It was well passed my bedtime. Well, ok, it was 8pm. But I was eyeball-sore tired and I was drinking wine on the couch.
I’ve become addicted to watching those how-to-be-a-good-mother themed parenting documentaries. They don’t make me into a better mother. They just make me realise all the things that I’m doing wrong and subsequently my wine slightly salty because of all the tears.
And yet I just can’t look away.
One day there’ll be the little nugget of gold that makes me into the queen of the parents. Well, this show had a nugget alright but it sure wasn’t golden.
A very shiny looking lady said: Until you have a child of your own, you don’t really know what love means. “Say what!?” The wine sprayed from my mouth. Actually, that reminds me, I better clean that up.
Before I had Pickles and Pords my life wasn’t a barren, loveless wasteland. To suggest as much not only diminishes the lives and loves of those who are childless or childfree, but also any other great loves in a parent’s life. It limits the selfhood of the parent to simply being a mother or a father, disregarding all of the other incarnations of self that they had prior to children, and continue to have for their whole lives.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems to me that you might never love any children at all, or even like the little buggers very much, and still know deep, soaring, eternal love. Love that consumes you and changes you and crushes you while making you feel whole.
Or you might not have children of your own, but love nieces or nephews, or the children of a close friend. I’ll always remember where I was when my brother called me to tell me his baby girl had been born. I’ve loved her and my nephew right from the start. Babysitting is not seen as a favour for my brother and sister-in-law because spending time with them is happiness.
I didn’t have my own children and think ah well, that wasn’t really love at all. I didn’t suddenly see my husband as a mere passing fancy. The feelings I had for other family and friends did not cease their importance.
Being a mum has been a remarkably wonderful experience so far. My love for my children is immense. But I’m not mother-nothing-more. And my friends who are not parents are not incapable of knowing love.
What do you think? Was the lady on my tv crazy, or am I crazy?