Some French woman with an over-inflated opinion of herself apparently thinks that modern motherhood is a prison. She seems to think that the expectations on mothers and the things we do are shackles, diminishing us, and defining us by our children.
All I can say is, if you feel that way, you’re doing it wrong.
Everybody is different, and I feel that making over-arching generalisations about a massive group of people – mothers, in this case – is far too simplistic and very unrealistic. Every mother does things differently in her life, parents in a different manner, and feels differently about it.
Some mothers do feel that they need to do everything ‘right’, and some do stress about that. That could be seen as a trap, but if it is, it’s one of a mother’s own making.
Other mothers, such as myself and (I think) most of my friends, are really quite relaxed about the whole thing. I’m not even sure what she means by the ‘intensive, over-enmeshed parenting trend’; yes I stay home with my kids, but that’s a choice I’ve made for my own reasons, and I have no resentment or feelings of imprisonment because of it.
In fact there is a kind of freedom in being a stay at home mum. I have few appointments, not much in the way of a schedule, I can do what I like when I want to. I’m never in a rush when I go shopping, which means we can go to the playground or wander leisurely around Target. If I want to sit on Facebook all day, I can do that – the kids are far more understanding than a boss would be! At a moment’s notice I can take off to my parents’ place with them, effectively giving myself a holiday (my parents are exceedingly helpful with the kids when we’re there).
I would argue that being part of the workforce is far more imprisoning than being a mother. If you disappoint a boss or refuse his request, you’re likely to be reprimanded, have pay docked, or maybe even get fired! But here, in my home, I am the boss! Show me something more free than being your own boss and working from home!
Prison? You’re doing it wrong, lady.