September 18, 2002

Oprah examines the hidden side of motherhood

Posted by Scott at 07:30 AM

Last night we watched a TiVo recording of Oprah. Normally we are not Oprah viewers. The episode was recommended viewing from my mom. The show's theme was What Your Mother Never Told You About Motherhood. Women opened up about the reality of the struggle of becoming a mom. It looked to us like many of these women came from professional careers. We could imagine that if you went from working up a marketing presentation for your boss one week to changing messy diapers a dozen times a day the next it might do a lot to un-romanticize motherhood. Michelle noted that many of these women waited, planned, and sometimes struggled (due to infertility) to have their first child. She was amused to note that no amount of readiness can completely prepare you for the lifestyle change. Yes, 80% of the time it is less than glamorous. Yes, there are times you wish you could go back or do something else besides be a mom for a day. We also noted that in almost every stage of life you wish you could either go back or move beyond this.

She remembered a story in The Book of Virtues about a boy who was given a magic ball of string in which the string represented his life's timeline. Anytime he wanted to get beyond some struggle in life, he could pull on the string and Poof! his life would move beyond that stage. Wish you were through with college? Pull the string and poof! You've graduated. Tired of dating and trying to find Mr./Ms. Right? Pull the string and poof! You're married. Struggling with the noise and hassles of small children? Pull the string and poof! They've grown up. Luckily in the story when the boy/man realizes how he squandered his opportunities to really experience those times, he was given a chance to go back in time and re-experience it. Real life isn't like that.