what they would or wouldn’t do with your child is something that adults charged with rearing babies to competent, independent adulthood shouldn’t do very often, if at all. What you think of my parenting is your business because my business is raising my child with the values and skill sets that my husband and I have decided upon. Other people don’t get a vote.

And there is also the fact that creating a baby is something that almost everyone can do without too much instruction (although I couldn’t but that’s another story) and that some of dumbest people I have ever met have created, birthed and sort of raised children to a tenuous independence or even a brilliant state of grown up. It’s not quantum physics. Which is probably a really good thing.

I suppose though that there is a kernel of truth to the idea that there are those among the parenting set who feel disrespected for their efforts and zeal, but respect can’t be wrung out of those who wouldn’t have made your choices in similar circumstances. The eye of the beholder  looks in more than it looks out.

An interesting perspective.

*I can tell a cute kid story with the best of them, but zinging my husband? Seriously? What material object could possibly be worth your marriage?

4 responses to “R*E*S*P*E*C*T

  1. demand to be respected as “mothers”

    i find that comment odd as well. perhaps she meant the desire for enhanced appreciation for the ‘profession’ of motherhood? pointless to speculate on her intent, though. if you ask me “Who are you?”, the role of mother is certainly a factor. But one of several… must i be respected simply because my eggs hatched? Or only if i was good at it? Oh, and what is “good”? My son isn’t in jail. By some standards? That’s pretty good. So far…

  2. there is nothing I find more trainwrecky and strange than someone who bashes her husband on the internet.

    I know a few women who talk about their husbands and the husbands read the blog. I know this for a fact because I emailed these bloggers. They say that they post old arguments, so it’s okay.

    No it’s not.

    They say that it shames their husbands into changing their behaviors.

    That’s not okay either.

    It’s disgusting.

    I rank it with poop and potty stories. No one wants to hear it.

    At least I don’t.

    • I sat at dance last night and tried mightily not to hear two women denigrating their husbands. Loudly and profanely. I hear that a lot when I am in mommy mode out in the world. I wonder if it is a learned thing? My own mother certainly never missed an opportunity to complain about my dad. Something I know she regrets now that he is gone, especially since she did so much of it with him right there in the room. I told her she would, but she didn’t listen and now she grieves the lost opportunities to have worked at their relationship instead of trying to “shame” him into changing. He was not a saint. He had flaws and some of them were not excusable, but her shaming just made him dig in and that created a vicious circle, and they spent 40 of their 52 years chasing each other around it.

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