Case in point: my best friend's sister, a woman whose sole purpose in life is to convey to the world how completely put out she is by nature of being a mother. She's always huffing and puffing, and putting on the poor me facade, "I can't remember the last time I had a full night's sleep", "I can't remember what it was like to have a night out with hubby", "I never get any time to myself", "I am so wiped out from chauffering the kids all weekend". She loves to post daily updates on Facebook about how many times she was up the night before cleaning up throw-up, or how she spent the whole day doing 13 loads of laundry, or how hubby is out of town on business so she has to run the entire household by herself. It's as though her entire life is a big pity party and we're all invited.
For some reason, this behavior is not only tolerated from mothers, it's expected and reinforced. Always there is this perception of mothers as self-sacrificing saints, who give tirelessly of themselves for the benefit of others. The longer they stand on their martyr pedestal, the more we are supposed to recognize how hard they work, how wonderful they are and bow down to worship them appropriately. This is such a crock of BS.
Hubby and I own a house that has a large mortgage and immense property taxes, which, combined with all the other escalating expenses in life and the declining state of the economy, have become quite burdensome for us.
Now, imagine if I was constantly climbing onto a soapbox, whining and complaining about our financial obligations, posting Facebook updates every day about how draining my mortgage payments are, how hard I am working to make the payments, expecting everyone to feel sorry for me for the huge financial strain I undertook. Would anyone tolerate this or think I am some saint for meeting my responsibilities by paying my mortgage bill every month? No. The response would (rightly) be: you made the decision to buy the house, so you have to pay for it. Now shut the f*ck up already.
How about when I was going to graduate school? I was working full-time, going to class in the evening and burdened with tons of reading and a massive final thesis. Imagine if I was constantly climbing onto a pedestal to whine about my workload, expecting people to think I was some kind of saint for undertaking the endeavor of a graduate degree. Would anyone treat me like a saint for that, or offer me martyr status? Nope. Their response would be: so who put a gun to your head and made you go to graduate school? It was your choice, so stop complaining about it.
Same goes for having kids. Having kids is a choice, people. If you choose to have kids, it is understood that you are also choosing the tons of dirty work comes along with that lifestyle. It's part of the deal. People do not deserve martyr status or a pity party for taking care of the children that they decided to bring into the world.
I know I am a broken record, but I will say it again. People bring kids into the world for selfish reasons - not for the betterment of humanity. They want a little Mini-Me - a cute, cuddly being who looks like them to love unconditionally. They want to have fun buying little baby clothes, they want to be a powerful influence over somebody who is dependent on them and thinks they are god, they want someone to carry on their name, to take care of them in old age, they want to become a member of the Parent Club, they want to feel like they have a purpose in life and have accomplished something, they want fit in and fulfill other peoples' and society's expectations. The list of selfish reasons goes on and on. So when women like my sister-in-law put on the Big Martyr Act - the old Woe is Me routine, it truly makes me want to retch. I am supposed to feel sorry for her because the life she chose for herself is difficult? Spare me.
Oops - gotta run - time to make the mortgage payment.