Curbing cultural platforms


THEY high-fived each other when we left. And I respect that.

They were free to drink wine, eat pizza and laugh raucously for as long as they pleased while we scooped food off the floor, cajoled vegies between firmly shut lips and soothed the public humiliation of a two-year old who face-planted straight into the timber decking.

I know how horrendous parenting can look from the outside.

But I also know the wonderment inside our experience. I left the restaurant and curled up in bed with two small, warm bodies and, despite my poor vocal range, sang them to sleep.

I didn’t start this blog as pro-parenting propaganda. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’ve turned more than a few people off (for example). But when recent debate on cybermummies suggested we were exploiting our kids, a subconscious moratorium was struck.

Each time I went to compose a column (and I’ve tried at least a dozen times), I floundered in doubt. I questioned my boundaries. Was it not enough to keep names and faces private? Would they grow up uncomfortable with the stories their own mother had revealed? Was I really putting my own desire to share motherhood over the importance of my children’s privacy?

And then, as I sat quietly in a dark room waiting for my two beautiful babies to drift off to sleep, I was enlightened. I could hear a documentary on the tele in the lounge room. An artist, a mother, lamenting the censorship of children portrayed in art by our society. How children have been used as art subjects throughout the ages and only now has it become taboo. How children ought to have a place in art considering they are everything that’s good about the human race.

It all came flooding back. That was my blogging purpose, to celebrate not just the daily miracle that are my kids, but to try and define all that’s wonderful about being a mum for those yet to (or perhaps can’t) experience it.

Like the artist said: “they are a symbiotic part of who I am”. Their happiness is mine, and so is their pain.

It may seem like a lot of mess from the outside, but I haven’t been this ‘whole’some inside since my own childhood. And by writing about it, I continue to portray the best of mankind – those little bodies with open minds and big hearts.

10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. 4everalway5
    Sep 06, 2010 @ 06:12:05

    I couldn’t have said it better myself. I like to think I contributed to putting kids back into art this weekend. We took my God-Son to the zoo for the first time and you can bet I took a million photos and blogged about it. It’s “cybermummies” like you that have helped me hold at least a little hope for the future. You all make me think maybe the joys of parenthood are worth the risk of screwing up.


    • petajo
      Sep 07, 2010 @ 04:07:43

      So long as the “screw ups” are smaller than the triumphs, it’s all good.

      I put this on Facebook but will put it here for you too. I love love love the second ad and think everyone should watch it before deciding to procreate!


  2. marketingtomilk
    Sep 06, 2010 @ 07:33:33

    A perfect explanation of motherhood and our desire to describe it in words.



  3. Peta
    Sep 08, 2010 @ 02:40:25

    PS The image I’ve used is a little Renaissance art with a “blurred” image of my own sleeping babies. “Blurred” because that’s how I feel about my rules for their online privacy.


  4. Parsing Nonsense
    Sep 16, 2010 @ 17:13:13

    Wow, beautifully put! Wes and I discussed the possible ramifications of having our little family out there so publicly, but ultimately came to the same conclusion. We’re blessed, and if we can share the lessons and joy we’ll be that much more so.


  5. Naomi Ellis
    Nov 18, 2010 @ 10:29:18

    lovely thoughts – I have had the debate on how much to share, whether I should stop and what affects it will have on my children later. For now I know it is the right thing for me to do and I try to be careful what I share so that it does not affect them later on. but…I so love to promote motherhood and the wonderful joy it can be, it also has its challenges but the joy is so worth it. Thanks for linking up today and so great to meet you! Naomi x


  6. kebeni
    Nov 18, 2010 @ 12:08:30

    I understand your concerns when blogging too. I don’t tend to write too much and I know that what I do write they will be cool with.

    BTW I love the gruen ads that you linked to. I missed that episode


  7. Diane
    Nov 18, 2010 @ 23:45:23

    Well said. Actually my kids love reading back in time through my blog. They enjoy laughing at themselves. I really think my blog has brought us closer together. I also love to read about other moms and what they do. It is nice to not feel alone in the world of parent hood.


    • petajo
      Nov 22, 2010 @ 00:11:53

      That’s so good to know that kids can grow to love it… and I agree, whenever I have a shitty day, I just need to read a few blogs and I feel all better!


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