Mums suffer separation anxiety too

Mums suffer separation anxiety too

The Sydney Morning Herald
20 January 2009

By Catharine Munro

As I switch roles and become the parent leaving for work, I can’t even score a cute little wave in response to my faux-brave calls of “bye, bye”. Instead I am the target of the baby stare as she glides off in her father’s arms to the car for a busy day of beach, supermarket and kid-shuttling.

My baby does not miss me. This occurs to me as I return to a silent living room to get ready to leave for work, removing the superfluous nappies from my bag and replacing them with a pair of heels.

I ruminate on the absence of tears and realise that relief did not come flooding in. It was just like the first few times she generously slept for six hours straight – the quiet did not allow a good night’s sleep. Instead the silence made me worry….(Full Story)

F4L: I read the whole article and was reminded of a little poem that was often told to me in a sing-song voice when I was about 4 years old, in 1940.  The poem can be adapted to wean just about any child that age from the habit of being greedy, unsatisfied and what have you:

Little Cathy doesn’t-know-what has everything she wants,
And what she has she doesn’t want,
And what she wants she doesn’t have.
Little Cathy doesn’t-know-what has everything she wants.

I wonder if Catharine Munro is a true feminist who is in touch and miraculously connected with all other women; have them feel what she feels and she feeling what they do.

That can hardly be so.  If she truly were so connected would she not feel what other women feel, what feminism promised: The joys of motherhood – undisturbed by her husband and father of her child; the liberated feeling of being beholden to no man, and being able to earn her own living on her own (even though her husband contributes generously through baby-sitting services and the other household chores he does); the pride of being able to do everything that needs doing in the home, as well or better as any man could?

But would she not also feel what other women not so liberated as she is feel: To love a man and be loved back by him, to be able to devote herself to her child without having to rush off to work; to have a husband do all of the things that husbands do in addition to working a full-time job earning the income for their family, to love him for it and again to be loved back by him for being appreciated?

Even if she were thus connected and were to get mixed messages, should she not be grateful for having the liberty of doing everything she wants, whenever she wants, whether she is a stay-at-home mom or whether at a given moment her husband is a stay-at-home dad?

She should feel that way, because she would also be connected with all those other liberated women for whom the liberty promised by feminism, the freedom to have it all, brought nothing but misery, varying degrees of poverty and disappointment that the liberty of having it all means that such women have to do it all — by themselves, and that work that one must do by oneself, with no one to help or take over, is slavery, not freedom, not only everlasting and wearying but just simply too much for one woman all by herself.


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