Get A Real Job!

22 Sep

I was Facebooking recently and stumbled across a link a friend had provided to an article about breastfeeding. Yes, the article was interesting, she noted, but the reason she was sharing the link was because of the comment war that ensued thereafter. Of course, I took a look because I do love me some argy bargy. There were the obigatory pro and anti boob sentiments. But what caught my attention was one that attacked ‘breeders’ in general. The term ‘breeder’ in and of itself offends me not in the least but when the author, VJ, went on to say that mothers were, “boring, boring, boring,” that we should, “stick to taking up space in cafes, sipping lattes for four hours and whinging about how hard it is to be a mother” and finally recommended, “stick to your purpose made blogs..”, I admit, I was stung.

Because I blog. Initially, reluctantly. In general, I didn’t dig blogs. I didn’t read them and I thought that the people who wrote them were self-absorbed. I assumed the average blogger was an indulgent examiner of belly button fluff. But then I read Marieke Hardy’s (now defunct) blog.  Needing a way into my writing and also desperately requiring a creative outlet to mix into my daily mumma-ings, I decided that perhaps, the blog was the way to go.

Now, I don’t for one minute kid myself that my blog deserves mention in the same breath as the lovely Marieke’s. Hers was witty and political. I am not so clever but by the same token, I am loathe to say that  mine is ‘just another mummy blog’. And I guess that’s why the above comments got to me so much.

When I first launched my blog, as I mentioned, I wasn’t into or across the blogging world at all. I had no subscriptions (still don’t actually…) and didn’t really understand the scope of the medium. I certainly didn’t realise that there were literally THOUSANDS of blogs about being a mum. On learning this, I felt, sort of,…. stupid. It’s not like I thought I was inventing the wheel or anything, I just didn’t realise how deeply unoriginal I was being.

So I am kind of touchy about it. Like what I do isn’t important because a zillion others are doing the same. And that the subject matter of mummy blogs renders them boring, inane or even, the very thing I was originally afraid blogs were, self-indulgent. I comfort myself that I write my blog with a mind to building my very real pursuit of freelance writing. It ain’t a hobby or an opportunity to show off pictures of my kids (that’s what Facebook is for!). I write about mothering because for now, it is the very essence of who I am. It’s what I know. I am unlikely to enjoy a blog detailing the trials and tribulations of the average accountant and thusly, I can understand why many people might read my blog and be like, “Yeah…nuh. I don’t care.” And that’s fine. There’s enough room in cyberspace for everyone (sometimes frighteningly so). But then, you don’t hear people bad-mouthing the accounting blogs/forums. But when mothers get together to discuss being mothers, oh, the disdain! Talking about being a mum is akin to gossiping hens. And doesn’t that just fit perfectly with what all mothers know to be true – that mothering is still widely undervalued.

I could go into a rant about how we do the most important job there is – raising future generations who may well go on to be scientists or political leaders, doctors or futures traders – at the very least, something ‘real’ and ‘important’ where intellect and ambition are required – but other mums already know this. And in general, defending the charge that mothers are boring is redundant, too. We are, most definitely, no such thing. But newsflash, the day to day minutiae of a mother’s life can be mind-numbingly boring. FUCK yes! There are only so many times a person can play ‘postman man’ with their 3 year old before they start to lose the will to live. But that’s just part of the gig. And god forbid I should stray into soppy sentimentality but the rewards are abundant and beautiful. Mothering will put you on your arse in the best possible ways – your kids will literally change how you view the world. Experiencing life through your child’s eyes is to be returned momentarily to a second childhood – the sparkly stuff of magic and wonder. Vomit if you will but it’s just that awesome.

And yes, VJ, I daresay you have overheard mothers grouped together in cafes “whingeing about how hard it is to be a mother” – because it fucking is! And yes, we chose it and yes, we just have to get on with it but in what other field is it so vehemently discouraged to vent about the challenges of that occupation? Being a mother can be incredibly lonely and isolating. I consider the time when there were no computers, no social networking, hell, not even a council-run Mother’s Group! These resources are not only valuable but necessary. Raising kids is crazy-making. I absolutely love the network of women I have met since having children – some in person and some online. These friendships, forged through the shared experience of having children, are some of the richest and best I have ever known. And my existing relationships with women have been strengthened by the motherhood bond. I need them.

So my little blog may not be cutting edge and topically relevant in a way that’s intellectually or socially valued. But I know that when I publish my mummy musings, I am reaching other mummies who really needed to laugh, cry or otherwise have a feeling validated. Our concerns are real and worthy of sharing.

Damn it, I will not be mum about being mum!

So VJ, if that is your real name, you have my absolute blessing to not read my blog. But I imagine what you will do, in some twenty or so years, is be the cougar trying to fuck my sons. And for that, this breeder is willing to accept a simple ‘thank you’.

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