So for the past week I've been monitoring this sort of Media Firestorm going on in Australia....
Mia Freedman, creator of mamamia.com has garnered over 1,000 comments in response to an article called Motherhood Is Easy. Here's a link to the article--Motherhood is easy--but just in case you don't feel like getting all click-happy, it's basically about an Australian journalist who has confessed that motherhood has been, up to this point anyway, easy for her. And how she has difficulty relating to women who say that it's hard (that'swhatshesaid).
The author, Jacinta Tynan (who has a charming Australian accent and so I find it hard to get all riled up at anything she says) referenced my book in her article. When I read that I was like, Really? She read my book? Cool! I believe the phrase she used to describe it was 'riddled with sarcasm.' I don't know if she meant that in a good way, but, who cares! Someone I've never met has read something of mine. Bad ass!
So anyway, the scores of emails in response to this woman's article have been interesting. Fascinating, actually. The biggest thing I've come away with after reading them is, Boy, those Australians are so, like, articulate. And polite. Even the more scathing ones still sounded like a couple of English grandmas enjoying an afternoon cup of tea. Grandmas who hate each other, but who are polite about it, nonetheless ("Would you kindly pass the scones, you dried up old biddy?") I hope when I start getting emails from readers who beg to differ with whatever drivel I'm cranking out, they will be half as respectful as the ones Ms. Tynan has received. (Side Note: I have received one so far, for my Planes, Trains, And Matt Damon In Tight White Shorts entry. It was a polite, albeit quite lame, response to the fact that my kids are as obnoxious as a drunk girl at a frat party. I think the reader kinda missed the humor in the whole thing. Maybe Anonymous Number One was that old guy in row 26 who yelled at me.)
What's also fascinating to me are the widely varying opinions woman are leaving for Ms. Tynan. Her article has stirred up some serious emotions. Which is understandable, considering the subject matter. Who doesn't have an instant, passionate opinion about motherhood? It's like bringing up The Holodeck at a Star Trek convention. That's what I absolutely love about it (motherhood, not The Holodeck): It is an instant connection with millions of women.
And that's why I write what I write. Not only do I get to feel that connection, but I take enormous pleasure in pointing out how f-ing hilarious motherhood can be. I laugh every day at my kids (sometimes even with them...mostly at them, though). Every day I see what I've labeled the Hilarious Lunacy of child-rearing. Maybe I am being shallow, obtuse or just a Big Puffy, but the fact that I--I--am in charge of two little people, blows my mind. It's nuts. The fact that my day can sometimes revolve around whether or not Rollie has decided to go on a poop strike, or Elsa is being a Stage Five Clinger and I can't get one stinking thing done around the house without her trailing after me and mewing like a sick cat...those things crack me up. I mean, not at the time, of course. But given enough perspective (and alcohol), I find an undercurrent of humor in everything about being a mom.
Maybe it's just my warped childhood, sick sense of humor and the fact that Jeff brings home free beer every other week. Maybe it's because my advanced, obnoxious, whiny, sweet-natured kids are natural comedians, and I'm usually too tired to discipline them and so I laugh at them instead. But I have to say that to me, motherhood is a riot. It's easy. It's hard. It's great. It sucks. It rocks. It pukes on you in the middle of the night (again, just like a drunk girl at a frat party). Women shouldn't be afraid to wax poetic about its joy...or bitch about its struggles.
And they especially shouldn't be afraid to laugh their asses off at everything in between. Because really, that's where the good stuff is.