Monday, January 4, 2010


Something just rubs me the wrong way.

Well, many things.

But something rubs me the wrong way in particular about those blogs.

You know the ones.

They show you the pictures of moonlight on falling snow but they leave out the rest.

The ice. The mud. The mess. The cold. The cracked knuckles. The dirty watery footprints tracked into the house. The cars stuck and sliding. The accidents. The slush. The blackened dirty snow. The rambunctious excitable children and the broken vase and stained carpet.

They're not telling you lies, exactly, but they are leading you to believe that:

Their house is either always clean or vaguely, lovingly messy.

They never forget to marvel at the simple thrills of a well-iced cookie.

They sit down and savor their coffee (served in mugs brought home from Europe and brewed in some faddish way. Brewed by little elves hatched from leaves, the sweat of whom aids the environment and calms all religious tyrants) instead of gulping it down while checking email/calling doctors/paying bills/showering/driving/peeing.

Their children always look like that.

Except for when they fight, and then mom is first just a teensy-eensy bit tickied off, only for a moment, and then she is amused and smiling and benevolent.

They make their homes look like catalogs without actually spending any money. (Their fancy pillows are spun by the sweet inklings of the leaf-hatched elves). (The elves would come to your home if only you yelled at your children less and savored goat cheese more).(Also if you used more birds in your general decor).

They are totally and completely fulfilled, as passionate, intelligent, creative women, by child-rearing, cookie baking, decoupage making, and photograph-taking.

Except when they're not. They may doubt it, in a bad moment. Doubt their happiness, as stay-at-home parents. Only in a very bad moment. But then the words, that holy refrain, sweep in on the wings of sugar-dipped, Le Creuset wielding and high-heel wearing angels: It's all worth it.

(Which is not to say it's NOT worth it--see, even I can't write a blog about mothering without repeating the magic words--but is just to say, it's much more complicated than that).

Is some of my annoyance brought on by jealousy? Oh. Sure.

But consider this.

A little phrase from my college days that kept ringing in my head until, while viewing a picture of Martha Stewart with two modestly dressed, sunshiny, photograph taking and macaroon baking mothers, I went oh yeah.

Behold. The Cult of Domesticity. Instilling feelings of guilt and inadequacy into women since 1820.

Since at least 1820.

Just think about it: Nobody's going to take away your mother card if you say you don't like the snow. Not even if you say: I HATE THE SNOW.

Go on, Vesuviuses at home. You don't have to explode. I'd just like to see you. . . I don't know.

Fire up.


  1. Ahhhhh, thank you, Brittany! I had just bestowed upon myself The Worst Mother of the Day award when I stumbled upon a fb post by Dalley that reminded me of your blog. This post was like balm for my extremely irritated/frustrated mother's soul! Love to you - Eve

  2. That makes me so happy! Love to you as well!


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