Until recently, when I joined a “mothers” forum, I had maintained a very superficial presence on Facebook. It became clear very quickly, however, that the forum was nothing less than an ode to child neglect. Mothers were seeking advice about the controversial ‘Cry It Out’ method of sleeptraining, no doubt because they needed to drag children out of bed at the crack of dawn and thus were desperate for them to go sleep at a ‘reasonable’ hour. One mother, whose child had severe eczema related to food allergies, admitted that ‘his skin looked beautiful’ the couple of weeks they were on holiday when she could properly supervise his diet, whereas at day care, he was inevitably fed some offending foodstuff. Another was looking for a nanny for her one month-old infant. Another posted on a Monday, how ‘blissful’ it was to be back in the office after a stressful weekend of being ‘on mommy duty 24/7′ – the very next day (!) to post that her baby was terribly sick with thrush with big white sores in his mouth. The same mother frequently posted about recurring ear infections which saw her at the doctor’s office every three weeks. Yet another about how ‘good’ her day care was in having bathed her child until age two.
Today I finally cracked. I posted something about ‘taking care of your own children for heaven’s sake,’ and closed my account.
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This whining isn’t exclusive to Facebook, which I am sure you already know. Most of the mothers whom I spend my time with are older and their children already have children, because I cannot stand the endless complaining, sniveling and whining that the younger mothers engage in regarding their own children! Granted, I am an “older” mother; I have a twenty year old son, a toddler and an infant.
Needless to say, I attended a party for a two year old recently, and was thrust into the company of the younger mothers. They were all drinking wine or beer at the toddler’s birthday party, and allow me to say, the whine was flowing freely!
Myself and another much younger woman were the only two full-time mothers. The topic, in full earshot of myself and this other full-time mother, was how “they” could “never do THAT!” (be a full-time mother) because it would deprive them each of some nebulous thing they required for themselves. I was so proud of the other, younger mother: she said, “Well, I thank God every day for the blessing of my children and my husband’s provision so that I can be with them full time.” That was it, and it hushed the cackling hens.
In addition, women have said to me:
“I wish my PARENTS would just quit work! Don’t they know THEY need to come over here to my house and take care of their grandchildren so I can work?”
“I can’t wait to take my vacation. Usually I am just anxious to leave my children, but I know this vacation is good for my soul. I can’t wait to just lie on the beach and do nothing without husband or children!”
“This is just 24/7! I am always “ON.” It’s not fair.”
“If you want to get rid of my kids, just order them to go outside.”
“I can’t wait to be somewhere where there aren’t two mouths attached to my breasts all day and night.”
“Work is so much easier than taking care of my children all day.”
And the grand whine of all time: “I can’t afford to stay home! We both have to work!” (Spoken by a young mother to elicit sympathy, as she simultaneously showed off her shiny, new Honda Odyssey).
Granted, many mothers might feel tired enough to say things like this at times; we all have our moments. However, whining about motherhood is like a plague of the worst sorts – it is terribly contagious, and pretty soon, sweet mothers everywhere travel from feeling blessed on the worst of days to thinking that the whole journey is a terrible curse. Thus, I just won’t do it myself out loud, even if I have slept for an hour and a half and feel like my nipples are tearing off!
This season of having children at home is just so brief! It’s just the bat of an eyelash and then they are graduating high school! I suppose I have the privilege of knowing this, having already raised my son, yet still having little ones around. I wish there was a way to impart the wisdom so that these women truly, truly appreciate the blessing that they have in their hands before it is too late.
Everyone gets irritable and taking care of children is a demanding job, but feminism seems to have given women such a massive sense of victimhood that they feel entitled to complain freely about their children. It is very contagious.