There’s a little show on Sundays that I like to catch, called “Sunday Morning”, it’s full of relevant news stories that aren’t made to offend or patronize or having you running for cover, because something sinister is right outside your door but you must stay tuned until after the weather to discover what that is. It’s kind of like NPR on Valium. So I was psyched that they had a little piece on Erma Bombeck. I always loved Erma Bombeck, though she was before my time and I assume doesn’t have the audience she once did; my mother and grandmother had her books and I really enjoyed reading them. I was a mother at the totally mature age of 19, and was never the Martha Stewart type, so her hilarious stories of non-housekeeping and the boredom and insanity of motherhood struck a chord.
At the end of this piece on Bombeck, CBS showed a poll which stated 79% of mothers feel they have it worse off than their mothers. Ouch, we’ve come a long way baby. Hardly…but how could we feel that way? I’d like to say for starters it’s because kids today just plain suck, but I don’t want to deal with that therapy bill for my children so I’ll refrain. Now, for real, why? It could be our overreaching nature which I discussed here. Or maybe now we must be mothers and work outside the home to either keep up with the Joneses or even more likely, pay the electric bill. Now, asides from our second full-time job, we are supposed to love motherhood more than anything. It’s supposed to be our sole reason for living. It is supposed to make us feel complete. Our house will be clean, our dinner table full of fresh healthy choices, our children will be stars not only in school but also in sports, our waist size will be small, our boobs huge, our savings fat, our college accounts for our kids even fatter, our style impeccable, our fundraising skills for the PTA exemplary, our success at our full-time paying job noteworthy, our parties legendary, our husbands “satisfied”, and us — well, what else could we possibly need besides the yearning to push our children for hours and hours on the swing?
Now while my husband is out-of-town working for Mother’s Day again, my spoiled children will need to be yelled out to clean the kitchen, my youngest will sit and eat potato chips for breakfast because I their mother didn’t get to the grocery store, I’ll read the text from my father who every year reminds me it’s Mother’s Day (not like I haven’t been a mother for over 16 years, but just in case I forgot) and I will be in bed seething with jealousy over a sister who chose to forgo that ever-present urge to never sleep soundly again and not have kids.
Happy Mother’s Day, may yours be more fulfilling than mine.