And possibly a little late to the party, so to speak.
Kate Vietje caused a little dust-up in the blog-o-sphere last week (or maybe the week before) by admitting — in public, on-line — that she maybe didn’t love both her children equally.
A few of my thoughts, and many a link:
1. If this author *had* lost a child, she would not think about which child it would be easier to lose now. She would know it hurts to lose a child, period, and speculating that maybe it would be easier to lose her daughter because of the way she felt about her daughter (i.e. that her daughter is more demanding or more challenging than her son) is useless.
In the author’s defense, she never wishes her daughter was dead, and she avers her love for both her children repeatedly. Should she have written what she did? Probably not. What responsibility does Babble have in promoting the controversy? Probably quite a bit.
2. A great number of commenters observe that when/if her daughter ever reads this post, she will be devastated by it. Their point mostly being (I think) that these private thoughts should never have been made public.
I think that a lot of people judged this woman very harshly for speaking her mind, for telling part of her story. I think mothers’ stories, and mothers’ voices need to be out there, “telling it like it is”. Whether there are lines one shouldn’t cross is still being worked out. For better or worse. See number one.
3. This mothering gig is hard (and, yes, the fathering gig is too). In my opinion, the more people out there telling it like it is (@mattieflap, for example), and admitting that the mothering gig is hard (Heather Sobieralski, at Owning Pink, for example), the better for parents in general. The community has changed, has moved online, and I, for one, am glad.
4. Catherine Connors (Her Bad Mother) skates an interesting line, in my opinion. While she might be writing from a place of love and affection, she also, in another post, defies anyone who tells her to shut up. Would she ever admit to loving one of her children more than the other? I don’t know. When she writes that the thought of losing either of them fills her with terror, I completely believe her. And I also believe that this is a more common feeling in parents with more than one child: That we can’t contemplate losing any of them without breaking out in a cold sweat.
5. I was furious with Michael last week. I was so mad he wouldn’t sleep. I hated that he was sick, and sometimes in my sleep-deprived state, I felt like I hated him.
I don’t hate him, of course, I love him deeply and unbearably. But, oh, how I sobbed Friday night when he woke me, again, from sleep. Sobbed so hard, that Dan took him from me, and sent me off to rest, if I could rest.
I rested, and two hours later, I took him once more from Dan. And two hours after that, Dan took him again.
And that is parenthood in a nutshell sometimes. Sometimes the kid doesn’t sleep, and you get mad at the kid. It’s okay, and I think it’s okay to say that. To speak the experience of parenthood. And a lot of the “oh, but think of the CHILDREN” clap trap out there is just another form of oppression. Or repression, depending if it’s external or internal.
Look, the kids are going to be fine. Psychology came into being long before blogging, so people going into therapy for one reason or another isn’t anything new. If Vietje’s daughter decides to cut her mother out of her life, it’s not going to be because of that blog post. It’s going to be because of her mother’s actions, not her words.