Tag Archives: motherhood

Selfish or Self-Sacrifice?

Image credit: falconchildren'shome.com

Image credit: falconchildren’shome.com

I recently heard a story about a local woman who was diagnosed with an illness which would eventually take her life. If what schoolchildren say is true, despite this diagnosis, she chose to become pregnant (or carry the baby to term), and at the time of writing this, is close to giving birth.

Some rumours make more sense to the person telling the story than to the person who’s listening, so I took the story with a liberal amount of salt.

Since I don’t like to be seen as judgmental, I tried to put myself in her shoes and determine whether the choice she made would have really been in her best interest or that of the child’s. Most women want to procreate, so I was hoping that this woman wasn’t marking “having a baby” off her bucket list – because carrying a child isn’t quite in the same league as wanting to take that trip to Turkey before you die.

It is awesome to be a mother, but what happens when you’re no longer here? Of course, since none of us is promised tomorrow, one could argue that any of us could very well leave our children motherless through no fault of our own. But therein lies the difference. If we knew that we wouldn’t be around to love and care for the child, would that be considered a tad selfish on our part?

Recently I read a post by fellow blogger, Dani, who writes at bloomingspiders, where she highlighted the story of an American woman who found out about her terminal illness after she had conceived, but who chose to carry the baby as close as possible, to term. By doing so, it meant that she missed out on arresting the spread of the disease because she refused the chemotherapy treatments that were necessary to do so.

The new mother, who had a legitimate reason for ending her pregnancy declined to do it because she saw it as ending a perfectly healthy life to sustain one that wasn’t. She will have at most a year to live, and I’m sure she’ll use the remaining time she has to bond with the child who will probably not remember her.

It’s likely that she will take lots of pictures and leave video montages for her daughter because of this. But the most vivid memory that will be left with the child is the fact that her mother made such a big sacrifice in order for her to be here. Should it matter that this woman will be leaving a 6 year old son behind as well? And a fiancée, with whom I believe she wanted to have this child?

Not being there for any of them probably doesn’t make any sense to most of us. If I was to guess, this woman probably looked at the odds of her long term survival and stacked it up next to that of her unborn child, and figured that she’d prefer to live without regret – for however long she had left.

Image credit: summahealthcare1.org

Image credit: summahealthcare1.org

If my local tale is true, both situations will have the same outcome – so should it matter when each knew of her own physical condition? If both women see giving life to another as the ultimate and best goal, it’s obviously worth it to them – even though they won’t be a part of it.

(Reality) Check Please! – A Movie Review

Image credit: indiewire.com

Image credit: indiewire.com

Where’s Madea when you need her?

I read somewhere that Tyler Perry does not allow his films to be previewed. But for “The Single Moms Club”, it would have been too late anyway.

What he really should have done, as my sister-in-law said, was to confer with mothers like us and obtain the reality check that this film needed. Because the spirit of the no-nonsense cantankerous female character that Perry sometimes plays, was sorely needed here to knock some sense into a few of the characters.

I don’t want to make this a black/white thing here, and I realize that Perry is trying to broaden his audience, but being a single mother of any persuasion is no excuse. That being said, some of the behaviours that some of the children in this movie were allowed to get away with had me saying, “Child, please!”

Which mother do you know – single or not – who’s going to have her child tell her that she (the mother) is ruining her life? When all she’s trying to do is provide those clothes she’s wearing and the food she’s obviously eating. I know a kid needs love and attention too – but that’s beside the point.

I’ve seen kids slam doors on parents before – but only in the movies – because that thought would not have ever crossed my mind when I was younger. Slam whose door? In whose house? Anyway, Perry uses this to demonstrate the child’s frustration, but I waited in vain to see how Nia Long’s character, May, acted the fool on her son’s behind. A sigh of exasperation is all I got.

And when he leaves the babysitter’s house, (as we later learn because he received a phone call from his father), without telling anybody, then comes back home the next day, walking into the house like he’s the one paying the bills, we’re supposed to believe that his mother’s tears aren’t quickly replaced by her resolve to make sure that he didn’t lose the care of his brain ever again.

I don’t know how Tyler Perry’s character (TK), wasn’t seeing a different side of her as he attempted to peel her off her son as he tried to save the boy’s life. But when we see her waiting for the son while he waits for hours for his father to show up only to be disappointed again, and we realize that she does this every time – it’s no wonder he thinks that he can talk to her any way he likes.

Thankfully, Lytia, the character played by Cocoa Brown is a truer representation of the kind of parent who was your mother and not your friend, but as my viewing partner said, her son still had way too much sass for someone whose mother swore that “standing on his neck” was a sure way to bring a disobedient child in line.

The ‘Hillary’ character played by Amy Smart, was a complete waste of time. She was newly divorced, but it didn’t appear to me that she worked anywhere, so even with three children how is it that she was so unaware about the milestones that were taking place in her older daughter’s life? With the way she was going, she was likely to miss her baby’s first words and steps before she realized that the damsel in distress thing is just not going to work when you have some kids to mind.

Terry Crews’ character provided much needed comic relief, but maybe I’m still seeing “White Chicks” in the rearview mirror. He, along with four other guys in the movie ensure that these single moms all get their guys in the end. Although I can already see that some of them ain’t gonna last.

I like the fact that Tyler Perry attempted to get a diverse crew of women for this movie because we don’t all have to be from the same social groups and walks of life to be friends. But I’m not sure what May really wrote about in her book, because the social situations seemed a bit forced to me. But I’m nitpicking.

We’ve become accustomed to the social commentary in Perry movies, and this one was no exception. From welfare mothers to the drug culture to crime to workaholic mothers to irresponsible parenting to wanting more for your children than you had for yourself – it ran the gamut.

Hillary’s daughter tells her own mother that she doesn’t really know her and decides that it was time that they introduced themselves. And Lytia’s son tells her that she should trust that later in life he will remember what she will probably be telling him for years to come. Which is all that I can hope for my children too.

Some have complained that Perry tends to hit you over the head with his messages, so this time, a little child will lead you to them.

Talk To Me

At work, I come into contact with several people on a daily basis, and sometimes, since some people prefer to wait while having their services done, there is ample opportunity for them to strike up a conversation. It is during those times that I realize that some people have absolutely no problem telling all their business to somebody they don’t even know.

Facebook has taken over, mind you, but some of the things that people tell me, wouldn’t even be detailed there. I would constantly marvel at the fact that they would give me information about themselves and their situations, when all I wanted to accept was their money for services rendered.

I like to think that my face is a fairly pleasant one to look at, but apparently my eyes seemed to have hypnotized them into telling me all. Maybe I missed my calling as a therapist, because I dutifully listen, make the appropriate noises to assure them that I am still listening, and profess outrage when it seems appropriate to do so. They never ask my advice – which is good, because I would have been hard pressed to provide any.

I mean, what do you say to the guy who tells you that he’s interested in a woman, but when he talks to her on the phone to try to get to know her better, she declares that his conversations bore her? I guess you would ask him what it felt like to hang up on somebody who wasn’t worth his time.

Or to the person who tells you that his former girlfriend married someone else very soon after leaving him, but her husband has been in trouble with the law – a few times? Probably, to take his time to find a new girl and that when he did, to be sure to drive by his ex’s house – very slowly.

I’ve always thought though, that people who write into advice columns already know the answers to the questions they’re asking.

Such as, “My boyfriend says that he doesn’t believe in marriage. I’ve been dreaming about walking down the aisle since I was a little girl. Should I fool myself into thinking that I’ll be the one to change his mind?”

Or, “Should I tell my friend that her husband is cheating on her? Or should I just call our friendship quits now, because she’ll certainly do that when she eventually finds out?”

How about, “My family doesn’t like the person I intend to marry. Will we be happy even though I’ll blame him when I no longer have contact with them?”

Just this week, after asking how many children I had, a customer declared that she was giving herself until the age of forty-six to have her first child – and she tells me, she isn’t too far away from her deadline. It seemed a strange number to pick, but knowing that she was engaged in studies, I remarked that she had other things that were probably taking first place.

After she left, I wondered how successful she was going to be in her quest at motherhood, and I was thinking that maybe I should have gotten some more details. Like, did she actually have a boyfriend? If not, how was she going to meet her goal? And what would happen if things didn’t work out for her as they had for Halle Berry, whom she mentioned, and who at forty six recently had her second child.

But I’m sure she didn’t want me all up in her business. She just wanted to talk.

The Tooth Fairy is Broke

I think it’s time that my son knew the truth. I’m sure he suspects it, and since I’m going to reveal the hard fact that even the tooth fairy has some financial constraints, maybe I should just go further and tell him that she really doesn’t exist.

If you read my blog, you know that I’ve written about this topic before. Thankfully, the teeth for both of my kids have been leaving their mouths less often, so I have actually been able to save some money. But two weeks ago, my son lost another tooth. It stayed on the dresser for days – ignored by its former owner and ignored by its new one – that is, until he decided that he needed a sizeable deposit to his piggy bank account for a potential purchase.

So last night, his sister (bless her heart), reminded him about putting the tooth under the pillow, and even though he had already retired for the night, he leapt out of bed to get it. I’ll admit. I said to myself that I would find some money to put under there, but being out of practice, I completely forgot.

When he awoke this morning to the same old tooth and no money, he remarked that the tooth fairy had not visited. I almost slapped my head at my forgetfulness. What I did instead was inform him that the tooth fairy was probably broke – just like the rest of us.

I didn’t see what he did with the unclaimed tooth. But I’m thinking that this is the perfect time to tell him, as we say locally, “how barley grow”. That there really is no tooth fairy, because who has five dollars to give away in exchange for one tooth out of somebody’s mouth? And I’ll broaden the discussion and ask whether he thinks that it’s even a fair exchange.

Given the fact that (unlike his sister), he’s realized that not all people who marry have children, and he’s querying exactly how both he and his sister got into my belly in the first place, I dare say that pretty soon, the tooth fairy isn’t the only thing with wings that we’ll be having a conversation about.