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Cult of Bad Momma

I am not a good mother. This is what I tell myself every day. Every time I put myself ahead of my children. This is the damning sentence I hand out to myself every morning I stay in bed putting off parental responsibilities that loom closer and closer like a hangman’s noose. Parental chores that include screaming fits with a six-year old who demands to know why he cannot wear yesterday’s underwear. And trying to reason with an unreasonable toddler who will insist on chomping on detergent. I cannot be a good mother, I reason. Good mothers do not wish they hadn’t become mothers at all. Sure, they may sometimes wish they could go back to being single and fancy-free and all that. But they would say things like ‘I love my children endlessly’ and ‘the joys they bring to my life are boundless’ and other time-worn phrases that ring true when they say it and sound hollow coming from my mouth. Unlike other good mothers out there, at this point of time I honestly wish I had not become a mother. I take no joy in changing their nappies or packing their lunches. I find these duties cumbersome.

Don't get me wrong. I do not neglect my children. They are well-fed with home-cooked food, their bottoms are clean, their bed sheets are washed and changed fortnightly, their nails are clipped short, their heads free from head lice, they are read to every night, their wounds washed and bandaged, their fears soothed and calmed. In shorts, my children are cared for well by their parents. But I do these out of a sense of duty and not out of love as I have come to realise lately. And this is the hardest and most difficult realisation of them all. While I would readily accept a vagrant father, a virtually non-existent father and in instances, even an abusive father, it is the less-than perfect mother that I have trouble coming to terms with.

(More later)

Comments

rads said…
Yes. I realise too.
Sujatha said…
Wow, All this while I thought I was the only bad mother,which I had accepted long time ago. I feel exactly the same way as you do. I have visited your blog now and then, but this one made me comment.

Suja
Anonymous said…
//While I would readily accept a vagrant father, a virtually non-existent father and in instances, even an abusive father, it is the less-than perfect mother that I have trouble coming to terms with.//

why?

I hate fathers who change nappies only when told and take pride in not knowing things about their children.

- Premalatha
btw, until recently I didn't feed my child home cooked food.
ra said…
Not a mother, but recognise that you could feel that way. No need to put yourself down over it.
i wish u guys wudnt be so hard on yourselves, coz u r doing what u can. and if u find no time for urself, then there wont be any u to tk care of those kids. u dont think so?

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Bio-data

Married for 31 years, 2 months and 17 days
Six cups coffee a day, brewed everyday of marriage
Three meals a day,
At least two dishes cooked, each meal-time
One snack for every Sunday
Big basket of clothes ironed every Tuesday
Average 18 items of clothing washed per day
Three children
1 miscarriage
One mother-in-law suffered
900 sq metre of floor space mopped, once a day
One caesarean endured
3 chicken poxes, 2 measles, 2 fractures, 8 diarrhoeas, depression, conjunctivitis every summer, 1 tonsilitis and countless common colds and flues
1 job held for 29 years
6 hours slept every night
Sex tolerated every 2nd week
Religious rituals everyone of them, carried out
Not one of them, believed in
Lived 52 years and some
Died exhausted

Overheard, “At least she had the satisfaction of having lived for her family”


http://jikku.blogspot.com/2005/02/quick-tale-3.html#c111042815438237631

The Saturday Poem

Found this in yesterday's paper. Again, I wish I'd written it.

-a

Now and Then

"Now that I'm fifty-seven",
My mother used to say,
"Why should I waste a minute?
Why should I waste a day

Doing the things I ought to
Simply because I should?
Now that I'm fifty-seven
I'm done with that for good."

But now and then I'd catch her
Trapped in some thankless chore
Just as she might have been at
Fifty-three or fifty-four

And I would say to her
(And I have to bite my tongue)
That if you mean to learn a skill
It's well worth starting young

And so, to make sure I'm in time
For fifty, I've begun
To do exactly as I please
Now that I'm thirty-one.

-Sophie Hannah

Lost in Post

To a little boy

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-

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