Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Moms who Want Out

Yesterday I caught a bit of the Dr. Phil show (I have to admit this show is a guilty pleasure of mine). Well guess what the show was about yesterday? Mothers who want out!

"Tired of Being a Mom

Motherhood isn't always about the good times, like baking brownies and having game night with the family. Dr. Phil talks to women who say they can’t cope with their children, and they’re running out of resources. Robyn adopted her 10-year-old daughter, Alyssa, six years ago from the Ukraine and says she actually has thoughts of sending the girl back. Robyn says that Alyssa hasn’t bonded with her and doesn’t know how to love anyone. She says her daughter screams, cries, yells and even threatened to kill herself! Robyn’s husband, Joe, can’t imagine living without his adoptive daughter and intends to stand by his commitment to her. What's the real reason Robyn never bonded with Alyssa? Then, Cyndi says if she’d known her 12-year-old son, Alex, had autism and Down syndrome, she may not have brought him into the world. She says he hits himself, screams, grunts at the top of his lungs and wears two pairs of diapers at a time because he’s not potty trained. Her husband, Ulis, says he doesn’t find it difficult to care for Alex, but Cyndi says she’s exhausted and overwhelmed. Should the boy be institutionalized? Find out what Dr. Phil thinks. Plus, meet a mom with four kids who’s already left home twice. Now she’s scared she may leave again — this time for good. "
Click here to watch a clip.

The interview that was the most interesting to me was the last interview with Charity, the mom of 4 kids who is so overwhelmed, she has left the family twice and is contemplating leaving for good. This interview was the most interesting to me because this woman's children are "normal" and her situation isn't extreme or unique. This is a woman who is honest about motherhood - that it is not what she expected, that she was fed messages about how wonderful motherhood would be and it's not, she expresses regret over what she could have done with her life is she wasn't saddled down with all these kids, that her entire life consists of chasing after her kids and constant chaos and yelling and screaming. Honestly, it was quite shocking to hear a mother saying all this stuff on national t.v. because motherhood is the sacred cow in our culture and here's someone who's telling it like it really is.

Anyway, Dr. Phil's sage advice to her can be summarized as "get over yourself" and "take some time for yourself every once in awhile". Yeah, I am sure that will fix the problem. The only real "fix" for this problem is not having kids in the first place and this would have been the perfect opportunity for Dr. Phil to talk about the fact that motherhood is a DECISION and a CHOICE and not all women should have kids. Motherhood is not the utopian wellspring of happiness it is portrayed to be.

Unfortunately for Charity, we cannot turn back the clock and undo choices like having kids. This woman made her bed and sadly, she's lying in it.

Read more about Charity's interview here.


firefly said...

Yes, but according to Dr.Phil, the solution is so easy!

"Then I would, guilt-free, create myself some escapes, where you had friends, you went out with your girlfriends, you went out to movies, you got a hobby, you took up tennis."

I think the word "escape" says it all. Where do you escape from, anyway? And once you do, does it really make it easier to go back?

My nephew, who will be 21 in December, got married last October and his wife (20) is pregnant and will deliver in January 2009.

She is really enthusiastic about it (getting lots of attention from everyone for it), but o how I pity her. When I was 20 I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life, but how glad I am that I didn't get locked into anything simply because I couldn't stand a void in the meantime.

Anonymous said...

Gee, thanks Dr. Phil. Super advice! *sarcasm*

Charity is in an awful place and realistically, there's not much she can do, but if Dr. Phil is supposed to be trying to help people, his advise wasn't very helpful! I guess he would have been inundated with hate mail and lost half his viewership had he said that motherhood was a choice and not everyone, even if they're a good person, are cut out for it. Man's gotta look out for his ratings, after all. Screw helping people! Right? Good post!

Lise F said...

I find it interesting that the husband's are all "There's no problem!"

Yeah. And I bet that's because they provide 0.1% of the caregiving.

Anonymous said...

I hate Dr. Phil. I think he's a leech, like that whole thing with Britney Spears, what a scumbag.

Anyway, just because its pushed in our society doesn't mean we have to abide by it. I'm certainly not going to abide by it.

I grew up with a single mom, and I saw first hand that it was no fairy tale. My mom really struggled and I didn't want to struggle like that. I love my mom but I wish life wasn't hard for her.

She did everything right too. She was a good student, went to college, and graduated with a degree, waited until she was married to have sex and have kids.

But then she divorced my dad when he cheated, and girls hardly ever think what they will do if they had to raise the kid on their own.
No one thinks it will ever happen to them.

CF-PC Me! said...

I kind of feel sorry for Charity. I know that conformity is just part of the very sad human condition. But I must say that parenthood is indeed a choice. I think it's honestly the father who should step up and help. He wasn't the o lt one producing those children. This is very depressing, but it does make me feel better about my decision.

And what was dr Phil going to do anyway? Shove them back into her uterus so she won't have to deal with them anymore? Lol! It doesn't work that way. I believe scary movie 4, he is totally an electrician.