I recently read an article which suggested mothers should stop ‘moaning’ about being tired. While published some time ago in the United Kingdom it has only recently been picked up in the Australian press.
This article was written by a woman who is in her mid forties and has realised it is now too late to have a child. It is a tragedy for her. I can easily concede that her sense of loss is enormous.
What is unforgiving is the way she talks to mothers. She adds to the guilt burden mothers feel and doesn’t allow the ‘rite of passage’ that must remain untouched. We have to be allowed to admit we get tired.
We already feel guilty about so many things as mothers. We feel guilty if we don’t breastfeed. We feel guilty if we indulge in a glass of wine while breastfeeding. We feel guilt if we exclusively breastfeed (what about those women that can’t?). We feel guilty if we breastfeed in public.
The list is endless. We feel guilty if we don’t have the perfect body three months after we give birth (how do those celebrities all do it? And God forbid they don’t); if we over dress or under dress our babies; if our baby makes too much noise when we go out; if our baby is slower to hold themselves up than others the same age; if we sit them in front of the television; if we introduce cow’s milk, eggs or nuts too early; if we don’t have an immaculate home for them to play in, if we don’t have the best pram; if we haven’t enrolled them in the right school from the day they were born….
Sometimes I am tired. Having babies and children is tiring. Sometimes acknowledging you’re tired takes a bit of the burden away, especially if it means you can get some help or some vital sleep.
The author of the article (Bibi Lynch) doesn’t want to ‘mum-bash’ but then proceeds to, at length. She also doesn’t want to “incur the wrath of mummy bloggers”. So she wants to have a go at mothers and then demands there be no right of reply!
All women need to protect women more than ever because there is so much pressure on us to be superhuman, in whatever field we are pursuing. And yes some of this pressure may be self-induced but that doesn’t make it less relevant.
Ms Lynch doesn’t know the love of a child and is obviously deeply troubled by this, an emotional roller coaster ride I can only imagine. But this does not give her the right to silence women for something that may provide catharsis – their entitlement to say “I’m tired”. It may just be the cry for help some women need to survive the hardest (and most amazing and wonderful) job they can do…being a mother.
You can view the article at http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2012/mar/31/mothers-stop-moaning-about-motherhood