Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I have to bring home the bacon AND fry it up in a pan????

This is the song forever stuck in my head. Anyone born before 1975 should remember it.  I can 'bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, and NEVER let you forget I'm a woman'??!!! Damn, thanks for giving us impossible goals Gloria Steinem/feminism/Mom.  So now, as I'm about to round the dreaded corner of 40, I'm supposed to work, raise beautiful children, be an attentive and appreciative wife, have lovely house, impeccable vehicle, mix up my exercise routine with yoga, pilates, long distance jogging, exotic dancing and tap, nourish my family with organic homecooked meals,  make home made Halloween costumes, schedule teeth whitening and lipo, send birthday cards to all friends/family on time, surprise kids with trip to Disney - with it all caught on tape! enrich childrens' lives with fun and educational activities, have a clean house, nest egg, life insurance health insurance last will and testament.  And WHATEVER of these you are lacking in, please berate yourself daily for your inability to ever be a successful woman who has it all.  And GOD FORBID you be like me, and break one of your kids with your  own fucked up genes, you will therefore now, and forever be known as, A COMPLETE FAILURE AS A WOMAN.  Yep, you suck forever.  You ruined your kid, chance is over, bell has rung, time is up and SURVEY SAYS - adulthood, grade F.
And additionally, now that you have a 'child with special needs,' there are innumerable more appointments to attend, frantic research, doctor searching, doctor shopping, therapies administered, behavioral interventions, special diets, homeopathic remedies to attempt, and trips to the ends of the earth with hopes of finding the elusive 'cure' and saving mankind. I NEVER WANTED TO BE A POSTER CHILD! Damn, how did that happen?

Working with teenage girls for the past 13 years, I have witnessed the pressure on them change and evolve with time.  There is always typical teen issues, sex, parents, future.  The addition of instant technology has put an enormous pressure on girls to be overtly sexual at an earlier age,  and just as women of my age feel the need to be perfect, so do the girls today particularly physical perfection.  Kids truly do 'grow up faster now,' information overload has seen to that.  The economy is forcing teens to work hard, hope for great SATs for financial aid packages, go to college as inexpensively as possible as not to graduate with huge ballooning loans, be confident in field of choice and don't forget to make a wise choice, because kids are far too aware of how tough it is to get a job.  Young women in their twenties are often focused on finding a husband, and there is a cultural swing toward marrying younger (as opposed to us Gen-Xers who were taught to get an education first, family later).  Young girls have watched their mothers bust their asses.  If the outlook feels bleak for you, imagine how it feels to a younger girl. 

Someone super annoying I once knew said to me "Women aren't biologically fit to do it all."  Did I mention he was super annoying? I'm reluctant to admit it gave me pause for thought, and also made me feel somewhat....better....

Listen, we are all biologically predisposed regarding of what right wing zealots think.  According to evolutionary theory, all species are genetically programmed to act as though they have a goal of surviving and propagating offspring. At the level of an individual animal, this overarching goal of genetic fitness translates into a set of specific survival-promoting behaviors, such as seeking food, water, shelter, and a mate.

Biologically, women have been built for procreation and protection of their young.  We 'choose mates' based on who we are attracted to and think would make 'good genetic donators'.  So techically, after 50,000-200,000 years of established procreating protecting and gathering , we current female homo sapiens have had only only about 40+ years of  hunting AND gathering! No wonder I'm no good at it - when I'm at work, I think about home, when I'm at home I think about work, - I feel that I don't invest 100% in everything (because really, I was never good at math and percentages anyway, isn't there about 535% of me?) than I am failing on every level!
When I'm home, the kids drive me nuts, and I just want to sit them in front of the television so they will stop asking me for things like 'food' 'nurturing' and 'attention'.  My house is a shambles -  decorate? Huh? I prefer the 'college dorm style' look.  When I open my van door, trash falls out.  By the way I should REALLY get an inspection sticker for it one of these days.  The only exercise I get is carrying Owen up the stairs for naptime, and for me food is something that should taste good, not be necessarily be healthy.  My couch is my friend.  My poor husband is COMPLETELY neglected and he is WAY better at both bringing home bacon and frying it up in the pan, as a matter of fact he makes it with pancakes every Sunday morning.  My paperwork is laughably behind at work, and the 'system' I've put into place for billing at my private practice is called 'non-existent'. I'm always running late, I hate high heels, and my clothing style is called "Comfortable Ragamuffin." And that's just the TIP of the iceberg!

Really, I think those polygamists may be on to something -  I've been watching the show  "Sister Wives"  and I think they have a good thang going on. Some work, some stay home (perfect when kids are sick!vacations!half days!).  You only have to service the husband a few nights a week, the others you can sleep comfortably in your bed spread out like a star fish! I just saw an episode where some of the teens  MOVED IN WITH THE OTHER MOM! How cool is that?  They say it takes a village to raise a child, maybe in this age it takes a village of women to raise kids and  a husband!  

The other day, B gave me this - things I am 'good at' - (I think it started as one of those 'take your name and make each letter into an adjective about person) but it morphed into this.  Then, only minutes ago, I found the little note on the desk...
It says "Magnificent, Brilliant, Being a Mommy, and Having Fun".  My little note says "I love you Mom! You Rock! B".  Ahh. That's why I'm here.

So fuck the rest, I guess I'm doing something right, and that is the only part that matters.  So here's to us, ladies, the imperfectly perfect hot bitches that we will always be, the ones who keep surviving and trying and fighting.
I may bend, but you can't break this girl.


  1. According to your earlier definition of what it means to be a woman today, I am failing at my job miserably but really don't care anymore. I'm just having fun with my kids, loving my family, and enjoying my life. I used to worry about all that stuff, but then life got too busy and I also have enough experience to know that anyone who appears "perfect" definitely has a lot of stuff they are trying to hide, and most likely they're not judging me, just worrying about what people think of them. Sounds like you are realizing this now and I'm glad - you need to just let yourself off the hook - you're awesome!!

  2. Bravo, you are a great woman, you have nothing to prove to anyone, just keep on taking care of your child, fragile x or not, he is the one that really needs you. I can totally understand where you are coming from.

  3. OMG, I love you. I don't have a special needs child, but just as a fellow Gen-X-er married working mother of 1 (awesome 6 year old boy) I feel like a screw up a lot of the time. Thank you so much for spelling out how I feel, and making it all ok. :) Godspeed, woman!!!

    Cat B


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