About this Blog

After banging my head in frustration over the obsession everyone around me had with procreation, I went online to find a community of people who were more like me. I have met some fascinating people along the way, but I have also found that many in the childfree community are quite hostile toward Christianity and a Christian world view. I understand that, unfortunately, many of my Christian sisters and brothers have given them a lot of ammunition (undoubtedly, I have been guilty of this at times too). Not wanting to be perceived as "trolling" for expressing my Christian perspective on other people's forums and blogs, I use my own blog to share my musings on childfree life while at the same time expressing my faith.

My intention is to show support to childfree people, both Christian and non-Christian, but from my own Christian perspective. Questions and constructive comments are welcome; negativity and intolerance are not.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother’s Day

I don’t have a problem taking a day out of the year for each of us to thank our mom. After all, I would guess that for a significant number of us out there, mom loved us when we were unlovable, and she tried her best to help us grow into decent people.

I know that some childfree people have a beef with this celebration, and I understand their reasons. Some feel it is society rubbing in that they are second-class citizens; some just want recognition for their contributions to the world; some feel left out. For me, rather than feeling left out when I saw people on facebook posting greetings to each other, I was flooded with relief. No one was going to equate me to my uterus with a “Happy 1st Mother’s Day, So-and-so!” In fact, I actually felt a little sorrow for some of these women -- interesting people who have done some pretty magnificent things, but now people treat them as if they are only a mother and nothing more. They are their reproductive ability. (This kind of treatment of women is similar to something I described in Love Being Married, Hate Being “Mrs.” I suspect that even if I had children, I would want to keep a low profile on Mother’s Day.)

Actually, however, the toughest part about Mother’s Day for me is picking out a card for my mother. I love her, she loves me, and she has helped me through a few really tough times in my life, but she doesn’t fit the profile of the typical card oozing about how perfect, how great, how best-in-the-world she is. (I hate the sappy sentimentality of most greeting cards anyway, which is not unique to Mother’s Day.) There is no card that says, “Thanks for trying.”

Attributable in part to my mother’s upbringing, she was an impatient parent who was quick to grab a belt. I’m sure she would swear up and down that she wanted to be a mom, and I know she loves her kids, but from all appearances she did NOT enjoy being a mother (and probably should have been childfree; she would have made a wonderful aunt). As soon as I was old enough to watch my siblings, she left stay-at-home motherhood for a 70 hour/week job. I don’t know whether I should be relieved that she wasn’t home all day to scream at us, or remain bitter that I was saddled with raising the other kids. Ultimately, her other interests left little time for the rest of the family. We took family vacations without her; she never attended any of my sporting events; I think she made it to a few of my music events …but always arrived after I had performed.

That’s not to say that she did nothing good. I do have some fond memories of her looking after me when I was a child. Once she left our family, I was able to see a kinder, very nonjudgmental side of her; perhaps the stress of raising children is what had brought out the worst in her. And when I was an adult, my relationship with her improved significantly.

So on this Mother’s Day, I thank my mom for loving me, and I pause to reflect on how hard it must have been for her to raise me, given her family history and her temperament. She did the best she could with what she had.

1 comment:

  1. This might be a late suggestion response, and if you already had much of the same in mind, then I apologize for repeating this again. ;-) :-)

    One can also write a letter with your own honest words, I am sure your mother might appreciate that, maybe more, than just getting one card with copied down words.

    Cards can be sweet, and sometimes you do find a card saying things the way you'd like to. But if you never find any card like this, "write your own one".

    Or I have also seen cards where nothing is written on it, and a chance to write your own words.

    Just a thought given.

    I love getting more letters than cards myself. I think most cards are so boring, especially when they only write a few words in it.

    But then you also have those who love getting cards, no matter what is it's content.