Motherhood: An Olympic Sport

Now announcing the Olympic podium results for the Mother category… it looks like this year’s competition goes to- wait. WHAT? Actually, yeah that sounds about right. I can’t believe in this day and age, when more and more responsibilities are being flung upon women, that competing for the Olympic Mother gold medal isn’t here yet. It would actually seem expected that women would be required to keep up with the professional and athletic categories too. Competition baby! Okay, okay… now that I got my crazies out, in a slightly less dramatic fashion that’s actually what this article from The Guardian talks about.

First, the ‘who’ and ‘what’: a few years ago, Ayelet Waldman became the source of massive criticism for openly admitting her love for her husband as greater than her children in a personal memior. Woah woah woah, calm down. I know that seems crazy, but let’s look at her reasoning. Her argument is that, as she raises these beings and pours all her heart and soul into them, one day they will grow up and grow out of her life. Her children will always be her children under title, but they may move and grow dissonant; while the relationship built between her and her husband will indubitably much closer for much longer. She continues that in raising her children, she has remained tried and true to them and offered up all that she can-but her focus is a little different than that of what the media dictates it should be. Waldman focuses on an aspect hardly explored in the “go get ‘em” of media marketing of a woman’s identity, which is slowing down to focus on her actual quality of life.

But you may ask, if you’re willing to birth kids then shouldn’t you be willing to sacrifice everything for motherhood? Well, I don’t want to sound like I know what I’m talking about, but I think the bond of motherhood, that special connection, is something that defies definition. Yes, you should be willing to protect and maintain the needs of your children, but all too often we forget the identity of the woman who started it all.

I couldn’t have put it more eloquently than when Waldman states “Parenting was not a verb back when I was a girl. And now the stakes are so high, the way the game is played is such madness that how could we possibly do it all? The guilt and shame seems inevitable. How did we come to a point where not baking is a political act?””
Ultimately, this far surpasses one woman’s center of affection… it focuses on the mass-spreading of a woman’s expectations to overly commit to perfecting everything in her life, while still maintaining happiness. I don’t know about you, but I’m just exhausted at the thought.

One thought on “Motherhood: An Olympic Sport

  1. This post raises a lot of questions about what constitutes a good mother. Now that women can work and are sometimes the bread winners women have to do a lot more to be a “good mom.” Although I was a bit outraged at first to hear that Ayelet Waldman declared she loved her husband more than her kids it is a woman’s choice in how she defines her motherhood. But I do believe that as a mother or a father your top priority should be your children at least until they are adults and can support themselves. Nice job talking about a somewhat controversial topic it definitely made me think.


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