metro mama

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Motherhood Doesn't Have To Be Boring

A couple of you have already written about Rebecca Eckler’s article, Motherhood is Boring, and I’ll add my ten cents.

In case you haven’t read it, the article talks about the “new wave of straight-talking feminists” who aren’t afraid to admit that motherhood is boring. They would rather hit happy hour than take their child to the park. Motherhood is "mind-numbing".

Now, as you know, I have nothing against happy hour, and though I have my own issues about being a stay-at-home mom, boredom is not one of them. Like many things, it’s all about what you make of it. Sure, if we sat around the house all day we’d both be bored. Instead, we go to our drop-in every morning, and the park almost every afternoon. There are usually plenty of people to talk to. It’s not boring. Reading the same book over and over? It’s the only time I get to cuddle my baby anymore—also not boring.

Of course, there are aspects of motherhood that become tedious. The same can be said of any work: meetings, commuting, email. That doesn’t make the work itself boring.

The thing is, I don’t need to be mentally stimulated every waking hour. There are many hours of the day that Cakes sleeps—plenty of time for me to read, write, and work on my studies. That’s enough for me. In fact, now that I’m spending so much time chilling out with my babe, when I do tackle something intellectual, I have more energy for it.

I spend most of my day doing things with my baby. That is what I signed up for. I didn’t have a baby to entertain myself. It’s my job to nurture, teach, and amuse her. She deserves nothing less.



Blogger Gabriella said...

well said, or written.

12:16 PM  
Blogger something blue said...

I find that children provide endless hours of entertainment. I completely agree that it is what you make of it, just like anything else.

1:38 PM  
Anonymous mamatulip said...

I didn’t have a baby to entertain myself. It’s my job to nurture, teach, and amuse her. She deserves nothing less.

Well said.

3:04 PM  
Blogger kittenpie said...

Ha, I read books over and over at work too...

3:15 PM  
Blogger penelopeto said...

solidarity, mama.

3:38 PM  
Blogger Ali said...

seriously, motherhood to me is so many things, boring is NOT one of them.
how can i be bored when i don't sit down for more than 30 seconds at a time??

and i took offense to the SMUM term - the uninvolved part, when i was with my baby at a birthday party and putting her up on the slide and giving her a push for the 1000th time. sure, it wasn't the most exciting thing in the world, but the look of joy on her face was priceless.

3:42 PM  
Blogger bubandpie said...

I'm with Ali - I think what the article left out was the sheer craveableness of our children's happiness. When I shop now, buying stuff for me is a chore - it's the stuff for my kids that gets me excited, imagining how cute they'll look in an outfit or how much fun they'll have with a toy. And I'm already gleefully planning this year's trip to the fair; just watching Bub's expressions is better entertainment than any movie.

3:53 PM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

As Ali said, a big problem is with the 'uninvolved' term.

It's possible to be bored with certain details of motherhood, with some of the work (there's a lot of minuteia - endless. stream. of. shit. - that deadens my brain), but NOT be bored with your child.

As you say - who has time to be bored?

I thought about comparing motherhood to writing a dissertation or a book - a fascinating exercise that is wholly rewarding but sometimes startlingly mind-numbing. Except that watching a child grow is infinitely more enjoyable.

11:17 PM  
Blogger crazymumma said...

I sometimes wonder about people, specifically this category of ...dare I say...clippy woman, who has so much to prove about her own intelligence, urbanity that she cannot (publicly) embrace the sloooow moments that can make for some of the greatest moments, memories,she will have of her child.

11:44 PM  
Anonymous Mama G said...

Motherhood, boring?? What??

Author of that article, clueless.

12:03 AM  
Blogger sunshine scribe said...

Well said. And I agree with Mama Tulips comment the most ... I started to write the same thing!

May have to write about this on my own.

7:56 AM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

Your last paragraph is perfect.

I think this article gives feminism a bad name. It's not feminism but self-centered narcissistic women who tell us that motherhood is boring. I call foul: misuse of the term feminism.

9:22 AM  
Blogger tania (urban_mommy) said...

"Of course, there are aspects of motherhood that become tedious. The same can be said of any work: meetings, commuting, email. " That is it in a nutshell.

12:09 PM  
Blogger Mommy off the Record said...

I love the line that Mama Tulip pulled from your post as well. That is really what it comes down to I think. Granted the work of mothering CAN get boring, but like everything else, it's what we make of it.

12:38 PM  
Anonymous krista said...

I while heartedly agree with everything you wrote.

2:28 PM  
Anonymous krista said...

whole heartedly agree.

2:28 PM  
Blogger ninepounddictator said...

I think certain things are boring, like putting on suntan lotion 50 times a day. However, I have had jobs that were actually "really" boring. So, no, I don't think motherhood is boring. (or maybe I'm always too tired to be bored..ha ha)

5:34 PM  
Blogger Girl con Queso said...

Great post.

12:23 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Yeay YOU! You have summed it up beautifully. I've never felt bored either. We did alot of museums, bontanical gardens, picnics, parks and playdates. I won't look back on my stay-at-home mom time with regret.

12:40 AM  
Blogger metro mama said...

Thanks for your comments ladies. I think what I'm reacting against is exactly what ac said--the insinuation that if you're intelligent you must be bored by this stuff. More mommy war shit. I still have to post about that, by the way.

10:00 AM  
Blogger Haley-O said...

I have a really hard time being bored as a stay-at-home-mom. Every time I get a hint of boredom, I just think back to how I watched the clock all day at my old job. As a sahm, I try to do things that both she and I enjoy. And, I feel I'm constantly learning from her! She's humanity at it's purest. What's more beautiful and fascinating than that. I remain fascinated and entertained by my hilarious daughter. I am never bored. Just frustrated at meal times.... ;)

3:25 PM  
Anonymous Nancy said...

Absolutely right-on-the-money post. I don't get what Eckler expected from motherhood -- I mean, I knew upfront that the beginning would be tough, that having a baby would involve diaper changes and intense caretaking -- and that each phase is different. Did she expect her kids to accompany her on shopping trips and help do her nails at the ripe old age of 2?

I think most moms find a balance that works for them -- something that still allows them to enjoy "me" time while also spending quality time with their kids. But I guess the latter is what Eckler avoids.

8:05 PM  
Blogger Susie Q said...

Only boring people get bored. The "bored" Mom probably is a BORE herself

7:53 PM  

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