ISSUE 4 MARCH 2003
An occasional newsletter for mothers who do it all and then some more
Introduction: Women on the edge of war
Article: Mothering – the world’s oldest profession
Check it out: Skateboarding Mum
Review: Children’s books that mums will love to read
WOMEN WAITING FOR WAR
Hello again –
It is hard to imagine what it must be like to be a mother in Iraq, putting the kids to bed while guns and tanks assemble over the border. Or a mother in Israel, waving the kids to school in a bus that may or may not return. Or a mother in Palestine, peeling potatoes and wondering what your teenage sons are up to.
What do women awaiting terror do? They get on with things, writes an Egyptian author in a recent article. Put simply, they survive. You can read the article through this link:
Everyday, we who live in stable communities have a reasonable expectation that at the end of the day we can be with our families. Our daily challenges – unwieldy carpools, obstinate children and husbands, deadlines, housework, burnt food – pale in significance. With that in mind, let these women on the brink show us the way. Let us not linger on the clutter of the daily grind and focus on what we value. Let us get on with life.
Mum at Work is a website hoping to inspire mothers to indulge their creativity despite the demands of mothering, domesticity and work. This is our creed: LET’S DO IT ALL – WE’RE ALREADY TIRED ANYWAY!
Till next time,
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MOTHERING – THE WORLD’S OLDEST PROFESSION
Yes ladies, we are purveyors of the world’s oldest profession. Except, of course, that a lot of us don’t think of mothering as a job.
And that’s why, in a world already riven by gazillion conflicts, there exists a divide between the “working mother” and the “stay-at-home mother”.
“Keep on working, mum” columnist India Knight counselled recently in the Sunday Times.
She writes: “(Women) who have spent a life devoted solely to their children at the expense of any personal interests often make for the most disappointed, difficult and demanding people in late middle age and old age, when the children are grown up and have families of their own.
“Think about it next time you sit in judgment on some poor woman who finds her work as stimulating and challenging as she does her children.”
But why must one sit in judgement of the other? The fact is, we are all on the same side. And both sides yearn for the good stuff on the other side. The mother-with-job would love more time with her kids. The mother-at-home would love the stimulating rough and tumble of a career.
Though mothering is seen as a state of being, a blessing, a state of grace even (!) – a lot of it is in reality about bloody hard work.
I therefore submit that mothers should regard mothering as a job (a bit like being a doctor who is always on call). A job can be stimulating, boring, fascinating, grinding, wonderful and terrible – all things that we should allow ourselves to think about mothering. A job is an important part of your life but it is not the be-all and end-all of your existence.
If you let yourself regard your mothering as a profession, you will make time for other, self-affirming things. Children will not suffer from having happy, fulfilled mothers. Indeed, they will thrive.
And when your kids move away, your sense of self does not disappear with them.
UK readers can access India Knight’s piece on
I’d love to hear what you think. Click here to reply.
How cool a mum are you? Nobody can be as cool as skateboarding mum Barb Odanaka, children’s author and founder of the International Society of Skateboarding Moms! Check out her website http://skateboardmom.homestead.com/home.html and join the club if you dare!
REVIEW: Kids’ Books for Mums
Boy in boot camp. Touching, funny, put it down and think stuff
Pioneers in need of train station. A can’t put down romp.
Coping with maternal depression and death. Moving.
Lovingly written Newbery winner about celadon making
Terrific can’t put down adventure.
Touching, almost lyrically crafted tale of belonging
Depression-era story with a loveable protagonist
Gripping story of dead girl trying to get into heaven
Commercial but addicting laugh out loud teenage angst
Chinese boy rides kite. Good read.
(c) 2003, Candy Gourlay. All rights reserved.
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