When I was a young college student I became good friends with a very angry, bitter, anxious feminist. I thought she was cool and I sent my check in to Planned UnParenthood. I didn't want to go the church. I sure as hell didn't want to get married then or have a baby. Our friendship ended not due to the feminist part, but because of the angry, bitter, anxious part. Also, she said I was snob. That was a long time ago. We both had dreams of being powerful and accomplished as soon as we got our act together.
I ran into while shopping. We were both shocked. Guess what? She's been married for about 20 years. What was more shocking was the CHILD she had with her. Yep, she's a stay-at-home mother. Doesn't need to work. If I had not seen the child, I would not have believed it. My mind cannot reconcile her former diatribes against having children and how she proudly introduced her child to me. I cannot picture this former friend as being pregnant (and maybe she never got pregnant). I cannot picture her rocking a newborn to sleep, or playing with a toddler on the floor, or, or, or . . . I can picture her in a parent-teacher conference though. She had a boy child too. Boy child's last name is hyphenated due to friend keeping her maiden named when she married.
We haven't accomplished much. She hasn't worked in years, and I've hardly had a stellar career. Or maybe she accomplished a lot by landing a husband with a big paycheck, a big house, and a child. And look, here I ago comparing again. The moms are saying they accomplish a lot because they are doing the MOST important job of all and what could be more important than leading souls to Heaven? I could say I have managed to keep myself fed, clothed, and housed despite great economic difficulties. It's easy to have sex, but try writing the perfect resume and acing the interview. I can see how the mommy wars and the woman wars begin. They begin because some of us feel like we have to justify our lifestyle or choices. They begin because of sentences just like the one I wrote. Some of us actually have choices and some of us do NOT. Some of us get to choose some things but were effected by factors out of our control. We weren't all dealt the same hand. I could very slide into self-pity.
Society and church places great importance on MOTHERHOOD (like yesterday) except when it doesn't (can you say abortion and the pill?).
And while it was great to reconnect with an old friend, it feels topsy-turvy too. I miss the great parts of our friendship. I miss the nice parts. I miss the things we had in common, the good conversations, and the fun we had. But there was crap too of course.
In related mothering news or non-mothering news, I rec'd today a letter from the White House in response to my protest note to our President about the HHS mandate.
Poop is what all women have in common.