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Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Anthropological Mom

I married one thirty-something years ago - little did I know.

I chased her until she caught me - I was 19, she 18 - old by historical standards.

She married someone who was responsible and could support her and her children: she was a clever girl.

She wanted children: I was clueless on the matter (except for how they might be created).

She never worked outside the home unless absolutely necessary.

She always had her finger on the pulse of the whole family: kids, parents, life.

She bore the laughter, ridicule and chiding of the modern moms for being so foolish.

We were poor so she couldn't dress like the modern moms or have what they had.

But our kids had all the love and support they wanted when they needed it - and still do.

They watch how we did it... they saw the process.  It wasn't always pretty.

My liberal family clucked over the misery I would suffer for being so stupid as to marry so young.

Did we struggle?  Did we cry?  Was it hard?  Did it hurt?  Did we give up ourselves for us?

What do you think?

Times have changed... decades passed - but we're still here.

Modern mom no longer zips by in that fancy work car.

Our modern mom friends are divorced a time or two: lost to time.

The drugs, parties and alcohol have taken their toll.

Their children are lost too - on their own in the wilderness - its so hard to be modern.

All their modern daughters have their own babies now.

Modern means you don't need a man for anything but fun.

But that's okay, the daughters are free.  Their mommies told them they would be.

Free to live at home with modern mom so modern mom can watch the baby while they go to bars.

Are they really free?

The daddies are lost to drugs, to self, to their children - they are cast off.

The daddies are free too - it would seem.  From responsibility, and love, and caring.

We find the lost children along the side of the road now; we help them if we can.

And our own children have children of their own now.

Some are modern, some are not... 

Tears fill our eyes as hundreds of thousands years of humanity and true freedom are cast off...

For a few modern slogans.

Modern Motherhood: A Prsion?

The consequences of retirement with Modern Mom.


Audrey said...

I believe the modern mothering in the WSJ article was referring primarily to "refrigerator moms". These are parents who often do NOT seem to have a job outside of the home (or if they do they never seem to be at their job). They "over-parent" - dictating every detail of the child's life well into their teens and often adulthood. They are noted for going to college and job interviews with their children (I have seen this!). They have been known to call their childrens' professors at college when a child gets a poor grade to argue the grade. In my opinion they do everything they can to extend the parenting far beyond what is good for the child, and in the end the kids are deprived of learning from their own failures. I fear the worst consequence of this is that the kids are firmly convinced that their parent do not believe they can do things on their own, as their parents insist on doing everything for them far beyond an appropriate age. I absolutely do not believe parents should be uninvolved or in any way neglectful, but I do believe that helicopter parents do far more harm than good. My adult children who attended college with some of these kids have commented on this as well. As an employer we ran into parents at interviews a few times as well - and the prospective employees were not even able to speak for themselves once we shooed the mother out of the room.

Just my two cent's worth....

Audrey said...

I am sorry I meant HELICOPTER moms not refrigerator moms -

Emma said...

I read the article in the WSJ. My take on it was very different. To me it felt like a woman trying to excuse her absence in her own daughter's life.

Mom's should be left to just do the best they can. (This is paraphrased from the ending sentence of the article.)

That doesn't cut it with me.

A child is a life time commitment. Some "over-parent" but in my experience most "under-parent".

I am a mother now with my own two children. I am an "Anthropological Mom" happily married to "Anthropological Dad". Still, I have need of my "Anthropological Parents'" advice as I navigate the educational system with a child who has disabilities.

This modern world is not good for our children. It idolizes and exploits them. Everything is done for the "good of the children" as they are raised by strangers who only want to get a pay check before they go home to sit their own children down in front of the TV so they can catch a break from having to deal with other peoples' children.

While "Helicopter Mom" might over do it, it's most likely a response because her mother under did it.

My nephew, who turned 1 in August, must learn to defend himself in daycare so the other kids don't beat him up. Does this sound logical or rational? But his mother has to work. His father has to work, so this innocent child must learn at an age where he is too young to understand that he must defend himself.

Who is at fault for this?

Not "Anthropological Mom". She is at home minding her children.

Not "Helicopter Mom". She is micromanaging her children's lives.

This might sound harsh, but I put the blame squarely on the "Modern Mom" with her need for "self fulfillment" above and beyond the children she bore. Because of "Modern Mom" we now live in a society where both parents must work outside the home to support the family if one wants to be anything but poor.

There are few exceptions to this rule.

Prey the children of "Anthropological Mom" are the ones who are taking care of you in your elderly years. The son or daughter of "Modern Mom" will mostly likely put you daycare...