I’m certainly on the end of a cranky phase, which has tied in nicely with my exhausted and sick phase. My husband is one lucky man.
But while this post might be a little motivated by tail end crankiness, it is more the result of a lot of articles, blogs and commentary I have come across of late which have brought home to me how, as women, we seem to do a great job at making each other feel inadequate.
First, it was Jacinta Tynan’s article about Easy Peasy Motherhood. Now, I understand there are two sides to every story, and I also understand that she wanted to express an oft-overlooked sentiment that motherhood can be none other than blissful, but the manner in which it was done suggested that those who didn’t share that view were ungrateful or whiney. She acknowledged that she was not a single mother, had not suffered post natal depression, did not have a sick child and (I’m reading between the lines here) didn’t struggle desperately to conceive. Already she can’t express a view for a large proportion of women. When Harriet was 2 weeks old we went to a wedding and got talking to a couple who had a few little kids. Of course we were gushing about our new little bundle. While exchanging kid stories, the husband said “I just feel it is an honour to get up and change nappies in the middle of the night.” Even then, in our hypnotic baby love phase, we laughed. I didn’t mind getting up and changing pooey nappies, but I probably wouldn’t have classified it as an “honour.”
And then there’s a blogging war I’ve been observing from afar, unable to turn away despite my better judgment. A friend from work recently put me on to Vogue Forums for fashion things (she is tres stylish) and the first “thread” I came across referred to a nasty blogging war between a young Texan (supposedly “rich Daddy’s girl”) blogger (‘the young one’) and a much older, “style blogger” with a huge following but in a hugely sad state (‘the old one’). The old one, who I need to add has just been through an unspeakable personal tragedy, has taken it upon herself to virtually harass and stalk the young one, on the basis that the young one has a rich Daddy and loves fashion and gets along with her Mum. Yeah sure, I don’t know the ins and outs, but an older woman posting unspeakable things about a young girl in various online forums for all to see, has left me speechless. My fingers have ached to leave a comment, but that would be futile.
And then this. There’s a local Melbourne blog I read, a designer with four kids and a lovely home, who looks after the kids and home and runs a kids’ fashion label. I was put onto the blog by my Mum, and although I have liked parts of it, other parts have annoyed me. In particular, the posts with the kids all matching in impeccably clean outfits in a Home Beautiful home and the obligatory soup bubbling on the stove. Either I’m a completely hopeless failure, as I can’t manage that with one child, or there’s something contrived in the blogging. Now I’ll be careful as I don’t want to replicate the blogging war referred to above of which I completely disapprove, and I actually have no doubt the blogger is a very nice lady, overflowing with both talent and a gorgeous family.
Anyhow, today incited me a bit. It was a post about a house the blogger had been eyeing off, but had decided at the last minute not to bid on. Pictures were displayed – it had rooms aplenty and a gloriously lit pool. Lovely. The only glitch came with the “the house sold for an absolute steal today.” I google the house. Here ’tis.
The bit in red is this.
“Steal” means bargain. “Absolute steal” must mean absolute bargain. Now, I don’t know what the house sold for, and it seems that it was below expectations, but anything in the range of $3.85 – $4m for a family home to me does not spell, well, cheap. This isn’t a jealous rant, I have no problem with $4m homes, but I do have a problem with a blog which purports to be homely and accessible to all, dropping one liners about houses which have passed them by (due to choice) but which were so cheap.
Let’s be honest with each other. Here’s my suggestion. And I’m going to put it into practice.
1. Motherhood is whatever it is to you. Our experiences are all so varied it’s impossible, really, to make any objective statements about it. Runaway with your subjective views, but avoid the “so I wish women would…”
2. Pick on someone your own size. Don’t belittle others to make yourself feel better. If you don’t like someone’s fashion, blog, husband, career, personal choices, music taste – whatever – keep it to yourself. It’s kinda not your business.
3. Be realistic. And be honest. It makes it easier on the rest of us.