Catch 22 (what does that even mean?)

So I was reading this book. . .

“He passed streets full of houses just like his own: Victorian brick dividing him from mothers unable to hear the white noise in their heads over crying babies and demanding toddlers, in their self-imposed luxury prisons. When they needed a community, each one would switch on the radio and be traumatized by dramatic news stories of death and destruction. When they needed company, they’d turn on the television and be confronted with images of perfection and ads created to make them feel overweight, ugly, smelly, and sad. And when it all got too much, they’d pop Prozac and keep it to themselves.”

Now, I’m not sure about the self-imposition part but reading that section was a little bit scary for me. It is hard to explain the fine balance between the desire to rear your children and the utter shock to the system the necessary shift in function. Perhaps some years ago the transition was not so stark.

Check this out.

“Vanessa sighed. ‘If we’d been living 150 years ago and were rich, I wouldn’t have even been expected to breast-feed my babies, but I felt so guilty because I couldn’t. If I’d been poor, I’d have popped them out in my tea break and got back to work. . .If I’d lived in a biblical tribe, I’d have had all the women of the tribe supporting me, helping me, feeding me, and looking after me. Only one generation ago, I’d have probably had my family living down the street, would have known all my neighbors and would have spent the first fortnight of motherhood being looked after in hospital and sleeping off the trauma of giving birth. . . . ‘ ”

UGH.

What’s the comment? I don’t know. I think I don’t like working as much as I thought I would and I don’t want any flak for that. And I think I don’t like Momming as much as I hoped I would and I really don’t want any flak for that. I love my kids and desperatly want them to be happy. I just can’t quite figure out how to do that. I get braindrain from playing with the Mr. Potato Head Farm and I need money (lots of it) to take them to the children’s museums and visiting with friends. We’re no fun if people have to pay for us all the time.

Is it all right to say all this?

Anyway, Eva has started crying now whenever I pick up my purse. That’s ridiculous.

3 thoughts on “Catch 22 (what does that even mean?)”

  1. Being a mommy is hard. I wish my mom and dad were living with us. Life would be easier for myself which would in turn make it easier for Martin. We could get out more. We wouldn’t have to worry about finding or paying for a baby-sitter. I could work for the “fun” of it – if I wanted to. I wouldn’t be lonely during the day when Martin is at work. The housework and grocery shopping would be easier to get done (or even better – someone else would be doing it). Martin wouldn’t have to worry about the yard work or house maintenance – my dad loves to do that stuff! It really makes me mad that my parents want to retire to Tennessee!

  2. I’m not a mom (and never will be due to the nature of things), but it sounds all right to me.

    I hear what you’re saying about “luxury prisons”. Don’t know if you’ve read the blue jazz book yet, but the emphasis his pastor had on community was something I really enjoyed. I know in my own life, it seems like even though I have some version of ‘weekly community’ that’s good, there’s always still a need for something more real.

    Out of curiousity, which book(s) are these from? Catch 22 or White Noise or something else?

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