I couldn't help but be taken aback by the headline, Giving Birth Doesn't Mean Giving Up Your Social Life
. It seemed something really intriguing to me that I knew the contents would be utterly outrageous, worthy of spitting hot coffee through my nose on a sunday morning as one hears modern feminism clash and selfish capitalism clash against ancient ideas of motherhood and family raising.
Shortly after the birth of her first baby, Brett Paesel found herself not in blissed-out baby heaven, but on her therapist's couch. "All I want is to rewind my life," she mourned, "and be the way I was before I had Spence. I'm never going to be happy again. I've ruined my life." Paesel, a glamorous LA-based comedy actress (Six Feet Under, Curb Your Enthusiasm) simply couldn't reconcile the monotony and sacrifice of bringing up her baby with her old, carefree self. Independent
Her solution was to implement a weekly happy hour in her local bar. Every Friday night she would meet with whichever of her friends could rustle up a babysitter and drink, smoke and discuss sex, drugs, men and anything other than what their newborn sprogs were eating, drinking and s++++ing. Paesel has just written a book on the subject, entitled Mommies Who Drink.
"I spent the days mourning the loss of my past self," she says. "I raged against the limitations mommyhood placed on me. I rebelled against what seemed like an American group-think about what mommies should be: dull, doughy, desexualised, and pathologically interested in all things to do with children."
The excellence of the article is very clear: a mother should not have to burden herself with taking care of her kids,
but rather she should escape as much as possible and hire babysitters so she can discuss sex & drugs with her friends. Implied is the notion that being a mother is inherently dull
. I am sorry, Brett, but your new baby will not sleep with you or sell you cocaine.
This really highlights the absurd realities of modern life: women try to balance careers and parenting and end up with zero free time which results in, I guess, people actually heeding a portion of the calls from detached Hollywood alien lifeforms to instead spend their evenings drinking with their friends.
Notions of sacrifice in a personal life accompanying motherhood are no fun and so we shy away from them quickly.
We are now left with this ideal:
I had always believed that having a baby would ruin my life. I put off having one for ages because, selfish as it may sound, I thought it would spell the end of all social activity. But when I had Ronnie two years ago, I found it amazingly liberating.
When he was six weeks old, the night before we were due to register him, my partner, my friends and I, all sat in the pub, passing him around trying to work out a name for him.
Oh, the romance: with your partner
(it is uncouth and passe to marry somebody anymore, it is much more en vogue to have a simple partner who really has no contract with you at all) passing around your child to your friends and thinking over a potential name.
It turns out having a baby does not ruin your life: it brings more light into your pub life by providing opportunity to bestow names onto children over a few beers, because God knows alcohol and naming of children mix together quite well.
We live in an era where no one is expected to really be a parent in any conventional form -- we are expected to be partners (not husbands and wives) and the more endearing terms, mommies and daddies, being that anybody is ready to enjoy the fruits of alcohol and free time when parenting. Otherwise, as it is said, having a child will tear apart your precious social life -- God forbid that your social life turns to doing things with families with children of similar ages as that would take it directly out of the bar (and perhaps those lame characters with their husbands and wives might look down on your partnerships).
Welcome to the 21st century -- we are in a second Pax Romana; come back later, the native populace is too busy fornicating, drinking and hiring foreigners to take care of our children (who most of the rest of the time are raised by televisions and video games).