Mothers have to be everything today, it says: best CEO, super nanny and MILF in one. Really? Our author is glad that she is a mother today – and not 50 years ago.
The demands on mothers have grown – even their own
I have a son, a job, a partner and an elderly mother, which makes me mother, employee, lover and daughter. Sometimes everything is too much for me and sometimes I go beyond my limits. I found the life with baby and toddler especially stressful, not because I had a job, but because a child needs endless attention. Nevertheless:
I do not want another life – certainly not that of a housewife!
All the more I wonder about the lamentation that is sounding everywhere at the moment: Mothers suffered from the fact that they had to excel in all areas of life, it is said – they should be lovers with Knackpo , successful job, Supermom and star chef. In “Ze.tt” describes a colleague the “malaise of the modern mother,” which “should be everything today.” “Nido” lists six reasons why mothers today “have had it harder than ever.” The complaint is “the balancing act between job and family” and “the pressure to always look good and never to be stressed.” The author asks, “Have mothers ever had it as difficult as it is today?”
Have mothers ever had it as easy as today?
Small counter question: Have mothers ever had it as easy as today? For despite the stress of everyday life between job, nursery, bed sheets, mirrors and scales, mothers do not have to be everything today – they can be anything. And I’m so happy about that.
Even in my mother’s generation, most women were: mothers. Then nothing. With the marriage they exchanged their identity as a young woman in search of a good life against a life as a servant. They were there to take care of children and men while his secretary was staring at or touching on the appealingly draped breasts (whether wanted or not was not so important).
Meanwhile, the wife disappeared behind the walls of the common home, which in truth was his, and “faded away,” as was said at the time about female beauty. Beyond her role as a de-sexed housewife, she no longer existed. So, in the 1955 Guide to the Perfect Wife, she was given the outrageous, self-denying tip: “Try to understand that your husband’s life is full of stress and he has earned some relaxing moments.” In other words, do not bother him with your crap when he comes home. Smile, keep still, be the “provider” joy and eye candy: that was the purpose of our bourgeois ancestors. Self-employed and desirable were now only the others; the anteroom lady, the waitress, the prostitutes – women who did not “belong” to a man like her.
Today, mothers drink wine to relax – they used to sip the 4711 vial
The life of women today is demanding and demanding, in the past it was demanding and monotonous. I know mothers who go to the wine glass every night because they need something to get down to, and I also do that occasionally. This is not a good development. But was it better in the past? In the 19th century, housewives secretly sipped cologne (90 percent alcohol) or the cloister woman Melissengeist (79 percent alcohol), after the war women’s gold was invented to make lonely shadowy existence more bearable. Advertising messages such as “Lebensfroh mit Frauiegold!” (1963) emphasized the antidepressant effect of the drink.
Thanks to the women’s movement, today we have much more options: own money, self-determined (or no) love relationships, affairs, cars, the freedom to climb Kilimanjaro or emigrate. True, the perceived pressure is great to be perfect, to make everything right and better, or at least to make it look like it (thanks to social media ). But we also have a choice not to let this pressure crush us.
I am grateful that I am not only allowed to be a mother
The dictate of self-optimization threatens our serenity – mother or not. Because that’s a lot of money earned: beauty products, fitness offerings (and related accessories), fashion, status symbols of any kind. We should try to get rid of them – and not of the great achievement of being human and not just mother ,
I certainly do not want to trade with the women of yore. I am happy about the relationship that I lead because I want it from the heart, not because I need a provider. I experience it as a privilege to be and to be able to do everything possible. The only thing I really hate in my life is the household. I spend as little time as possible on this Sisyphean task, which never, never never gets done. I am grateful that housework and children are not my life, but only a part of my life.