It’s a Small World After All

As a woman becomes a mother, her world takes on different dimensions. Discussions over coffee take on the scale of bedtime routines or breastfeeding problems instead of economics or world affairs. Even those of us who once prided ourselves on being well-informed can slip into something that looks an awful lot like…vacuity.

We don’t stop caring about things political, environmental, worldly. It’s just that our focus becomes smaller, more personal. We talk cloth diapering vs. disposables. We discuss buying organic and local, not as an intellectual exercise, but because it’s good for our babies, our families. We battle the desire to choose safety for our children over freedom. Or maybe, if you are slightly less crunchy, you discuss Montessori school vs. public schools. Some of us throw in homeschooling for an added twist, for religious or academic reasons.  The thing is, each of these topics comes with an abundance of information.  All the room we had before for learning things like Avogadro’s number or whether J. Alfred Prufrock was more frustrated by people’s habit of wearing false social faces or by his inability to emulate them becomes crammed with doctor’s appointments, educational paradigms, sports schedules, meal plans, grocery lists and children’s shoe sizes.  Our mates want stimulating conversations, and we yearn for ten minutes of time during which no one requires us to wipe anything.

There was a time when I could defend my positions on things. Now, not only do I not have the brain power to do so, but my positions have become hazier, less defined. I can see with each child born that there is no “right way” to parent children, only things that work better for some than for others. I extend that idea to the world around me, and it becomes more difficult to have the chutzpah to claim my rightness about anything. Everything is a matter of degrees, and there is precious little in this world worth damaging relationships over. And in the end, what else is there?

I may not have the passion I once had for changing the world, but mothers?  We are the wheels. We make it go.

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2 Responses to “It’s a Small World After All”

  1. A-men, sistah!

  2. Ahh! Again – so true – but you ARE changing the world as you know it by bringing new life, new challenges, new solutions to the theoretical and practical world – simply by being a caring & nurturing MOM who sometimes does things differently than others around you. More power to you.

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