Today I was listening to an episode of the (excellent) podcast For Crying Out Loud. It’s hosted by Lynette Carolla and Stephanie Wilder-Taylor and the topics are mostly related to raising their kids. Since they are both Mom’s with twins they have earned their stripes and spent time in the trenches. The show also delves into many issues women face outside of motherhood, but without a whiff of pretension or taking themselves too seriously. Add in a quick run down and critique of the week’s reality TV line-up and you have a typical episode.
The episode I was listening to (with guest host Kay Morgan) took an interesting turn about how so many stay at home Moms they know are drinking fairly heavily or using pills:
Stephanie: No, you don’t understand this is what’s going on. Every Mom I know drinks a lot.
Kay Hanley: Or pills. Pills are so insidious. It’s like f*cking Valley of the Dolls out there. I mean…I know so many people….Xanex and Xanax and Xanex and Percocet and Viocodin….
It was at this point when Stephanie chimed in with a point that had immediate resonance.
Stephanie: Do you know why? It’s because it’s not socially acceptable to find motherhood difficult.
Stephanie then continued on sharing examples of her own experiences:
Stephanie: I know this for a fact because whenever I talk about something on TV the nasty internet comments are like, “Well if motherhood is so boring, then you shouldn’t have kids.” Or “being a Mother is the biggest blessing in the world and you should enjoy every second.” All that stuff…It doesn’t mean I don’t absolutely love my kids and don’t love being a mother. But it doesn’t take away the fact that it’s incredibly stressful. A big transformation…
Kay Morgan: It’s stiltifying. It’s exasperating. IT’S LONELY….
The show drifted to another topic but I found what Stephanie said so insightful. It seems that no matter how women raise their kids they get criticism for not doing it right.
- If a women chooses to work and can afford to be a stay at home Mother on her partner’s income she’s criticized for not being with her children.
- If a women works, not by choice but because her income is essential, she is criticized for having children that she couldn’t afford.
- If a women is a stay at home Mom she is criticized or treated condescendingly for having an “easy” life and not being tough enough or smart enough to make it in the working world
It is so difficult to be a Mother and I think it is essential that women are kind for each other about their choices. In today’s society there’s no easy answer and you will get criticized no matter what you do.
We have to stop the madness. The idea of thousands of women feeling isolated and drinking alone in quiet desperation is so sad to me. Today’s society is more isolating and there is typically less support systems to readily share the load.
If you can at all afford it, don’t feel guilty about getting a babysitter to give you a few hours to yourself. It’s worth every penny and it will be better for you and your family. Children are a blessing. But don’t believe the lie that every moment will be blissful, or even tolerable.
And it’s okay to admit it.
Follow Lynette on Twitter @LynetteCarolla and Stefanie @SWilderTaylor
And follow the show @ACEMoms or find them on Facebook at facebook.com/acemoms
You can find Linddykal on Twitter @Lindseykal28