Who’s The Dummy, Mummy?

February 10, 2009

Rachel Cooke thinks that I’m a dummy. Okay, maybe not me specifically, but women like me. Women who talk or write incessantly about their children and their experience as mothers. Women who, when asked how they’re doing, launch into a extended narrative about sleeplessness and breastfeeding and hormones and Xanax. Women who are – how did she put it? – “boring, selfish, smug and obsessed with motherhood.”

Like I said: women like me.

“Once upon a time,” says Cooke, “educated women fought to separate their identities from the ideal of mother, knowing that until the two came to be seen as wholly distinct they would never be taken seriously; and, in any case, who wants to be defined by only one aspect of their life? In the past decade, however, a growing number of women have reverted, 50s-style, to identifying themselves primarily, vociferously, and sometimes exclusively, as mothers. They fetishise childbirth, and obsess about all that follows it, in a way that is almost, if not quite, beyond satire, and which makes me feel a bit sick.”

Which, whatever. So she’s not interested in mothers; I can live with that. I wasn’t all that interested in motherhood before I became a mother, either. But there’s a very great difference between lacking an interest in a subject and asserting that any discussion or celebration of that subject is somehow subversive of broader social goods. That someone, anyone, lacks an interest in the motherhood does not mean that the celebration of motherhood or extensive discourse on the subject of motherhood represent broader social problems for which mothers should be held responsible. I mean, seriously. I’m not interested in hip-hop, but would it make sense for me to say, on that basis, that pop-cultural attention to hip-hop is fetishistic and sick-making? I’ve certainly had the experience – pre-motherhood – of being trapped in conversations with women who went on at length about the details of childrearing and wondering how I was a) going to escape, and b) scrub my brain of the mental image of mustard poo, but I’ve also had that very same experience with people who only want to talk about politics (an occupational hazard as a former academic specializing in political philosophy) or cats or global warming. The fact that those subjects, in excess, cause my eyes to roll back in my head does not mean that anyone who is passionate about those things is an out-of-control fetishist. It only means that I am not interested.

Like any reflective bigot, Ms. Cooke asserts that she is not attacking all mothers – some her best friends are mothers! but they’re, like, the smart kind who you don’t mind hanging out with! – just the smug, stupid mothers who talk too much about being mothers. Because, you know, it’s not that mothers as a community are sickening in their fetishistic attachment to the terms and trappings of motherhood. It’s that so many of them are, and Ms. Cooke is starting to find it overwhelming. Can’t we all just shut up already about childbirth and our children and everything having to do with our children? Don’t we realize that the more we talk about this stuff, the more stupid and smug and selfish and Stepford we sound? Can’t we see that we are setting women back? And, also, nauseating everybody in the process?

This is what is, to me, most hateful about Cooke’s diatribe: the assertion that there is not only something unseemly and uninteresting about the discourse of motherhood, but also something fundamentally unfeminist about it. This is Linda Hirschmann Lite: devotion to motherhood is somehow not deserving of respect, because it limits - limits - women to a life experience that has been dictated, in some part, by the terms of their biology. This is biology-as-destiny, this is femininity-as-enclosure: this is what prevents us from being free, like, men, to do whatever we want. This is an old feminist argument (one, if you’re interested, that has roots in Marx), that women need to be liberated from their biological destinies – from the almost-inevitable biological condition of motherhood – so that they might work and contribute to society like men, because only then do they meaningfully contribute to society, only then are they members in full, only then are they interesting.

This is bullshit. Women do not become free by rejecting motherhood, by ignoring motherhood, by keeping the stories of motherhood hidden behind the veil, the wall, the enclosures of the private sphere. Women become free, in some significant part, by celebrating motherhood – by celebrating parenthood (men love their children too, you know, and some might even choose to make parenting their primary occupation, if it were more generally accepted and recognized as important work) – by demanding that it be as valued a part of civil society as politics and business and the arts and, you know, whatever else people like Rachel Cooke and Linda Hirschmann deem to be important and interesting. Celebrating motherhood doesn’t mean that every woman must choose motherhood as part of her life experience – we celebrate all variety of callings, without insisting that any of them are necessary for every individual’s self-fulfillment – it only means that we all of us recognize that mothering – parenting – and all that it involves is important work. Which means, in turn, we recognize discourse on those subjects as important discourse.

This is not to say, of course, that every anecdote about poo explosions in public places or every detailed explanation of the effects of sleep deprivation on the post-partum mother is in itself a critically important contribution to public discourse. It is to say, rather, that the sum of these stories is important: that in telling these stories, and in recognizing these stories as legitimate and important, we are sharing – we are making public, we are lifting the veil on – the experience of motherhood and demanding that it be taken seriously as something that contributes to – that is, arguably, the backbone of – civil society. Not every one of these stories will be interesting to everyone; many will be interesting only to a very few. But they are our stories, the stories of our parenthood. And we are, in telling these stories, telling each other – telling other mothers, telling fathers, telling future mothers and fathers – that there is no need to be (and every harm in being) isolated in one’s experience of parenthood. We are telling each other that there is community in parenthood, and that such community should be sought out and embraced.

Cooke summarizes her argument with this statement: “all this droning on about baby and toddler world is not, in the long run, doing any of us any good. For me, and many other women, it’s boring and selfish, and it implicitly casts judgment on the way we choose to live our lives.” I’m sorry that she feels that way. I, for one, am quite capable of listening to my husband’s colleagues drone on about the TV industry without feeling like I’m being judged for not being in that industry. I am also, for that matter, quite capable of listening to childless friends talk about their careers and their active social lives and their travel adventures without feeling as though they pity me for always having a baby strapped to my chest. If she feels judged, that’s her issue, not a larger social problem that needs to be nipped in the bud. Indeed, as I’ve said above, this compulsion to silence mothers, to insist to them that their stories are not worthy of sharing in public spaces, to demand that they just shut up already about their silly children and their silly fascination with organic baby food and sleep training and post-partum depression – this is the larger social problem. It’s a terrible social problem. It does more to keep women silenced and isolated than pretty much anything else I can think of.

So if anyone should just shut up already and stop complaining and judging and holding women back with her need to control what women talk about… well, you know who you are.


(Thanks to Karen for the tip on the story. Funny how she knew just exactly what would make my head explode.)

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    Mom101 February 12, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    PS God I love Mr Lady

    Jill February 12, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    Wait, wait – so, if feminism means that a woman is free to do whatever she chooses, then…how does not letting her choose to be a mother (or if she is one, to not talk about it or act like it or even ADMIT to it!) have ANYTHING to do with feminism?? I’m so confused!

    I dunno about you, but I never felt more feminine than I did when I became a mother. I created a baby in my belly, I birthed it with my vagina, and I fed it with my breasts. I’m a damn LIFE MACHINE! If that’s not the ultimate celebration of how awesome being a woman is, then I’ll eat my hat.

    Feminism took the wrong course when it decided that in order for women to be just as good as men, they had to do all the same things that men do. WRONG! They just had to stop thinking that what they were ALREADY doing was stupid, boring, a waste of time, ad nauseum a la Cooke. Ancient cultures operated on the same men=hunters, women=homemakers system, but they celebrated and honored their women instead of belittling them. It worked for them!

    To imply that women doing what they alone can do is not important is the OPPOSITE of feminism. And it’s time everyone else figured this out too.

    moosh in indy. February 12, 2009 at 9:03 pm

    I'm going to have shirts made.
    "I'm a dummy"
    It will reside in my drawer right next to
    "I <3 Cooters"

    rachel - a southern fairytale February 12, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    Met you at BlissDom, adored you.

    Read this, officially love you. period and end of story.

    Amen. Thank you. Thank you for writing this and to putting into words what I feel, but doing it so much better.

    Jennifer February 12, 2009 at 9:58 pm

    My new hero.

    leahpeah February 12, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    I’m with Anonymous 5,267. Just kidding. I didn’t really read your mile of comments. I just wanted to tell you that I think you are awesome and I’m glad you wrote this. xoxo

    Anonymous February 12, 2009 at 11:44 pm


    Oy vey. You’ve convinced me. I’m done with my work here. I don’t think I’m fitting in here.


    I think you are awesome and thanks for your thoughtful response. Perhaps someday I’ll email you a litany of ways that moms have degraded me during my pre-mom days. And I can ask around, see what women without children have to say. But now, er…. I am sleep deprived. You know the drill;)


    Andrea February 12, 2009 at 11:49 pm

    ~From an interesting mommy.

    Lizzy MD February 12, 2009 at 11:50 pm

    Delurking to say F*CK Ms. Cooke. Why are we still having this discussion? Jesus. SHE is the one “setting women back”. Ugh, I feel ill. Please find some other dead horse to beat, Rachel!

    Her Bad Mother February 13, 2009 at 12:22 am

    Anonymous – I really would love to know, in all seriousness, what such degradation looks like. Because if that’s happening, I’m interested, as a former non-mom and wannabe feminist. If some mothers do degrade non-moms, I’d love to give some thought as to why that is.

    Rachel Cooke didn’t give me anything to work with in that regard, but as I said before, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen. I hope you will tell. Maybe I’ll write a post and ask the broader readership. I know that some of my non-mom readers sympathized a bit with Cooke. I’d love to know where this tension comes from. IS it patriarchy? Or (and/or?), as kgirl asked astutely above, us just throwing each other under the bus?

    TB February 13, 2009 at 9:08 am

    But we’ve been over all of this so many times already, haven’t we? There are those baby-free by choice women out there who are never going to understand why motherhood brings joy and is a worthwhile undertaking to those who choose it.
    There are also plenty of mothers out there whose mothering philosophies (and usually by default, life philosophies) I don’t agree with.
    Yes, Rachel Cooke showed her narrowmindedness and ignorance in her article, but there are just as many blog posts written by mothers about motherhood that I find ridiculous or silly or offensive.

    Anonymous February 13, 2009 at 9:49 am


    I have found little as relevant and timeless as Joan Didion’s piece “On the Women’s Movement” written in 1972 with such astute observations that anything written during that time, in fact, even much afterward, seem tempests in teapots, arguments made that are beside the point.

    Here are some particulars: The invention of women as a “class” obfuscates the reality that many women are victims of sexism, and degradation and oppression just as many women are not. The construction of a mythical everywoman as category is as inchoate and limiting as a similar creation of “mother” or “motherhood” or even, in Cooke’s view, a certain type of mother, many of whom undoubtedly exist, others of whom exemplify only some such traits, others, few or none at all.

    Reducing complex, ambiguous identities, roles that shift and are continuously redefined, is to join the argument at its most basic, elementary level.

    As Didion reminds us, the uncertainty “of what it is like to be a woman-that sense of living one’s deepest life underwater, that dark involvement with blood and birth and death,” is a valid reality, perhaps no less so for mothers, as for childless women.

    Don't Lick The Ferrets! February 13, 2009 at 10:24 am

    You just rock!!!!

    Renee February 13, 2009 at 11:29 am

    HBM – I think I’m in the minority here, as a mother of 2 and a third on the way, but I could sympathize a bit with Rachel Cooke. Of course, she was terribly patronizing and (somewhat/very) bitchy about it, but haven’t you ever met/read/heard about those moms who equally patronizing/bitchy to mothers who have made different choices, whether it be to go back to work too soon (I totally agreed with her outrage re: the French FM) or to women who choose not to have children.

    Frankly, I was recently talking to my hairdresser, who is about my age, and she was telling me why she doesn’t want to have kids. I found myself thinking (though not saying, thankfully!) that she was somewhat selfish and narrow-minded and would really regret this later in life. Isn’t that pretty judgemental and patronizing of me?

    We all make decisions in our lives and as much as we’d like to say we’re open-minded, the reality is: When I make a certain choice, I implicitly believe its better than the other option. But, I can’t help wondering if maybe I’m wrong…

    As to Cooke’s particular article, I think it exposed a huge amount of insecurity on her part (see above re: “what if I’m wrong…”) but just as she shouldn’t be reading the mommy blogs if they make her “sick,” maybe we shouldn’t be reading her article if we can’t stomache the way she views mothers…

    Anyway, I still thought your post was very well-written, even though I wasn’t in 100% agreement. Have a good one and enjoy you adorable kiddies!

    Renee February 13, 2009 at 11:33 am

    Oh – sorry – one more thing. Calling the mummies “dummies,” though, that was just plan mean and undermined her argument tremendously. I suspect, though,that she was just trying to get attention that way…

    Her Bad Mother February 13, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    I really am going to have to write another post about this.

    Renee, I said in the post that I understood (and have experience) feeling bored by or frustrated by mothertalk. But I stand by my argument that it is TOXIC for women – for anyone – to use that kind of social frustration as an excuse to call for the silencing of women, of MOTHERS. Which is what she did. She did not just call us dummies. She called our discourse ‘sickening’ and ‘fetishistic’ and suggested that it was counter-feminist. She called for it to STOP.

    Would we brush it off if someone publicly called out another community – an ethnic community? the LGBT community? the elderly – for their discourse? Call it sickening? Sure, some moms are insufferable. But so are some of EVERYBODY.

    I DO think it’s interesting, the question that Anonymous raised, about whether there’s something related to patriarchy that has us sniping at at each other. But I still think that Cooke’s approach warrants calling out for its toxicity. Don’t like moms? Fine. Just don’t tell us to shut up.

    Rebecca February 13, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    amen. what a horrible woman and what a horrible article. thank you for standing up for mothers everywhere.

    ChefSara February 13, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    my view of feminism is one that affords women to make their own choices in life; not be told that they mush choose a certain path. so why is it that those of us who make the choice to be mothers are judged unfavorably? why is my choice to be a mom less valued than if i had chosen to not have kids or to remain in the workforce after having kids? in my mind, it is no more feminist to tell me that i should choose to work outside the home than it is to tell me that i shouldn’t. My life, my choice. And further, why is it assumed that when I chose to become a mother, my brain disappeared? i am no less intelligent now that i’m a mom than i was when i was while getting my ivy league degree. i hate the assumption that because i chose to be a full time mom, that i’m not every bit as intelligent or interesting as women who made different choices. choice is the operative word here. the world needs all kinds. and we’re lucky that we live in a world where we can choose to be a mom or not; to work outside the home or not. and if we could all recognize that and not judge each other for these choices, the world would be a much better place.

    Mimi February 13, 2009 at 5:34 pm

    Why so defensive, Rachel Cooke? It sounds like someone is trying to justify her lifestyle choices. What a narrow-minded dipshit. One of those “feminists” who don’t know the first thing about feminism or what it means.

    KT February 13, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    I wonder if this article would be as offensive if the title were “Binky Mummies” or “Paci Mummies”?
    Yes, the content would still be offensive, but in British English, a dummy is a pacifier, as well as a stupid person. As far as just the title goes, I read it more as “Mummies whose kids have dummies”, but the word dummy could have been deliberately chosen for its dual meanings.

    Schmutzie February 13, 2009 at 7:02 pm
    Anonymous February 13, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    Catherine, I’ll offer my answer on a way that I, as a non-mother, have been degraded by mothers. Let me say first, though, that in general I agree with you rather than Rachel Cooke–I enjoy the company of my parent friends a lot, I love hearing about their kids, just as I would love hearing about anything that my friends find valuable in their lives. They’re my friends; that’s what we do.

    I am not the same anon as above–I’m posting anon because I don’t want to start anything with my family. I’m a regular reader.

    The moms who have degraded me are actually closer to me than my friends… they’re my mother and my mother-in-law. Both are extremely disappointed in my decision not to have kids. I say “my” decision but my husband, of course, had a say in this too. However, he isn’t criticized by either Mom or MIL. They save all that for me.

    Mom says I’m immature; MIL says I’m selfish. Both have actually wept during conversations about this topic. Mom employs a lot of “you just won’t understand until…” rhetoric, insisting that she knows me better than I can know myself. She believes I’m lying to myself about how happy I am now, and mistaken about how unhappy I’d be as a parent. For her, the love I offer the rest of the world through volunteering counts for nothing. My career and my artistic pursuits count for nothing. My close relationships with friends count for nothing. There’s only one thing that will make me an adult in her eyes.

    MIL is more concerned about the dynasty: I’m letting her down because I’m not continuing her family line. I’m wasting her son’s potential (never mind that he doesn’t want kids either–she thinks that a real woman would talk him into it.)

    I really dislike the pressure, but more than that, I dislike the opinion, often implied and sometimes stated outright, that none of what I do is as valuable as mothering. That I’m not a real adult. I see both Mom and MIL as mothers whose identity is bound up too strongly in their kids–and I think they find my choice threatening to their own self-esteem, as if I’m saying that they should have been something other than mothers.

    I don’t think that. I think it’s great that women have all kinds of choices now. I applaud the mothers I know, and I applaud the non-mothers equally. I applaud and respect anyone who does what they love.

    Unless, of course, they can’t pay me the same courtesy.

    WeaselMomma February 13, 2009 at 9:19 pm

    *standing ovation* ~ Fabulous rant. congrats on 5 Star Friday linkdom.

    texasholly February 13, 2009 at 10:01 pm


    This was pure genius.

    Rachel B February 14, 2009 at 12:30 am

    Thank you for writing this.

    breedermama February 14, 2009 at 1:47 am

    Bravo, mama.

    I hate that people have such a narrow conception of feminism.

    Feminism is about Freedom.

    Freedom = choice.

    If you say that you can only be a feminist IF you make a certain choice, then that negates the whole movement. It leaves us with no choice at all.

    Dear Rachel Cooke… what on earth makes you think you are the spokesperson for a movement you clearly have a loose interpretation of at best. Rejecting motherhood is SO second wave, honey. Welcome to the future, where women have the CHOICE to stay at home OR work.

    Stimey February 14, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    This is a really tremendous post. Thank you for writing it.

    I hate all of the women coming down on other women stuff. Isn’t the whole point of feminism that we can all choose what it is we want to do, be it career, motherhood, or both?

    Obviously it’s not as simple as that. There are shades of gray and sexism is everywhere, but attacking other women, as she does, isn’t the answer.

    Joy February 14, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    Regarding the speculation on the word “dummy” in the title of Cooke’s post, my take is that “dummy” is used intentionally. To use a visual example – some children walk around constantly with a pacifier in their mouths, and barely take it out to eat or drink, to the perceived detriment of the child’s development. They are permanently attached to their “dummy”. Substitute in women obsessing about their own motherhood and mothering existence, to the exclusion of all other independent thought and discussion, etc, and you have Cooke’s view of mothers constantly expounding on motherhood. And in my opinion, Cooke’s title is absolutely degrading and overwhelmingly negative to mothers.

    I am sorry for the women that are degraded for choosing to not become mothers, as I am sorry for those of us who are dismissed for choosing to be stay-at-home mothers. We as human beings should remember that everyone is deserving of respect and tolerance, and an attempt at understanding.

    As for the commentary from people who are not mothers (perhaps not yet, perhaps not ever), and their offense at the comments such as “until you are a mother … not know tiredness…” etc, etc., please do not forget that many mothers have viewed life from both sides of pre- and post-motherhood. Many of us have worked, and worked very hard, and know first-hand that without children it is a very different existence, and is often much easier than the post-child existence, whether mom is at home full-time or working full-time, or somewhere else along the spectrum. And life is more complicated after children, but the rewards are wonderful and special, as well.

    Lydia February 15, 2009 at 6:55 am

    my question to these kinds of articles is– how does there continue to BE a society if there are no mothers to continue making people?
    Denying the role of motherhood/parenthood is equal to denying the humaness (is that a word) of experience. We aren’t robots who ceate more of ourselves in a factory, nor is this “Brave New World” where we are grown in jars.
    To be human means we emerged from our mothers and that experience is worthy of praise, discussion, whatever.
    And you’re right–don’t like it? Don’t listen. But DON’T deny it.

    cakeburnette February 15, 2009 at 9:57 am

    Damn woman–YOU ROCK! As an educated, SAHM (for the most part; I do have a part-time job in my kid’s school) I applaud what you wrote. It was eloquent AND right on the money. Thank you for being the voice of women who CHOSE motherhood as a career.

    Andrea February 15, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    I think the point that she’s taken her displeasure with a certain type of behavior she encounters and made it sound like it’s an epidemic worthy of knocking a whole community – a community vulnerable and undervalued – is a valid one. It’s not like she’s slamming rock stars for their indulgent life style. She’s slamming mothers for caring too much and sharing too much. The bigotry comment was dead on. “I don’t care what you do in your own home, but don’t talk about it or shove that “lifestyle” in my face.” Be a mom if you want, but don’t flaunt it, don’t be proud, don’t be loud. Um, okay.

    Anonymous February 16, 2009 at 11:33 am

    Thanks for this. Polly Vernon’s article on the same day was even worse…

    Adelas February 16, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    I thought the whole point of feminism was to be able to choose what the heck you want to do with your life, be it working in a factory, breaking the glass ceiling, becoming liberated sexually… OR being a teacher, a secretary, a mother.

    More on that here because I apparently can’t just post a response, I have to write an entire POST in response. :P

    Rachel Cooke shockingly said in her post: Once upon a time, educated women fought to separate their identities from the ideal of mother, knowing that until the two came to be seen as wholly distinct they would never be taken seriously; and, in any case, who wants to be defined by only one aspect of their life?

    Say what? You’re saying, as an educated woman, I should be defined as solely that? You’re saying that I cannot be taken seriously if I also consider myself a mother, even if my body has physically gone through the process of becoming a parent?

    But wait!…. who wants to be defined by only one aspect of their life?!

    Also irritating, Rachel went to a site that was ABOUT babies, and then complained that they were encouraging to share anecdotes about their babies. WTH?

    Finally, her statement that For men, it just confirms what many of them secretly think, which is that women, bottom line, are only really interested in one thing, and that is making babies, and why should they be promoted or taken seriously or paid well? … if Rachel is capable of telling the difference between so-called Dummy Mummies and mothers-she-doesn’t-disdain, is she precluding men from the capability of telling the difference between child-obsessed Dummy Mummies and sneering, intolerant feminists who are in no uncertain terms NOT interested in making babies? So now she is both intolerant AND misanthropic?

    Finally… I ask you… is feminism about being as close to the standard “manly” ideal as possible, or about being free to define womanly in whatever way you want to define it?

    Expat Mom February 16, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    This is just too funny! There are people who would think that her going on about traveling to foreign lands and how fulfilled she is in her job is boring and smug. Bottom line, everyone has different interests.

    Mothers are obviously going to be interested in their children (if not, heaven help us!) and I can only assume she hasn`t made proper use of the internet if she doesn`t realize that there are groups for every imaginable interest . . . including motherhood!

    Also, this whole “feminism equals being manly” thing is just dumb. We`re the only gender that can have babies . . . why not celebrate that? Geez.

    Oh, and if she comes by here to read comments, PLEASE don`t click on my link . . . it goes to my personal blog where I *gasp* talk about my kids (as well as living in a foreign country, freelance writing and cooking).

    Jyo February 17, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    More than motherhood/ non-motherhood, isn’t enjoying what you do important? Even though I’m not one, I would rather listen to a mom tell stories about a child she is interested in and enjoys, than listen to some moms go on endlessly about how having children has just ENDED their lives, and they have no time for anything ‘productive’ anymore.

    supermommyof3 February 23, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    Oh my gosh, I am soooo over the whole “Mommy Wars” crap, and it’s just as bad to have “Women Wars”. Our mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers and beyond suffered through too many years of not having any choices, and then fighting to GET those choices for themselves and us for our generation to turn it around and try to limit each others choices.

    Pathetic. Can’t we all just agree that every woman is lucky enough to have the choice to have children or not, be a working mom or a stay at home mom, and frankly – to listen or care about what each other says. If you don’t like the mom-talk, you can very simply not listen. Just like I can blow right past the conversations, blogs, TV and radio programs or other forms of media that I don’t care to hear. Easy.

    MrsEmbers March 1, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    Amazing post- well thought-out, meaningful, and far more eloquent than the “Rachel Cooke: Kiss My Dimpled Ass” that I would’ve posted.

    Anonymous April 22, 2009 at 1:07 am

    Thank you for so eloquently voicing your critique. I could not agree more. I have just read the article today, as it was only published in Australia last Sunday. Its copy was provided by one of our single and childless co-workers to another like minded colleague that obviously felt supported by it and compelled to share it with others. I just happened to read it, as my Sunday Age magazine still rests at home unopened – the full time working, pregnant dummy mummy did not have a time to read her weekend paper yet!

    I feel very strongly that in childless circles the topics of motherhood and parenting are often discriminated against. I too don’t agree with a notion that other topics should rank higher on the ‘acceptable conversation topics’ list.

    Unfortunately, I happen to work with educated, childless, some single, sexually frustrated, sadly self centred and sour women, who are very happy to converse for hours about house decorating, buying clothes, perfumes, romantic adventures, husbands’/partners’ eating and snoring habits, but strangely get annoyed when I comment about my current pregnancy, and parenting issues with my 5 year old! Somehow their brain totally excludes that particular area of reality. Wake up people: after all procreation, child bearing and upbringing are part of our human existence, whether you want it or not. You may choose to deny it, but the odds are that majority of people around you either have already or will have a family.

    Also, what happened to the concept of freedom of speech and tolerance? Should not it work both ways? If I can listen to pointless dribbles about curtains matching cabinet handles, why can’t my co-workers at least accept I’m pregnant and allow me to touch on the subject from time to time? After all having a human being grow inside of your body is not exactly a walk in the park. Or is it that talking about it is painful because it reminds people about one more area of their lives they feel consciously or subconsciously unfulfilled about?

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