Ichabod's Kin
A place for politics, pop culture, and social issues

MOTHERING HEIGHTS

          Regardless that Mother’s Day is an entrenched observance in America, it’s swirled in conflicting emotions, the mixed feelings many have regarding one or both parents, as if they have done something terrible to hurt us, perhaps to scar us for life, but it’s safe to say that women in general and mothers in particular are the real heavies of the world.

          An  interview with mother-daughter Goldie Hawn and Amy Schumer teemed with much joy and so many laughs but we all know that in the best of such relationships are wink-wink ugly moments, ones best not to put out for public consumption; after all, they were selling a movie. And a TV series reminded us that there always was a price for working women whose girl-children, in both cases, fried Bette Davis and Joan Crawford in livid print, as if to cancel out the mothers’ huge successes.

          Trump supporters to whom he seemed an unlikely model for a dad, cast their ballots for him after daughter Ivanka showed well on the campaign trail. Not a word, of course, was mentioned of mother Ivana, who surely had something to do with that perceived success. Daddy Don, we all know, is a Type A workaholic since he first opened his mouth to insert pacifier and found it already filled with a silver spoon. And don’t tell me that before Twitter he used 3 a.m. to walk a screaming baby. It’s hard to get in mind a firm image of his being around much at all, so why does Darling Daughter gush so on his behalf? Firstly, he’s put her in the lap of luxury since day one and, gosh, look what goes with that now.  Talk about #ToTheManorBorn.

          And by the way, when there is a wailing infant in your fave restaurant, who gets the old stink-eye for such public nuisance, dad—or mom? And when Junior is a high-school sports hero, do we not automatically celebrate dear old dad —until we may learn there isn’t one? Or to make that hurt a tad more, who still gets the nod when the family girls excel–in anything?

          A child’s first year in our mainstream is the occasion for near-ceaseless parental worry as to whether their fledgling attempts are dooming baby to a lifetime of emotional wounds. And it’s usually mom who’s found snatching all she can from bookshelves of advice and re-reading it, as if a sentence overlooked will cancel all wisdom gained—along with dollars spent in abundance at maternity stores and from catalogs.  Add classes taken before and sometime after birth and, of course, a Vesuvius of advice from people worthy—or not.

          The takeaways are multiple: one, the gnawing suspicion that all this has little to do with kids themselves; advice that appears unworkable; and a parent overwhelmed more than helped by so-called experts.

          After all the misguided effort, Save the Children reported that the U.S. ranks not first but 11th among developed countries as best for motherhood. Part of this are disparities in access to health care, which men of the GOP hope to widen by killing Planned Parenthood—thus increasing our maternal and infant mortality that is already higher than the ten top countries. We never take lessons from, say, Scandinavian nations, which always are lined up in the top five—after all, they’re a bunch of damnedSsocialists, so nothing to be learned there.

         Or try being a mom in the lowest-ranking countries, where women die in childbirth at 600 times the rate of those in developed nations, and infants are 27 times more likely to perish in the first year of life. Guess not much use to stop at this point and say Happy Birthday.

          I grew up when women, and moms, had it even worse and Mother’s Day was an unspoken joke for getting its traction from the retail industry that had things to sell, not just to those really wanting to gift mom, but to all the rest who would look bad and feel guilty for not following suit. Same for Father’s Day, which limped along after. Grandparents Day didn’t take hold as the public simply thought enough was enough and it whimpered to a calendar no-show.

          Certainly we should honor unceasingly all those who’ve birthed and nurtured us, many of whom were just kids themselves when they took us on. One day doesn’t hack it; consideration should be continuous and sincere. People who love us are irreplaceable, and no few people aren’t able to gain it on their own except for those moms and dads who held and always will hold that job by default.

          Mothering “heights” have as many if not more depths. So next time someone says with exasperation, “If it’s not one thing, it’s your mother!” someone oughta slap them.

         

         

One Response to “MOTHERING HEIGHTS”

  1. RE this: “If it’s not one thing, it’s your mother!” My wife’s Mom considered this to be very funny and shared it with her several times! She turned it on it’s head in that mother-daughter relationship. She was a great person. In general, tho, I completely agree with your premise.


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