Monday, January 14, 2013

Of course part 1

Of course motherhood is political:
it’s incompatible with our values
as much as it attempts to reinforce them.

Society is in a double-bind:
we want a mother to be loving
nurturing, soft and understanding.
To take care. To be there.

But we don't want to have to support her
to be all those things
No public breastfeeding no understanding
no crying babies
no screaming toddlers
no boisterous children
no it takes a village.
Do it under your own steam please.
Maybe best if you stay home.

And when you're done being a loving
(and attractive) mum
please disappear
from view, don't be complicated
or shout or expect too much.

Don't disagree or complain.
Just smile.
You're your own
worst enemies you know!

Of course we want to hear you:
to be invited into the private sphere
to be a fly on the wall
of the tell-all confessional

But we don’t want to hear what it’s really like
back there. Just smile and say it’s ok
I can have it all and I’m not even trying.

Make it look easy but not so easy as to
make others feel bad.
And don't expect us to value 
your contribution.

What do mothers contribute anyway?
Clean washing?
Maybe you should get a job.

But no equal pay
no affordable childcare
no career breaks
no time away from those precious children
no flexible hours
aren't you committed to the job?
what kind of monster are you?
Selfish. We all have choices in life.

You're public property you know.
Of course we want you to look sexy
but don’t show too much breast
or not enough
or be too young or old or different.

Of course we like you just the way you are
as long as just the way you are
is just how we have told you to be
with just enough quirk on the side
to make you interesting
but not threatening.

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