I saw a comment underneath someone else’s blog the other day. It was from a man saying that his grandmother raised umpteenth kids and never complained about it.
At first I couldn’t pinpoint why his comment irked me so much, and then I figured out why.
1. Hopefully his grandmother did complain.
To her friends. That lived in her neighborhood. That, I assume, based on his commentary, were all back-in-the-day, life-was-better-then, stay-at-home moms with an actual community and not one online. And, hear, hear! Good for her.
These days, many of us are having a glass of wine and texting or calling our best friends and family because they live nowhere near us—but that’s a difference in modern society versus “back when,” and this really has nothing to do with a mother’s frustration level and tolerance.
2. Kids shouldn’t know about all difficulty.
Your grandma didn’t complain? Let me rephrase that—your grandma didn’t complain? That’s right, she didn’t. To you. Her grandkid. And my children aren’t my go-to for complaining either. That’s, apparently, why we have Facebook, Twitter, and a semi-social life outside of being mothers.
3. We’re allowed a voice.
Most importantly, your grandma had one main difference from modern mothers—we’re allowed to complain.
We’re allowed to think that life is imperfect, or to have a bad day, and we’re allowed to voice it. We don’t have to Donna-Reed suck it up and vacuum more while muttering underneath our breath.
I’m being factitious in part, because I know that strong, loud women have always exited. (Thank God.) But we’re moving towards the type of equality that means that women have important voices, and away from from feeling like we had a single, silent role.
I have many friends and family members that have chosen to not have kids, or get married, or do any of this family stuff at all. That should be seen as a great choice, too. But for mothers like me, having access to reading stories from other moms out there dealing with poop, and stress, and guilt, and this insane amount of love—it’s more than helpful; it’s the life-line that I don’t have states-away from my best friends or extended family.
I’m a full-on feminist. I don’t mince words, or think I need to explain my word choice. I support LGBT rights, marriage equality, working mothers, stay-at-home moms, stay-at-home dads, and anyone in between or outside of these too-succinct ways to sum up being a human being.
I’m the picture of an average, contemporary mom—I’ve got dyed-blue hair (because I fucking felt like it), a college degree, jeans from Express, shoes from Amazon, an old shirt from too many lifetimes ago, an always-churning brain, an always covered-with-crumbs floor, two kids, a rented house, homemade tomato sauce that covered pasta from Sam’s Club.
I’m a middle-of-the-road, proud, usually happy, sometimes resentful mom. And I read mommy blogs. And I contribute to them. Because I believe my life and myself are important enough to be heard.