Six years ago, my husband Matthew was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiform, the most common and deadliest of brain cancers. As Matthew's primary caregiver, I've come to recognize that coping in the face of a terminal illness is a learned skill, and sometimes it takes a lot of trial and error to figure out what works.
Why is it, everywhere you turn these days, there's a story, post, blog or tweet about women having babies, trying to have babies, or what to do now that said baby is born. And why is it, when we've come so far from the burning of the bras, that the conversation has only shifted from stay-at-home mums to having-it-all mums?
Did you ever see Toy Story 3? The kids licking toys, licking each other, sticking fingers in offensive places not on their own bodies? All true. They will get colds every other week, are constantly on antibiotics, and require multiple trips to the doctor or emergency room because they didn't have the decency to get really sick until Friday afternoon of a long weekend.
I could have been there. My son could have giggled for/at David. I don't know. I was yet another harried/perfect professional mum, holding it all together. Prioritizing naps over adult conversation, breastfeeding over tantrums, parenting over intellectual rigour. It would have been fine -- my kids would have been fine -- had I stayed that day.
How many of us knew that we would love our children so much that it would terrify us, but that we would also resent the erosion of our independent personhood, and wonder why our husbands didn't feel similarly eroded? Or how much more often we would dwell on our failures than on our successes as wives and mothers
Growing up in the 50's and 60's, my mother Lillian was primarily a "stay-at-home"mother. It's not that she didn't have high aspirations for her future, as she dreamed of being a dancer. However, times required she go to work directly after graduating high school as a bookkeeper for a dress manufacturer, her professional dancing dreams dashed.
Last month, it was reported that an Edmonton woman was badly beaten by her spouse. Though the attack put her in the hospital, the police offered a silver lining by stating that her unborn baby, at least, wasn't harmed. Sadly, this claim underestimates the profound effect severe stress can have on children's development in their first years of life, including while they're still in the womb.
I know that you seldom have a hot cup of coffee or tea. I know that your attention is always divided, often diverted from a moment to moment basis, and you cannot ever count on completing a task in the one go. I know that you probably don't get any down time when you're on your own at home, unless you have a single child who still naps in the daytime. I know the challenges you deal with daily, usually with no peer support or backup. The toddler tantrums, the toilet training accidents, the food battles, the food on the floor, the crayons on the wall, the sibling rivalry, the baby that never seems to stop crying.
I am all for moms who don't take themselves too seriously -- who don't try too hard to be perfect and who accept themselves for who they are, warts and all. I am all for mothers who are 'people' first. Who love who they are and are proud to chase their dreams. Because sometimes we mamas just get lost in this parenting gig, and we wake up 25 years later and wonder who we are.
I realized something today as I silently watched my husband tickled our daughter, her infectious giggles urging him to do more of the same. And as I watched, I knew for sure what I'd never known before. I don't love my daughter like he does. In fact, I don't love any of our four children in the same ways he does.
MP Eve Adams was called out for claiming $2,777 in personal expenses during the 2011 campaign, that range from trips to the spa and salon to childcare. It is hard to defend an expense claim such as nail salon visits or a $3 cupcake purchased weeks after election day. But some campaign expenses are fair game. Why wouldn't it be a legitimate campaign expense to provide childcare for a mom-candidate while she is campaigning 12-16 hours a day? Do we want more women in politics or not? These factors have kept women in the "weaker sex" category in politics.