Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Who Praises Mothers?

On Thanksgiving my mil went into rapturous praise of her son-in-law's (one of my bils) talents as a father. She was talking to this particular bil's mother. She went on to say that both of her sons-in-law are great fathers, as is her son (my husband). Not once did she say anything about her daughter's being wonderful mothers.

I understand that things were different when she raised her children. Her husband has never changed a diaper and is proud of it. I'm not opposed to recognizing that today's involved dads are a source of wonder to her because her husband never lifted a finger (and for the most part still doesn't). What infuriates me is that dads seem to be praised at the exclusion of moms. What we do is just expected, normal. When a dad does the same thing people fawn over him, praise him, congratulate him.

Mothers need praise too. I wish I had a little business card or something to hand out to moms I see out and about. Instead I give them a big smile, and hope that they don't take me for a nutcase, that I'm simply sending them good mama-vibes.

Back to my mil, later on in the weekend she complained about a neighbor of hers, how spoiled she is and how her husband does everything she asks. Why is my mil so bitter that this woman's husband gets her coffee, or whatever? Hmm, think it has to do with 50 years of serving fil? Seriously, she makes him breakfast lunch and dinner.

1 comment:

cathy said...

I've been observing this pattern in my parents. My mom complains and complains that my dad won't help her do anything around the house. (Her picture is in the dictionary next to the word martyr.) But she won't let him. If she goes before he does, who will butter his toast? Or flush the john for him? I worry about this. I used to get so angry at my dad for not lifting a finger. Now I see how my mom needs to diminish my father's capabilities in order to feel okay in her world. It's very sad. She needs to have this concrete thing to complain about because she doesn't want to think about all the other stuff.

And you should see the steam that comes out of her ears when she hears my husband talk about vacuuming (which is his job around our house). She turns her resentment into disgust for me, her lazy daughter. aaargh.

So I hear you, friend...