Photo credit: ariadna from morguefile.com
Motherhood: the fast-track to social demotion
By Maria Tumolo (MsXpat)
Since becoming a mom, my social life has taken a nose dive. I’m not saying that I was socialite, not by any stretch of the imagination. However, I’d like to think that I got around socially a fair bit, even while pregnant (although much slower). Now I’m finding that invites have dried up. Truthfully, known not many events that interest me are child-friendly.
The implications of a dried up social calendar didn’t dawn on me until I began reading We Need to Talk about Kevin by Lionel Shriver- why am I reading it, that’s another story- The protagonist Eva Khatchadourian puts it best, when she says that motherhood leads to social demotion. It’s almost as though when you become a mom you are no longer expected to be ‘cool’. People seem to think that to invite a mom means to being subjected to never ending stores about the baby followed by loads of photos capturing baby’s latest milestone. Honesty, I’ve never been one for large gatherings and while I’m never bored being with my son, let it be known that it would be nice to have other things on my social calendar apart from trips to the local children’s centre. Conversations need not begin with ‘How’s the baby? Is he a good baby?’ I am capable of having an opinion about matters outside of ‘guess that the baby did today?’ I am clued-up somewhat on current events and fashion. I read.
Returning to work doesn’t always help with the self-esteem either. It’s easy to insinuate that it must employee who recently returned to work from maternity leave who made error. It must be ‘baby brain’. Perish the thought of getting empathy when your baby is sick. Mostly you will find thinly masked annoyance that you need time off work be with your sick child, after all, when it’s a busy time for the organization. Never mind that less than one year ago you were the epitome of efficiency. Clearly you’re allowed to gather ‘loyalty points’ during the work year. Scenarios such as these sometimes make me feel as though I’m little more than an annoyance.
I know with motherhood comes some degree of self-sacrifice. What’s not to know, the relationship begins with our bodies hosting and feeding new life. However, must it be at the expense of our well-being and respect from our peers? Mothers don’t always get the necessary support but there is ALWAYS criticism, finger pointing and isolation of some sort. Sometimes I feel sorry for myself but mostly I’m defiant! I’ve made it my mission to ensure that my son and I find exciting stuff to do and as he’s older I’ll gradually up the ‘me-time’. I will rise.
A bit about Me
I’m an expat mom, originally from Trinidad, West Indies. I now live in the London, United Kingdom. My blog Tiger Tales is about my son and I. He’s part Chinese Italian part Black West Indian. He looks totally like his dad, who’s Chinese. Needless to say some of our experiences are sometimes funny or just plain annoying. I write about my everyday experiences as a first-time older mom and I chart some of his milestones.
Maria Tumolo (MsXpat)