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I gave up my whole life to be a mother. I was reading my blog subscriptions and someone mentioned this in a post about how overwhelmed she felt as a single mother to three young children, all of whom have some behavioral disorder. I feel for her because I understand what it’s like to have those moments, some more fleeting than others, in which you feel like you can’t go on. The times when you question why you chose this path and wonder whether you’ll see a light at the end of the tunnel. What I couldn’t relate to was such an intense sacrifice. I admit that I did and continue to sacrifice certain things I want in favor of things I think are in my daughter’s best interest. I’ll skip that night out with my girls if I can’t find a sitter. I’ll forgo that really cute pair of boots I really, really, REALLY want because she’s managed to outgrow all of her pants I bought in the last 3 months. But I’m fine with that — I take it as a part of who I am as a mother. But there is no way I could sacrifice ME.
What is it about the female experience that makes us so much more amenable to changing who we are at the request of a male? I know countless women who’ve changed some aspect of themselves to either get or keep a man. Sometimes it was a relatively small change like not wearing that one tank top because it accentuates the jelly-like qualities of your muffin-top. But more often than not, I see women making major lifestyle changes with the express purpose of getting a man or keeping the one they’ve got happy. Changing their hair, eating habits, religion … the list goes on. It’s as if who they are brings nothing to the table and that they are some kind of puzzle in which his preferences are interchangeable with hers. Does anyone ever stop and ask: If I don’t make this change, will he leave me? If the answer is no, he’ll be alright if you continue to be you. After all, isn’t that the whole reason you’re together in the first place? He should appreciate who you are, not who you could be if you would just bend to his will. If the answer is yes, well, he’ll […]
Sometimes I sit back and laugh to myself when people tell me how easy I make it look. But only after I have the urge to cry. I get that I make things look easy. Not in a conceited way, but in a “I refuse to let you see how hard I struggle” kind of way. Suffer in silence, I suppose. Honestly, it’s closer to “no one really cares how hard you struggle. STFU and get the job done.” I say that because that’s how I feel toward most people. What’s ironic is that it’s in direct contradiction to the philosophy with which I approach things — it’s not about the destination, but about the journey. Who cares what you do, as long as you learned something meaningful by doing it. I find it incredibly frustrating when people say I make it look easy because I think it belittles the work I put in. Because I don’t make a fuss about it on a normal basis, I get sideways looks when I do, like I don’t have the right to complain because I have it easy. No, sir, I promise you I don’t. I think people see that I go […]
Semantics: [si-man-tiks] 1.Linguistics. a.the study of meaning. b.the study of linguistic development by classifying and examining changes in meaning and form. 2.Also called significs. the branch of semiotics dealing with the relations between signs and what they denote. 3.the meaning, or an interpretation of the meaning, of a word, sign, sentence, etc.: Let’s not argue about semantics. If there was ever a topic I’ve tried to avoid, it’s that of single motherhood. I’ve had a love/hate relationship with it because there is no real meaning to it. That’s not to say there aren’t single mothers out there, because there are. But the way society, communities, and individuals define “single mother” is too inconsistent to mean anything. At its best, the issue lies in political designations; at its worst, it’s an issue of social policy and judgement, neither of which I approve of, at least in how they are thrown around in the public domain.