The ‘prison’ of motherhood

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.


2 thoughts on “The ‘prison’ of motherhood

  1. I love that you are so comfortable with your role as a mother. I agree that when I did the stay at home years it was very nice not having to answer to a boss and enjoying the freedom of not being tied to a schedule. However, there was also frustration and loneliness as well. Lack of money created huge stresses. It was without a doubt the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, although I am content now with my choices it was a difficult process.

  2. Kez says:

    Hear, hear. I admit to sometimes ‘imprisoning’ myself with the pressures to do everything all the new gurus of parenting and social trends dictate, but at the end of the day I have learnt (five and a half months into my new job as a mother) that I have my own voice and my own freedom to use that voice.
    I like being there for my baby and I will never apologise for it. There is nothing wrong with doing what you do as a parent as long as your child benefits and you are content with your choices.
    It’s hard work being a stay at home mum, but I have support networks, my own schedule (kind of) and the ability to choose what to focus on. If it’s boring or I feel lonely or trapped or overworked, I change things up. I use my noggin and I solve problems just like I would in any other paid job (except my “boss” is far more accommodating when I suggest new things)!
    There is no reason to feel like motherhood is a prison. It’s what we make of it and it’s my responsibility. I won’t run away from it or complain about it – I’ll just make it something I enjoy and my baby enjoys. Simple.

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