Essay on motherhood
Each scream is a flattening of my soul, rupturing the connection to myself, leaving my soul a little bit more depleted.
Whilst on the outside I say, “Good boy for eating your sandwich,” teeth gritted, eyes smiling -but not. Faced with the knowing stare of my child who screams again, and it begins again.
At the end of the day I collapse in a heap, stretched, ironed out, flattened by the constant and never ending demands of my children. I crumple in front of the TV, trying to refill my soul with films devoid of character and chocolate lacking the life giving lustre I seek. Stuffing myself to oblivion, hoping to fill my soul again, till the onslaught begins again the next day.
So it goes on, this motherhood cycle, want, want, want all day: give, give, give; and myself given up in meeting the constant ego demands of my offspring.
I feel myself disappearing in the process. I try hanging onto a bit of me, but I’ve forgotten in my sleep starved, catatonic state what me ever was. What I looked like or felt like. With the next scream a wisp of me disappears into the ether, lost again. I wonder if there’s a place in heaven where I’ll be able to pick up the lost and forgotten remnants of myself. I just wonder if I’ll recognise them or need them by then.
I never imagined that I would become one of those harassed, worried looking mothers I used to see in the shopping centre before I became a mother myself, who would scream without a hint of embarrassment, “Timmy get here now, or I’ll throttle you.” But you know, I have.
Being a mother is like a sort of subtle Chinese Water torture – drip, drip, drip: want, want, want. Not only did I lose my figure, but some days I feel like I’m losing my mind too.
So much for post feminist mothering. I may have gadgets to make my day run more easily, so I don’t spend all morning elbow deep in grey, cold water. But all the kitchen paraphernalia in the world doesn’t change the fact that humans rear their babies for longer than any other animal.
Despite all the bra burning in the 60’s, the so called emancipation of women, I don’t actually think the job I do as a mother is one bit different to the centuries of Edwards women who’ve gone before me.
So, am I shocked? Yes. I’m amazed that no one ever really lets on how dreary, boring, lonely and sheer soul sucking the job of motherhood is. And yes, don’t forget I get to do it for free, or is love meant to be enough? Try telling that to the production line at Ford “sorry no pay cheque this month, but you’ll get a kiss if you’re lucky.” I think not.
So not only is the job of motherhood largely ignored, it’s contribution to the social fabric of our nations under estimated we are expected to give ourselves up in the process, and after 20 years become unemployable.
No wonder young women are saying, “no thanks,” in their droves, and that most European countries are seeing a negative birth rate. Anyone for motherhood?
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