Motherhood as Martyrdom
Mothers Who Think
Julie Schroeder - 06:09am Oct 7, 1999 PDT (# 21 of 73)
It is really easy to fall into the martyr trap during that first year. Especially if you have one of those husbands whose idea of dealing with the stress is to pull a vanishing act. (sailing, skateboarding, or in our house GOLF.) I admit to moping around a good part of month two when my hubby went back to work and actually complained about how trashed the house was when he returned. (I also admit to screaming at him for complaining. :-) ) Thank the gods I've gotten over it. (Well most of it anyway. ;-) )
At my class reunion this summer one of my pregnant classmates and her husband asked for my honest opinion of early parenting. Here it is...The first three months border on hellish. You're recovering from delivery, you're sleep deprived, and you're just not used to the whole situation. Then around month three something magic happens. You and the baby start to figure each other out. Something that vaguely resembles a schedule shows up. (set by the baby naturally, not that forced nonsense.) And oh yeah! You remember how to schedule time for yourself and each other. I didn't sugar-coat anything but I didn't tell them the "tales of drama" either. I think a great many of those "oh the agony" types are just repressed actresses who missed out on their true calling.
Writers Helping Writers
Tana B. - 06:10pm Oct 3, 1999 PDT (# 1085 of 1106)
As a writer, editor, proofreader and voracious reader, I will pass along to you the single best piece of advice I've ever been given:
To get published, or even to get read and taken seriously as a writer, groom your writing to perfection. Specifically, use a spellchecker. Nothing can replace that first impression. You might think this advice is mean or irrelevant, but I can promise you that the first things people notice are things like bad spelling, poor typing, or food stains on a manuscript. Your writing won't get the attention it might otherwise deserve, just as you yourself might not get the attention of a beautiful woman who's caught your eye, if you have a piece of spinach hanging from your incisor when you smile at her. Take care of the little details before you show it to others. God, how many cruel little deaths I've died at the hands of Editor Scissorhands, who mangles my columns and inserts typos and bad grammar that I never intended. And then winced, thinking that my readers would think that I didn't know better.
J Swadesh - 11:20am Oct 6, 1999 PDT (# 174 of 184)
My interest is in the political effect that so much obsession with the Apocalypse. There have been outbreaks of this hysteria before. There were major epidemics in the 19th and early 20th century. But this time around, there is a glib, smug attitude by those who expect to be taken up in the Rapture. They have not really read their Bibles, or they would know:
Woe to you who long for the day of the Lord! Why do you long for the day of the Lord? That day will be darkness, not light. (Amos 5:18)
My personal interpretation of Revelation is that this is what will happen if the "righteous remnant" is either killed, imprisoned, renounces its faith, or simply vanishes due to a rise in materialism. Consider what Revelation warns against: conquest, war and conflict (Rev. 6:2-8), despoilation of the trees and grass (Rev. 8:7) and oceans (Rev. 8:9, 16:3), pollution of the springs and rivers (Rev. 8:10-11, 16:4), loss of faith (Rev. 8:20-21), abandonment of democracy and rise of totalitarianism (Rev. 13:7-8), epidemics (Rev. 16:2),drought (Rev. 16:8) and so on.
The "Christian" right presents these cataclysms as inevitabilities, but as the book of Job makes clear, God always respects repentance. The Apocalypse is always with us. It approaches when we oppress peacemakers and environmentalists and those strengthening democracy, when we make war carelessly, when we wantonly destroy our environment, when the rich take more and more power until democracy itself starts to wither, and it recedes when we exalt justice and mercy and humble our hearts. Just as dangerous is the loss of faith that will occur as the "Christian" right is exposed as fakers and would-be dictators. We hear the sentiment from people like Jesse Ventura: the "Christian" right has made religion itself contemptible. Unless the Christian church renews itself and its commitment to being the righteous remnant, there will be no one for those afflicted with doubt to turn to... no one except the totalitarians.
This drama is playing out in our political system right now. I believe it will not reach the level of apocalypse... but I fear for the next generation, which has seen so many years with justice cast down, mercy humiliated and truth gagged.