Saturday, April 14, 2012

Nice work if you can get it.

So, Ann Romney and the GOP want you to know how hard it is to be a mother. "The hardest job anyone can ever have..." they would like you to know, particularly if your ability to support your children depends on the assistance programs that Republican leaders are targeting as being wasteful.

Several months ago, some tried to re-light the "welfare queen" fuse, forgetting how many folks have been brought kicking and screaming to the place where the choice they were making was between food stamps or no food on the table.

But now we have the return of the so-called "Mommy Wars" because, what's the fun of public conflict if you can't use the word war in your sound bite?

Leaving aside for just a moment the gymnastic-like dexterity it took to recast the comments made by Hilary Rosen as being an attack against stay-at-home mothers...

Leaving aside the near satire of Ann Romney trying to talk about the struggle of raising five sons with no support...except absolute financial security and a full house staff...

Leaving aside the joke that is the sudden fondness the GOP has discovered for the word "choice" so long as that choice is limited to those areas they feel are acceptable...like staying home and raising multiple children and/or, you know, marrying a man...

I'm going to say that I'm tired of motherhood being talked about as some kind of imposed burden or monumental achievement in and of itself. The Roller Derby Queen and I were talking about this the other day, faced as we were with another mandatory baby shower for a colleague who, while certainly an amiable enough individual, is neither a close friend of a relative. 

There are, without question, amazing mothers out in the world...just as there are amazing fathers and uncles and grandparents and on and on. People who have made the choice to have and raise and take the responsibility of parenthood as seriously as they have any other decision in their lives.

I will say without hesitation that it was with that same level of thought and care and consideration that Leopold and I made the decision not to have a child. 

And it is for that reason there is nothing that inspires more irritation in me than someone telling me that I will never be as "tired", "stressed" or "overworked" as a mother. "You think you're tired, you've never been up all night with a baby." "You couldn't understand how hard it is to juggle all I do every day." "You have no idea what exhaustion is."

No. You're right. I haven't experienced what you're experiencing. I've not had that good fortune. But your choice is not greater or more impressive or more difficult than my own. So, I have no sympathy for the "burden mother". And, more than that, if you want me to have any respect for the "struggle" of your choice, than it's time for you to offer the same respect for the choices made by the rest of us.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

BIG trouble in a little city.

I have been told that I am diplomatic to a fault when it comes to how I operate in the professional world.

Personally, I've never thought of it as diplomacy, it's just good manners.

What that means, however, is that I'm sometimes taken completely by surprise when others apparently were not raised this way. Folks who operate in a world where their every thought...no matter how unprocessed or considered...is one that should be expressed without care or thought of consequence.

These bombs seem to be landing around me quite a bit lately. Some directed my way, some simply lobbed in my general vicinity. Some are BIG. Some are being tossed from here in our little city.

Dodging gets tiring. Being angry and upset is tiring. Being a target because you keep putting your neck out to try and do things that are new and different and better than before is discouraging.

The Roller Derby Queen and I were commiserating about this state of affairs and I suddenly had a moment when I realized that what I wanted, what I really, really wanted, was to find something positive and...well...joyful to do. Something that would make it all feel worth it.

And when that thing happens, trust me. It's going to be good.