Monday, August 31, 2015

Not Too Much

Oh, all she does is talk about that boyfriend of hers. It's like she disappeared.
Now all she does is talk about her kids - doesn't she have anything else to say?

When women experience some major changes in their lives - such as getting in a relationship or having a baby - conversation changes.  And then the judging begins. Don't you know? You're not supposed to talk about being in a relationship or having kids. 

I was at a baby shower this weekend, trying desperately to not talk about my kids - it's a challenge I give myself from time to time, because as much as I act like I don't care what other people think of me, I didn't want to be that mom, the one whose thoughts, conversation, and entire life become consumed by motherhood. Honestly, without anecdotes of my son's shenanigans to share, I was a boring conversationalist.  I could only half-hardheartedly talk about my students, given that I've just met them, and talking about my mom's cancer diagnosis at a baby shower seemed pretty gauche. So...{{crickets}}.

Wandering around trying to quiet my daughter in her carrier, I listened in a few conversations.  The men's conversations seemed so easy. No one was trying to be or not be anything. They easily wove in and out of topics - their jobs, politics, gaming, sports, their cars, a little bit about potty training, back to gaming. The men didn't roll their eyes or ask the dads to please stop being such a dad.  They just talked.

It doesn't seem to work like that for women, and I don't get it.

I know that not every woman dreamed of being a mom from a young age, but I did.  Becoming a mom means that I have achieved one of my major life goals, and I'm not supposed to talk about it too much. I created life with my own body, and I'm not supposed to talk about it too much I spent 82 weeks growing two tiny humans. I'll spend a few years nursing. I spend 97.99% of my free non-work time with my kids. I'll spend the rest of my life worrying, and I'm not supposed to talk about it too much.

Yes, I'm a lot of things.  I'm a teacher, photographer, runner, writer, daughter, wife, friend, but the most important title I carry is "Mommy."  My husband and I are each 100% responsible for the well-being of our children (there's no 50/50 here), but I'm not supposed to talk about it too much. He's praised for being such an involved dad (and yes, he's super hot when he's caring for our kids). When he talks about his kids, he's adorable or "such a great dad." When I talk about my kids, I'm reminded that I'm not "just a mom." 

Yeah, I know.

But being a mom is the most important part of my life.  These itty bitty creatures rely on me, and even when they're grown, being their mom will still be the most important part of my life.  When I am at work, I am simultaneously doing my job and thinking about them.  Is my son being kind? Is he going to get a time out at preschool today? Is my daughter eating? Is teething really going to kick into high gear this week?  How can I do my best to help them grow into functional members of society?

But I'm not supposed to talk about that too much.


  1. I love this. I am not a Mother, so not sure I can comment, but this is something that has always confused me. People always talk about how having babies is THE best thing that has ever happened to them, and how much it has changed them for the better. And then society makes them feel bad about bragging about that little 'life-changing' being. Crazy. I hope to be able to brag about it one day :)
    Meg x

    1. Thanks for "getting" it, even before you're a mom :).


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