Saturday, May 01, 2010

Because women think their baby is them

I realize men and women suffer from this one (just recently I had a much respected friend of mine go into great detail to explain how his child of a few months old was ‘gifted’) and having your own child can reduce you to the most painful person in the world male or female. I put it down to the remarkable journey of childhood and the fact that most people don’t get to engage at the deepest level with a human being going through this powerful growth stage. Because they’ve never witnessed it before, parents think the child is remarkable (which is true). They also think that no child could have gone through this before (otherwise they would have heard about it) and that their child is the only one in the world going through this (not true).

However a special place is reserved for women. Far more than men, because women are counting and measuring, hording and resurfacing experiences. They are much more likely to keep score against the other mothers and their babies, because (as we have already seen) they are so very competitive. Far more competitive than men.

Men will unashamedly speak with loud confidence about their child brilliance, till someone tells them that their child did the same thing. He is chastised and he keeps quiet. A man learns that lesson fast.

A woman, however, will drag it out for years and years. She will hold on to her children and live through them and their successes way past the used by date of her usefulness. She will be comparing her grown child with the child next door who got their tooth first. She will be secretly thrilling when the envied woman from crèche ends up raising a drug addict.

We are coming quite a way from this state these days. Women have the courage to not have babies now and are working out that they need to collect their self-esteem from themselves and their own accomplishments rather than burden their children with that responsibility. but the temptation remains for every mother of a child to become this creature and until we really never want it again, we won’t be properly over it.

In romance novels women are always fully self expressed and never have to live vicariously through their children forgetting who is mother and who is child. They have bonded properly with their husbands who love them properly and therefore have no need to form odd attachments to their kids.


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