Friday, February 23, 2007

oops, i forgot to give up my life

Today I read a letter to the editor of The Columbian entitled "Your life is your children's" that rendered me speechless (imagine that). And then I fumed, which was a little awkward considering I was in the midst of a teaching day and had no deserving outlet for my ire. I thought about bringing up the letter as a group discussion topic but had a suspicion most of the students would heartily agree with the writer and I would end up feeling worse, tempted to call all of their parents and yell at them.

I actually pulled out the OpEd section and set it aside, thinking I would write a vehement rebuttal when I got home. But as the day went on, and I was presented with more immediate irritations to occupy my brain, I decided a letter reacting to a letter (which came from nowhere to begin with, as far as I can tell) would be ridiculous and pointless; ranting in my blog is far more productive.

Essentially, I am appalled at the letter writer's assertion that I, "especially woman" she says, must relinquish my own life in favor of my children. Now remember, I do love my kids (even on snow days). But I think I would be doing them a tremendous disservice if I were to set aside all of my desires and cater only to theirs. Not only would I be producing spoiled, entitled young people (who inevitably turn into spoiled, entitled older people - think Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, and all the potential date rapists smirking around college campuses), I would be setting myself up for a sad, resentful life at best. At worst, driving my Honda off the nearest cliff seems likely. It stuns me, frankly, that I even have to defend this attitude of putting my personal well-being slightly ahead of my children's - doesn't this writer listen to the pre-flight safety instructions?? "Put your oxygen mask on before assisting others." That means "BREATHE," moms, so that you don't save your children only so they can watch you suffocate in front of them.

As for her bit about me (and all the other slacker parents - you know who you are) no longer having "the right to drink and do illegal activities" - I somehow missed the time when I did have those rights. Damn, I could have been a real hellraiser if only I'd known it was acceptable before I had these meddling kids.

Please feel free to offer condolences (maybe cash & prizes, too, what the hell - they're needy, right?) to my children as my selfishness is responsible for their unhappy and unhealthy state. Bad mom, indeed. At least I haven't shaved my head yet...


Anonymous said...

Ms. Bruns is a twit. She should join the ranks of that self-righteous chick on the Oprah show that felt the need to criticize all the other moms in the audience for daring to admit that their early motherhood experiences had been less than blissful. How nice for this lady that she is so perfect. Back in the REAL WORLD, happy families thrive when children understand that they are certainly important, loved, and respected, but not the core of the universe.

Anonymous said...

I sure did not feel bad going out tonight for dinner, drinks and a movie with just you. I hope the kids get over the deep emotional scaring from parents who have a life worth sharing with each other. Oh yes, we need to keep kissing in front of them to really ruin them. wuh haaa haaa aaaa

Lisa Wheeler Milton said...

I get the impression that Ms. Bruns is: a)a Stepford wife, given the letter's robotic tone or b) seriously unhappy/resentful and needs to validate her unhappy/resentful state by repeating her mantra to those who will hear it - her words reek of self-doubt. I love it when women are reduced to two self-destructive choices - criminal idiot or maternal martyr. And here I thought women were 3D and flesh, real people. (I don't remember if I 'have the right' to think or not. I will have to get back to you after I consult the Bruns manifesto.) Ug.

Anonymous said...

You can see her letter at about half way down the page.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely love this post.


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