Repressed Motherhood in America


I’m confused. Mother’s Day cards and flowers lined the grocery store aisles this morning. My daughter emailed me wanting to know what I would like for a Mother’s Day gift. And on Sunday, May 14 we will celebrate my motherhood and honor all the other mothers in America.

Monday morning, us mothers and future mothers will crawl back into the repressive box that our new society seems to think is our proper place. Proper place? Yes. If you want to be a mommy, stay barefoot, stay home. If you want to have a life outside of the home, you are a bad mommy. You will be a punished mommy. So, don’t mention to your future or present employer that you want or have children. If you do, plan for mediocrity in the workplace–if you get that much enthusiasm. And still, the pseudo-religious big mouths squawk “Family Values!”

Checking out of the grocery store this morning, the cashier held back tears. She told me that her mortgage lender just repossessed her home, and her sons had to move back with their father. “I don’t feel like a very good mother,” she confessed as she swiped my milk and eggs across the scanner. “I’m 40-years-old and I’ve lost my home and kids. I can’t work any harder or get any more overtime than I already do. Listen, if you hear of an affordable apartment in a safe neighborhood, let me know.” I remain confused.

What is motherhood in America?

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