I had a unique weekend in which I was binge watching “Big Little Lies” on HBO and also studying Anthropology about humans helping one another raise children. If you have not watched “Big Little Lies” on HBO, go watch it now…..We will wait!
If you still haven’t taken the time to watch it I will say it goes along with the name of my blog…. The Judgement of Smothers. Which got me thinking, where is the anthropology study on this…the tearing down of mothers in human society?
I understood the assignment from my anthropology class. It’s really fascinating because it starts with the fact that human females go into menopause around fifty and then continue to live up to another fifty years. The study suggests that females do this so that they can help raise their grandchildren due to the caloric burden raising children has on the mother. It’s very prehistoric ,of course, and about early man. We certainly don’t have any problem finding calories in today’s environment. Could you imagine eating only what you could hunt and gather? I would only eat candy. “I found snickers, milky way and a kitkat bar!” I totally would not eat meat at all if I had to hunt for it. I love that meat comes in packages now. I would have made a terrible neanderthal. I love learning about old us and thought how difficult it must have been to have family quarrels back then. “Fine, take care of your own baby Theresa and by the way you aren’t coming over to the barbecue and we have a rather LARGE wooly mammoth too! But you look like you’ve had enough mammoth!” (insert prehistoric shade here)
Then poor Theresa is in her cave with her crying child eating leaves and pissing and moaning about what a bitch Beverly is. “Fine, Beverly, I hope you choke on your fucking Wooly Mammoth! I hope you over-cook the dang thing and the entire tribe says you’re no longer allowed to throw a barbecue because you are a terrible cook! And lets not get started on that unibrow!”
It’s funny because I don’t think Homo Erectus was an actual bitch. So When did it start? When did the society of women tearing each other down begin? Why did it begin? Why aren’t we helping each other out? You see the culture of “Big Little Lies” on HBO is familiar to me. In fact, I am sad to say, it’s more prevalent in today’s society then the past society of giving up your period to help another woman. I mean I would give up my period for just about anything. I would give up my period to stand in line all day at the DMV. However, evolution gave up our periods to help each other out…and we thank evolution by acting like ego-driven twats?
I have had many run ins with parents and you know what? They are vicious! Mothers are especially vicious. You see it all of the time, but why? Why would we develop such enormous egos that we can’t even accept the fact that our children, who are growing and learning, might make mistakes. Imagine being a child growing up in that environment, always afraid to make a mistake. Afraid to do something that will embarrass their mother! That has got to be hella hard!
So Today, I as a mother of three grown people, will admit to all of you, I was not perfect. I made mistakes! My children made mistakes! When my children made mistakes I didn’t pretend that it was anything other than learning and growing. I didn’t get a fucking manual with my children. I didn’t know the exact right thing to do. Whenever I was approached by a parent or adult about my child’s behavior I did my best to understand the situation. What I tried to not do is make it about me! Sometimes I would fail at not making it about me and I am most ashamed of that. I knew it was wrong and furthermore it always ended up hurting my kids. You see when the umbilical cord was severed I knew that this tiny little being was now partially on her/his own. They had the opportunity to learn the same way I did. Never did I do some jack ass move and think it was because I wasn’t parented properly. Hell the great thing about the seventies is no one was being parented properly….LOL! We are too involved in our kids’ lives and learning experiences. Our egos are too wrapped up in our childrens’ performance in life and elsewhere!
Your kid is going to be an asshole one day. Your kid is going to be on the other end of an asshole one day. Your kid is going to be considered popular OR not. Your kid is going to try and navigate the world as it is, with technology and bullying and the “everybody has to be perfect” environment. What your child needs is someone who understands that it is not easy. Not an egomaniac that is trying to put the world on their shoulders. Not those mothers that are trying to prove her worth with her perfect children. How horribly confusing that must be for children nowadays. Always trying to be the star of the show, the football team, the chorus lineup, the classroom and etc. Truth is the term average means that the majority of the people fit into that category. WE FIT IN THE AVERAGE! Does that mean we should not encourage our kids? Totally not! What I am saying is give your kid the opportunity to fuck up. Not huge fuck up….but little things. So they play the smallest part in the play. Who cares? That is still a part in the play and it is important. Have you ever seen a Broadway play? No? What are you waiting for….go see a broadway play we will wait. There really is no part that is unnecessary. They simply wouldn’t pay for a costume if the part wasn’t necessary. Their budget is not that big.
Another thing, when someone calls to tell you that your child has done something that you find a little out of character (or maybe in character but you’re embarrassed to admit it) try to find out why your child is doing this thing. Most people want to do the right thing. Most people want to fit in. I have had to ask my children “What’s going on with you?” and you know what? I really wanted to know. I really wanted to understand. I didn’t take it personally. If you aren’t trying to help your child navigate the complicated world. If you are trying to mold your neighbors and your kids’ class mates and society to fit your child, You are working too hard at something that is beyond your control. Help your children to understand empathy, compassion and acceptance. Help them to strive for the stars and when they get the small part tell them that perhaps they are taking the stairs rather than the rocket ship. TEACH your kids. Learn with your kids. ACCEPT your kids as they are. And try to not put too much pressure on them.
I think my children are totally awesome people and I had the privilege to raise them. I got to watch them struggle and I got to watch them soar. I never thought I was better than anyone else and I think that was best. I knew that I was imperfect and I had long history of being imperfect. I knew that my kids would be human as well. Perfection is something that we hear about and it means something to us. But think back to our ancestors in the cave working really hard to raise children so that there would be a future for us. Do you think Theresa and Beverly Homo Erectus would be super pleased with how women tear each other down? These bad bitches had each other’s backs for good reason. If your neighbor had a sabertooth coming at her would you help? Even if she said that your child wasn’t perfect? I would hope so. Because like our ancestors evolving for us, maybe we can evolve for our future selves too. Maybe that is the point of why we had to tear each other down, to realize that it is not a good strategy.
Moral of my story: I think it is clear what my moral is. Woman need to have each other’s back and we have to have our children’s (all children’s) best interest at heart….We gave up our periods for it. To all mothers out there, I say this, you are doing a good job. Yes, you are bound to make mistakes and that is ok. I have your back. Now dry your eyes, apologize to Beverly and get yourself some wooly mammoth because leaves is not a great meal!