Good Morning Princess

Background

In the Summer of 2004, Lilith Magazine carried an article about entering the Mommy Wars by Sara Blustain. Obviously I had a tough time reading the whine with a straight face. You would think that this woman was the first person ever to have deal with working and being a mom. Worse, it seemed to be a total shock to her. Breathing the rarified air of New York City must do something to the brain. But to believe this was a new issue? Unique to her or Jewish Moms or New York? I have not a clue why she was not prepared, why she was whining, other than she was being paid for three pages in the mag. Yes, it made my gut churn, not out of sympathy but becuase there are so many others in the world who have more important things to say, I really think it was a waste. I never did send it in. Perhaps I should have.

Wake Up!

Good morning Princess! Welcome to the world of real people. Welcome to life where you make choices, you do the best you can and everything does not always have a happy ending. In fact, reality where your wants and desires may not be the center of the universe.

It seems like up to this point, with a little bit of work and a lot of imperiousness, everything has gone your way. And, now, you have finally hit something that does not respond the way you would wish.

Are you done with your temper tantrum yet?
Are you willing to grow up?
Are you woman enough to make your choices and live with the consequences?

I am your mother’s generation. I understood that I had to make choices and that everything was not perfect. I also understood that it was my responsibility to make things better for myself. In the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, no one was going to do it for me; I accepted responsibility for my life.

One of the reasons that I did this was so that my daughters (all three of them) and my son would have choices. Choices that should be wisely made. I really don’t care if they work, stay home with a family, or do both. The choices I made and my actions have given them the freedom to choose.

What I do not expect to hear is that they don’t want to make choices. That life is hard. That other people should make it easier for you.

Why?

Why do you think that your life and happiness are someone else’s responsibility? That other people should be willing to settle for less than what they want so that you don’t have to make choices? Why should your husband, your child or your employer have to listen to you whine that life is not as you would have it to be?

Think about things clearly. You want to be a mom full time? Enjoy being a mom full-time. It is the ultimate responsibility and your most significant contribution to the future (note – if you were a scientist on the path to a cure for cancer or a Nobel Prize, we would not be having this conversation. You would be working hard, paying excellent wages to a child care worker and trusting your partner to do their share.)

If you want to work, please, do so without regret. Your child will be better off for the love you will give him during your time together. He will be better emotionally for not being pulled between you and a care provider every few minutes during the day. But your attitude, that nothing is good enough, and that it is not fair, will spill over to him.

This is your life, right now. Your son is growing. You have a nice apartment and can afford child care. You are not living on the street; you have food on the table and a partner who obviously loves you enough to be there.

Frankly, I see you as fortunate—you have choices you can make. The whole world is there for you to choose. But you are going to have to make a choice and live with the consequences. Do not expect your boss to settle for poorly done work. You would not accept a car that fell apart or medications that did not work. Why should we lower the standards for you? If you don’t chose, the world will chose for you—and it will still be your responsibility to live with what ever happens.

So, instead of complaining about balancing the trials of being a part-time working mom who has husband, a babysitter, a home, and food, look outside yourself—look at building the world a better place. Look at the single young mothers who are struggling to work and feed their children. Look at the Genocide in Dafur, the wars, the famines and the natural disasters in the world that all need us to do our parts.

Good morning Princess—it is time to grow up.

-=Holly=-

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