Thursday, 22 February 2007

LIVE THE JOURNEY

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The other night I watched on TV a drama based on the book The Bad Mother's Handbook.
The number one bestseller - now a prime-time TV special starring Catherine Tate

The Bad Mother's Handbook is the story of a year in the lives of Charlotte, Karen and Nan, none of whom can quite believe how things have turned out. Why is it all so difficult? Why do the most ridiculous mistakes have the most disastrous consequences? When are you too old to throw up in a flowerbed after too much vodka? When are you too young to be a mother? Both hilarious and wise, it is a clear-eyed look at motherhood - and childhood - in its many guises, from the moment the condom breaks to the moment you file for divorce or, more optimistically, from the moment you hear your baby's first cry to the moment you realize that there are as many sorts of mother as there are children, and that love sometimes is the most important thing of all.
I did buy the book when it came out but never finished it. Catherine Tate in the role of Karen tells her daughter Charlotte that The Bad Mother's Handbook is about loving your child so much, so unconditionally that you feel that you will never be a good enough mother. I thought that Catherine Tate was brilliant, of course funny but so believable .
I feel that we mothers are being sold out and we are no longer truly appreciated.
If we stay at home with our children we are often seen as not making a significant contribution to society and are made to believe that we are living off someone else , we are made to feel a failure and selfish.
If we go to work we are seen as bad mothers, thinking only of money and of course we are again thought of as selfish.
So how do we win?
Karen in the story was a single mum bringing up her daughter Charlotte and taking care of her aging mum and working part time as a teachers aid, obviously a hardworking mother but all the demands on her made her feel as if she were failure and it made her feel as if she had missed out on a life.
I read the book Bad Blood by Lorna Sage, I was saddened at a life that ended too early but I was impressed that when she was 17 she got pregnant, finished her a levels, had her baby and still went to university and became a respected academic. She had her daughter Sharon in 1959. I was so impressed with this book that I gave it to my daughters to read and I have always told them that an unexpected pregnancy is nothing to be regretted and should not stop them doing anything in their lives that they really want to do.
Lives take many turns and every journey is different, I didn't start my degree until I was 31.
I think that we as mothers need to teach our children that they can do whatever they want to do and not let the expectations of society influence them. This goes for boys as well as girls.
For example, over the years I have read about many individuals living a 'religious' life and the main theme seems to be to live a life of service to others and seek for rewards in heaven. O.K if that's what you believe and it makes you happy good BUT don't let that be all there is. Live the journey now and enjoy it for yourself. We only have one life just like this, so do what you have to do to make yourself happy not just everyone else.
We care too much about the approval of others. I am sure everyone's closets would rattle if you probed a little deeper.
Let your life be yours.

1 comment:

Linda said...

Hello, I have found your blog through a comment on another one, which a comment on another one had taken me to (long story!) yes I think mums can never win - stay at home and you get pilloried, go out to paid work and you get pilloried. Venture out to a restaurant with kids and you really shouldn't, stay at home - you're not doing enough for them!

I hope you can come and say hello at my blog - it's all about being a mum (to twins in my case)

best wishes

Linda