Her Bad Mother

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Another Mother Weighs In...

In response to my 'struggling-to-write-love' series, and to your responses to those posts...

Hi Sweetie,

I’ve just been reading your most recent posts and some of the responses. They have evoked a lot of feelings in me, but not what I expected. It was a timely reminder of why I do what I do,* particularly at this time when I thought I was winding down. It intensified the passionate feelings I have regarding injustice and has spurred me to a new ferociousness and fearlessness in my advocacy work for all of those children who have not had and/or will not have mothers whose feelings for their children moves them to tears, whose love for their children radiates from every fibre of their being. It was, as you know, my eternal gratitude to God for the wonderful gift of you and your sister and my outrage at the injustice of circumstances of birth that started me in this direction. My wish is that these wonderful, loving, blogging mothers will, at some point in time, reflect on the children born who will never experience the depth and breadth of love that you feel for WonderBaby, that I feel for you, and that they feel for their children, and that they will reflect on the children whose parents do not have ability/means to provide their children with what is necessary for those children to pursue their dreams and to be all that they can be. And that they will reflect and do something.

Love you dearly,


*My mother is executive director of a treatment center for youth in crisis (specific to drugs and alcohol). Working with and advocating for youth has been her life for a very long time.

**My mother rocks.

Word to Grandma.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Speaking a Joy Which Can't Be Words*

EDIT: More links added below. And - the posts that follow-up my correspondence with another blogger about the problems faced by some parents in expressing love can be found here and here. You should read these.

Last week, I wrote about my desire to write about my physical love for my daughter, about my love for the physical being that is her:

What I want to write... is an ode, of sorts, of whatever sort I can manage, to the real, the pure, the heartwrenching and heartlifting beauty of her form. To the impossible harmony of strength and fragility and softness in every curve of her limbs, every tilt of her downy head, every grasp of her fierce little hand.

And I want to write about this, too: how my love for her is physical, desperately physical. How my love for her wants to cleave to her, always, to feel her pressed against me, her breath on my cheek, her tiny hands tangled in my hair, her wee proud belly warm against my chest. How there is something of the erotic - the
Platonic erotic, Socrates' eros as a yearning for beauty, for the Form of beauty, of the Good - in that love.

But, I said, I feared that such love is inexpressable. And, I feared that writing about such love, in such terms, was imprudent. That writing about such love, in such terms, would provoke censure, or, perhaps worse, invite unwanted attention. And so I invited you all to join me in this effort, to find ways of expressing the inexpressable, and to find ways of doing so without fear.

So many of you rose to the challenge. You used your words so beautifully, and I've created a list of all of the posts (below) so that those words can be read and shared and so that they can inspire and encourage other parents the way that they've inspired and encouraged me. These posts stand, I think, as testament to the power of words and the power of community in facilitating and supporting words. The power of community in supporting love, in all of its messy glory.

And this power is so important, because some of you couldn't write those words of love. One of you wrote me privately to say that the fear was just too great, to say that for the parent who is quote-unquote different - the parent who falls outside of the socio-political 'norm' of heterosexual parent, biological parent - such words might be dangerous.* Others wrote to say that a history of sexual abuse makes the topic too uncomfortable, too frightening. That sexual abuse corrupts any possible distinction between non-sexual eros and sexual eros, and that it destroys the possibility of viewing the physicality of such love as innocent.

*EDIT - the posts that follow-up this correspondence can be found here and here. You should read these.

As I said in the post that was provoked by those correspondences, I have no response to this. I have no words. It just hurts my heart.

I can't change the world. I can't snap my fingers and make it the sort of place where love is always good, where love is always joy, and where that joy finds expression in all forms. But - and I know that this sounds unbearably corny - I can, we can, make such a world of this space.

So keep writing your love for children. I'm going to keep a link on my sidebar to a page with a running list of links to your posts about love - posts that put into words the crazy messy wonderful experience of loving the amazing beings that are our children - and I'll just keep adding links as you send them to me.


Speaking a Joy

Paige - In Response
Mommy off the Record - Make of Me Sanctuary
JessiLouise - Inside
Jen at UrbanMoms - That Moment
Mo-Wo - My Little Love
MotherBumper - Before I Had Bumper
The Mouse's Nest - My Missing Piece
Bombadee's Garden - Senses
Mom-101 - Born Smiling
Cheeky Lotus - Letter
Cool Zebras
Bubandpie - Beloved
Kittenpie - My Skin, My Soul, Child of My Loins
Binkytown - Unspoken
Melanie in Orygun - True Love
Sunshine Scribe - Living In Me
MetroMama - Not a Baby Anymore
Java Junkie and The Monkey - The Secret of My Own Addiction
A Mommy Story - The Power of Touch
Beanie Baby - Love Song
The Silent I - About A Boy
Much More Than A Mom - Indescribable
Crunchy Carpets - Untitled
I Got Two, Babe - It Becomes Me
Urban Urchin - Mothering
Petra's Shadow - My Child
Zanti - Holding Little Hands
Mama? Mama Come Here! - My Love for You

I'm certain that I've missed some posts - I'm continuing to scroll comments for links. If I've missed you, I'm very sorry - please leave a comment here reminding me of your link! And if you haven't written on this yet, why not give it a try, add your voice? (And remember, The Basement is open to anyone who'd like to write there...)

I'll be adding my own post on eros and baby-love this weekend...

*With continued apologies to e.e. cummings...

Monday, August 21, 2006

I don't like Mondays

EDIT/Update: I've secured relevant permissions and have posted the 'Motherhood is Boring' article (discussed below) on another page. You can find it HERE.

And! I was on the news! As Her Bad Mother! My secret identity is no longer secret! Does this mean I lose my powers?


I don't like Mondays (tell me why...)

Because it was a long, challenging weekend with sniffles and teething and husbandly mood-suckage and I really would just like to bitch bitch bitch but that would take more emotional energy than I have and would just exascerbate the mood-suckage of the husband (who I love dearly, but seriously, dude? There's only room for one beeyatch in this house. Don't start a turf war.)

Because I have multiple blog posts on edit in my head in addition to the backlog on my to-do list and every single one of them is H-E-A-V-Y and I'm getting a bit tired of doing heavy-lifting blogging. Not to mention that I'm starting to feel like I might be the sort of person that other people find interesting from a distance but wouldn't want to have over for dinner (yes, she is very thoughtful and obviously *cough* very intelligent. But I think that she might bring the mood down, don't you?)

Because I cannot get Gitterdun out of my head.

German opera in the style of Wagner? Um, no.

For some reason, the gods have seen fit to torment me by putting this trailer on an endless loop on each of the very few television stations that I watch.

On the flip side, I am the one person in North America that does not have mother-f***ing snakes on a mother-f***ing plane! running through her head. Small mercies.

Because I was outed as a blogger this weekend. Which isn't such a big deal, really. Except that I had totally forgotten that I had provided quotes to a journalist as Her Bad Mother and was somewhat alarmed to wake up Saturday morning to e-mails from random acquaintances and colleagues and long-forgotten whomevers saying hey I saw your picture in the Globe today and omg you have a blog!

My picture?

For the record, everyone: the peroxide blonde who is morosely clutching her infant child while sitting in an amusement park ride in the picture at right is not me. Yes, the highlighted quote under that picture is from me. But the sad looking woman with dark roots in the picture? NOT ME.


This is what I look like on amusement park rides.

Note absence of infant child.

Note lovely, if damp, hair.

(Also, note creepy satanic dude eyeballing my husband behind the camera. More reasons to avoid amusement parks.)

(You're wondering about that article. Summary: the work of motherhood can be boring, some mothers say so, others get mad that any mother would refer to her Great Work as an exercise that would sometimes benefit from the infusion of large quantities of vodka. I can't be bothered to get all worked up about anyone who would deny the inherent dullness of sterilizing bottles and wiping asses, nor can I be bothered to reflect on tards who dislike their children. So that's all that I have to say about it. For now.)

(To be clear, in case anyone is getting panties all twisted about Bad Mother proclamations on boredom: the WORK of motherhood can be boring. Diapers are boring. Shit is boring, and gross. My CHILD is not boring. She fascinates me, because she is fascinating, and also, because she would kick my ass if I was not fascinated by her and failed to demonstrate that fascination every waking moment of every freakin' day...)

Because WonderBaby continues to impose her will in all matters concerning her well-being and upkeep.

Her Bad Mother has learned her lesson and is now keeping camera and camera assistant on hand in dining area. (That diaper helps us maintain our PG rating. It was loudly protested by WonderBaby, Vegan Nudist, who prefers to dine upon her tofu and humous and veggie spinach nuggets au naturel.)

Because I wrote this post this morning and Blogger wouldn't let me upload the necessary photos and so I have been stuck in blog purgatory all day.

Motherf***ing Blogger is a mother-f***ing pain!

Why do you not like Mondays? (And if you do like Mondays, you'd better have a good reason.)