Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Empty Nest

My husband took this photo and I think it's an interesting symbol, especially with Mother's Day approaching. Some people would look at the empty nest and think it's sad, others would look at it and think, "how interesting!"

I am the latter type. I suppose these thoughts are stemming from a comment made recently to me on Facebook, which I ended up deleting because I didn't feel like getting nasty with someone. I was talking about the faulty statistics of that study that comes out each Mother's Day. In it, the researchers claim that a stay-at-home mom's salary comes out to six figures based on the tasks she performs. Maybe I worded the post poorly, but I was trying to comment on how you can't necessarily posit that a mom with no degree in psychology could dole out psychological help valued at $34/hour. And I made it clear that you can't say that about anyone under the same set of circumstances. A high school classmate took this as a personal attack on her lifestyle and posted something nasty about how I would never know what she went through because she was a mom and I wasn't and that maybe I should just keep my mouth shut. Whoa.

Do I agree I don't know what it's like to be a mom? Sure. Because of circumstances beyond my control, I might never be a mom. But does that mean I can never be selfless, tired, busy or an excellent multitasker? Are moms the only ones who can get credit for going to school and working at the same time because they chose to have kids before completing school (as this person did)? Does everything get elevated when you give birth?

I have to say no. I would argue that even without kids, my life is blessed, interesting and full, and yes, crazy busy. If I have an empty nest for the rest of my life, do my experiences count for less?

Apparently some think so.


Saint Lexi said...

What bothers me is the fact that in some cases, including this, women who become moms put on blinders to everything else around them. When I suggest that I will not have kids (per my own choice) I am looked at like a freak. WHATTTT NO KIDSSSS? WHAT ON EARTH DO YOU MEAN? I mean that it isn't in my life plan, and that in no way takes away or even comments on YOUR life plan.

I totally agreed with your facebook post, and didn't see the comment, but I appoligize for them. I thought you were pretty clear you were talking about not being paid for something you are not qualified to charge for.

Anyway, my point is, I got your back :)

Reedie said...

Thanks, Lex. It was someone who knows what we've been through in the past few months, so her comments were especially hurtful. And add to that we may not be able to have kids even if we want to because of chemo side effects. So, basically it was a slap in the face. I replied, decided I wasn't going to stoop to that level and just deleted the whole thing. It's like, no, people who are not moms don't know what it's like, but guess what? There are a million other experiences that set people apart from others. I wouldn't wish what I have been through on anyone, but I also wouldn't use it as a low blow, know what I mean?