Sunday, 8 February 2009

The Dummy Mummy decade...

... is the title of a great article in The Observer Woman magazine today. Every month when this supplement comes out I can't wait to get my mitts on it and devour every well written page. Rachel Cooke, who admits she never wants kids, discusses how recently a entire generation of women have become obsessed with motherhood and can talk of little else.

I couldn't agree more - even though this sounds somewhat rich coming from a woman who blogs about Motherhood. The difference I think, nay hope, between myself and a dummy mummy - is that I hope to god I have something more to chat about than simply what colour Sproglet's nappy was today? I appreciate that women need to talk about motherhood because if they didn't they'd go stark raving mad - as it is so damn consuming - and isolating. If we didn't get a load off - we'd combust. So forgive us Rachel.

Yet I agree with the crux of her argument - that the women who drone on and on about motherhood - and seem to be only identify themselves (and I quote Rachel) 'primarily, vociferously, and sometimes exclusively as Mothers' - confirm what men think: that we are only interested in having babies and nesting - ergo why should women be promoted, taken seriously or well paid? That this motherhood devotion is oddly competitive and smug - that somehow you just don't 'get it' if you haven't pushed a watermelon out of you vajayjay.

Rachel's main fear is that she will turn into a woman like the one she describes a meeting at a recent party. She asked the woman if she had seen a certain film and the woman replied 'I don't see films' as if movies are how people without kids fill up their dull hours, until they do. This woman added a further blow when talking jobs by saying 'I really wouldn't want to work full time, it just wouldn't be fair.' No wonder Rachel wants to punch women like this in the jaw. The pedestals which these martyr women put themselves on (Ulrika Jonsson being the worst at this - always bleating on about how tired she is, how she doesn't do blah blah blah because she has so much more important things to do being a mother of four - easy answer Ulrika, if you didn't want this exhausting life - replete with nannies I add - then why didn't you just shut your legs for once??) just highlights the yawning gap between child free women and those with kids - when sisters, we should all be on the same side eh???

I too have a fear - the Militant Mother. I encountered one today. I took Sproglet for a 'playdate' (the very title makes me nauseous)with a local MM I know. She told me how her in-laws were coming to stay for a week to mind her darling daughter and explained how she has typed out the kid's routine for her Mother-in Law to follow. Yes - typed it out. She means business. It was stuck to the fridge for reference. I get that it is good to let those minding your child know what he/she is used to - so I glanced over it out of curiosity. Oh my god. First line: 'Up 7am. Breakfast choice of cheerios or toast. After breakfast she is dressed immediately.' Not so much routine as militant orders. This child isn't allowed any chocolate (ever) and only milk at bedtime. No snacks other than snacks listed and she has to sit on her potty twice daily although 4 months or more shy of actual potty training. I'm surprised the kid hasn't got an allotted fart window at 1:05pm every day...

Thing is - Sproglet sits on the potty whenever he fancies - slowly slowly catchy pooey monkey. He eats chocolate - as in buttons or maltezers - regularly, under the idea that a little of what you fancy is always good for you - and total abstinence just creates a feverish like need for said forbidden fruit. I'm a flexible mother -crummy - but flexible and as long as he is happy - hell, I'm happy. Now Sproglet shares his toys, is a happy wee soul and kisses crying kids, sleeps like.... well a baby, (a paradox there as many babies do not sleep at all) eats his grub with relish and is friendly and kind. Militant child in the short time was I was there today: hit Sproglet in the face, pushed him towards a wall, took HIS toy from him and cried when she had to give it back, kept her rice cake treats to herself until she was told to share, had to sit on the naughty step twice, screamed when she didn't get her way, held toys he wanted to play with under his nose and then swiped them away before he got near them and physically kicked him out of her spoilt princess tent. Sproglet took it all in good grace - even after he fell over and had a massive nosebleed. I smiled politely and restrained myself for wanting to pin this little madam to the ground for being so mean to my wee boy. If that is what routine does for you - maybe it's time to throw the typed papers out of the window? No?

Rachel - sorry for that outburst - am sure it bored the hell out of you. But I'm available for a post - Bafta deconstruction, a chat about fav movies out at the mo (MILK is great), the wonder of J Brand jeans and an Obama love in. Wine included.

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