Her Bad Mother

Saturday, July 1, 2006

Blog Exchange - Freedom's Just Another Word For Who Are You F***ing Kidding?

*The Daily Edit: my reflections on the first ever Toronto Mama Blogger Hoe-Down are coming, and will pre-empt the perpetually pre-empted Feminist Smackdown. My local home girls are more worthy of my words than Flanagan and Hirshman, so they'll come first. Well, second. After sleep.

First - oh the shame at having neglected, in my Perfect Post and PIMP Awards Post, to thank Sarah and Krista for recognizing two of *my* posts for PPs. I edited the post to add my thanks, but, still, am self-flagellating at having been so ungracious. Bad Bad Mother! (Thanks, Sarah and Krista, many times over.)

Second - you can find me today over at Knitting Spells, reflecting on this month's Exchange topic, Freedom (I know. When was the last time you tasted that sweet liquor? Never ago? Seems that way.)

And now (drum roll): A great big Muppet welcome to my very special guest blogger, Vicki from Knitting Spells!

Freedom or Fleedom?

I've been accused by, eh-hem, certain people of fleeing from relationships or, more specifically, of dropping the axe quickly, with a big, surprising, smooth whoosh. N would constantly tell me how quick I was to end things. (But I ask you, if you've given someone 14 chances to suck it up and stop being weanie, is that quick?) Sometimes it isn't even an accusation. My friend L often says that she couldn't believe how quickly may marriage ended after that fateful moment when I said the words "I could leave him" out loud. There's evidence, for sure. There's evidence that I'm not going to stick around in a crappy situation.

There's a generation, or maybe its not a group that falls into generational lines, but there is certainly some sort of group of people that will always chastise you for not sticking it out. They'll tell you how there will always be tough times and if you aren't willing to stay through those, than you don't know what love is, what commitment is. These people, and their voices that echo in my head, are better than a martyr mother at causing a nice guilt reaction. And they make me wonder, if N's right, if L's right....if I'm just a wussy who does have the fortitude or love or whatever the hell it takes to stay with someone and work it all out. I start to wonder if I'm selfish and flighty.

And then I stop.

Because though I think it's a good thought to weigh against my heart and my gut, it cannot take over my actions. The people who purport this idea know exactly what their doing. N knew that he was using it to try to guilt me into staying with him, further changing who I was and what I felt. And he would be safe, not having to change anything, not having to face anything, as long as I thought that staying together was bigger and better than any other issue. And I don't think that. And I doubt I ever will.

There's an insidious sexism behind this thought especially now that the world does not require a woman to be attached to a man just to survive. Now that we can be fine, happy, and successful on our own, people want to scream the commitment and duty ideals even louder because what else have they got anymore? What else have they got to keep us in unhappy, unfulfilling, and useless relationships?

And as usual, Little A is the person that makes me wonder about this most of all. Am I teaching her that relationships are completely disposable? Am I teaching her to not work at things? Or am I teaching her to follow her own path, make her own decisions and know that she doesn't have to stay in any relationship that makes her unhappy? I hope its the latter, but I've found this parenting thing to be the biggest experiment I've ever known. So all I can do is hope.

Maybe I am fleeing. Maybe I'm exchanging long term security for temporal happiness and comfort and freedom from constant anger, frustration, and disappointment. But that is a freedom that I will not give up. If I cannot be free to be what I am, and feel what I feel as I'm securely bound to someone, then freedom will have to win.

(V detests bios, but loves her daughter, knitting, and maybe a few other things, maybe...depending on the day. She likes to blather on about all of these things at Spells With... )

And now... check out the other participants in this month's Blog Exchange.

Cape Buffalo
Soul Gardening
Another Mommy Moment
Mommy's Dirty Secret
Chicken n Cheese
A Mommy Story
A Crack in Life
Divine Calm
Taste the World
Knitting Spells
Motherhood Uncensored
Zach's Day
Her Bad Mother
Clueless in Carolina
Izzy Mom
Mother Goose Mouse
Chaos Theory

If you are interested in participating next month, email Kristen at kmei26 at yahoo dot com.

Freedom? Don't talk to me about freedom, Momtard. Free WonderBaby!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, AMEN on this post. I love it. I think more people should have the guts to leave unhealthy/unsatisfying situations. Because, you know what? You only have ONE life. Why waste it being unhappy?

12:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

V, I feel terrible that I haven't visited you recently - obviously it's been a while. I didn't realize that you and N had split up. I'm adding you to my Bloglines now.

Anyway. I really liked this post. I think you are teaching little A the right things.

8:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

V, you are an amazing mom and a wonderful role model. The choices you make in life are absolutely teaching Little A freedom -- the freedom to be herself, to be happy, to not "settle" for anything less than what she deserves. The freedom to be yourself is a critical one.

10:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everyone deserves to be happy and sometimes that means making a hard choice. Glad you aren't settling :)

11:19 PM  
Blogger ditzymoi said...

when i divorced after 15 yrs of sucking it up and faking happiness, i couldnt believe how some of my friends and family reacted. they were critical of me and my decision. i didnt feel like i should have had to explain the years of dealing with his depression and manipulation and his selfishness. it was enough that I knew that the kids and I would be healthier and happier with a little distance. dont let them make you doubt yourself... youre doing whats best for you and that adorable wonderbaby :)

12:02 AM  
Blogger Granny said...

It took me more than one try to get it right. We have to do what's best for us.

12:53 AM  
Blogger Laural Dawn said...

Wow. That was pretty powerful and honest.
Thanks for sharing.

8:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You do what you have to do. Your honesty and being true to yourself is the j=key for your child.

11:24 AM  
Blogger Haute Mama said...

I respect your strength and honesty and admire your creativity. You deserve the best life has to offer. I'll visit often (:

12:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm glad you're not giving up this freedom. As hard as it may be, there are times when there's no other choice but to stand tall and go after what you really want.

12:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Freedom of choice - we always have it and kudos to you for being able to use it in the way that you and your daughter need it the most.

Damnit. I'm with Julie - boo on me for not reading you regularly.

6:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow all this exchanging and I didn't even know about it! I thought no one would be around this weekend!

6:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

when you have to leave you have to leave.. sometimes people just don't like us standing up for ourselves

9:19 PM  
Blogger mo-wo said...

Does anyone remember an episode of Mary tyler Moore where she explains... Maybe I do. Maybe I do have a very long fuse... but when I blow I blow.

I bought into that. God I get pissed when I am excused of being trigger happy. But it's hard to wear your long fuse on your sleeve.

ok end of metaphor cocktail

1:22 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

HAHAHA I just love the Wonderbaby pics. LOL Finally a baby with bigger eyes than my daughter. Although I still think I've got you beat on cheeks!

11:24 AM  
Blogger toyfoto said...

Wow. That's some seriously heavy stuff. I can't offer too much, other than I think nobody's better off when mama's unhappy. Staying when you KNOW it's wrong isn't helpful to anyone.

9:40 PM  

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