Archive for October 4th, 2008

Who Has Time to Revolt?

Caryn: This has to be quick because I seriously should be doing about 20 other URGENT things (like feed my child lunch and do my other, actual paid work), but I wanted to quick address this issue of time and the Mommy Revolution. We have Carla’s Facebook friend (and I’ve got a friend request pending myself. Fingers crossed, everyone!) Heather to thank for this particular train of thought.

Right now, Carla’s Facebook status says she’s “buried.” I commented that her buriedness made me feel less guilty for having no time to post something here. Then Heather said that that little bit made us seem more “real.” Which is good, but it scared me a bit.

We certainly don’t want any of you to think the Mommy Revolution is being waged from some lofty, quiet, thoughtful place, like university students of yore (and probably still today. Darn liberals.). We’re certainly not doing this over cocktails sipped at the club while the kids swing rackets and we complain about the rude service at that latest resort. 

People, this is coming to you from the front lines: from laptops on top of a table/desk strewn with actual workstuff and the most random toys and markers. (My baby is drawing on my leg with said marker as I type.) We do this in the free moments—between family and work and (ahem) tidying up–we don’t have.

But we do it because it’s important. Because it’s high time. Because moms are hurting and lonely and misunderstood and it is time to move on and start some new conversations, ask some new questions about motherhood and our lives and expectations.

Whew. So, my point? Again, that’s debatable. But you need to know we’re in these mothering trenches with you (Man, I’m sounding like a Schooner Tuna commercial! See Mr. Mom post below….). Just wanted you to know the place we’re coming from—our real, crazy, frustrating, no-time, but lovely, lives.


Carla: So well put (except the liberal bashing. Don’t make me go off on Sarah Palin). We are absolutely in the thick of it. How thick? I’m writing this at ten on a Friday night because this is the first time I’ve had the chance to form a thought today. There was no school for the older kids, but the little one had preschool. So I tried to work this morning while the big kids watched a movie and played in the yard. (Mostly the first. In fact only the first. I just wanted to make us sound like an active family. Which we aren’t.) After we picked up Maddie from preschool, I had my yearly mammogram (wheeeeee!!!) so I dropped the kids off at my friend’s house for 45 minutes. Then we hauled it back home, fed the dog, got back in the car, grabbed dinner at a coffee shop and went to see Wall-e at the cheap theater. Maddie fell asleep on the way home, and as we were walking to the house, Isaac fell and clonked his head on the concrete steps. Maddie woke up and started screaming, Isaac was screaming, and I was trying really hard not to scream. My husband is out of town, so I was on my own here, trying to get two screaming kids and one not-screaming kid into the house without waking up the neighbor’s baby. Now they are sleep and I have to spend at least the next two hours working if I’m going to come anywhere close to meeting my deadline. And I threw in a load of laundry because Emily’s soccer uniform stinks and she needs it in the morning. And the dog has some kind of allergy and keeps scratching herself which means the floor is coated in dog. And the cat threw up in my room. And I’m pretty sure we don’t have any milk.

But we both believe that there is a real need to give voice to what we see happening in our lives and the lives of so many other mothers we know. Our days don’t fall into black and white divisions of work and family. They are an organic mixture of errands and conference calls and lunch dates and play dates and messes and kisses and everything else that makes life right and good. That’s why we aren’t interested in conversations that force moms to choose sides–about anything. There aren’t sides to motherhood. There are angles and facets and perspectives, but there are no sides. At any given moment, both Caryn and I are typing with a child connected to us in one form or another. We don’t turn off one part of ourselves when another part kicks in. And we don’t think you do either.

We believe moms are complex, complicated human beings with all kinds of gifts and ideas and struggles and dreams. And we believe that when we can find ways to express all these facets of ourselves, we are better, healthier, happier women because of it. At the same time, we both know–oh my how we know!–that sometimes the only dream you can muster is the one were you get to go to the bathroom by yourself. But that doesn’t mean all those other dreams have to die. This revolution is partly our effort to remind you of that, but we’re hoping to remind ourselves as well. 

I need to go make sure my son doesn’t have a concussion. And Heather, please confirm Caryn. I have decided I can share my excellent friends with her. Just promise you won’t like her better.

Caryn: Can we give a round of applause to Carla, here? To have a day like that and still write so eloquently? Seriously. Amazing.