History always punishes conservatives, not because conservatives are bad or wrong, but because they are, by definition, stuck. If you're standing still while the world is moving, you're going to get left behind.
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Wild Mom
March 14, 2005

Dear Galen

I'm a middle aged woman with a husband and two daughters. A few years ago, I got a full-time job and spent late evenings with my coworkers. It was so much fun, and a nice break since my husband is so boring. All he does is stay home every night with our girls and watch TV. It made me realize I got married and had kids so young that I never got a chance to truly live and have a career. I'm sick of being a wife and mother, and want the single woman career life. So I left my husband and moved into an apartment with the girls. It's great. I could stay out late, drink, and make all kinds of friends. I love the freedom. But my daughters don't like any of my friends and think I'm ignoring them. They don't respect me anymore and call me every name in the book and finally moved out to live with their dad. They're mad at me for leaving their dad and don't get that I never really loved him. I've told them they'll understand when they get to be my age. They seem to have forgotten that I am still their mother and deserve respect. How do I make them realize they have to respect me no matter what I choose to do with my life?


Dear Mom

First of all, I can go no further in this response until I have answered the question you ended with, for it speaks volumes about you and your situation. You ask "How do I make them realize they have to respect me no matter what I choose to do with my life?" and the answer is simple, but you don't seem to get it. They DO NOT have to respect you no matter what!!! Yes, you're their mother. That's about DNA, not respect. Respect is earned, not given freely, no matter who the fuck you are! Your arrogant presumption that they have to respect you is probably the root of this problem you seem to be having. Get that out of your head right NOW. Yes, you're their mother, but no that does not entitle you to some default level of respect. You want respect from your kids, you had damn well better deserve that respect or you're not gonna get it.

Now, if you can wrap your holier-than-thou mind around the revolutionary concept that you're not any more fucking special than anyone else on the planet just because you pushed a child out of your crotch, then read on. Otherwise, you can just fuck off now.

Your words: "I'm sick of being a wife and mother..." Tell me, where was all this grandious respect you speak of when you decided that you were sick of being a mother? You're tired of parenthood? Awww, well let me just throw you a pity party. Hey, guess what, G.I. Jane - YOU DON'T HAVE A FUCKING CHOICE! Sick of motherhood - too damn bad! You ARE a mother and it's a job for life whether you're sick of it or not!

You wanna know what the problem is between you and your kids? Do you REALLY want to know? Cuz I'm guessing that at this point in the letter you're already pretty pissed at me for telling you how it is; I honestly don't think you want me to fucking tell you what the problem is. Well, tough shit, here it comes.

Your problem is that you had NO RESPECT for your children when you selfishly decided to destroy their family! That's right, hon, you and you alone put an end to their stable family for reasons that were (by your own admission) purely selfish.

Now, you and every other "modern woman" reading this may very well turn your nose up and say "Well what the hell am I supposed to do; just stay there even though I'm not happy?" Hey cupcake, marriage and parenthood is a BIG FUCKING DEAL!!!! It IS a lifetime committment and if you get halfway through and decide you don't like being a parent, well that's just too bad. This is the reason it's such a HUGE deal: There is NO quitting the job of parenthood! There are no breaks from being a mom; no vacations, no sabaticals, nothing!

Yes, I'm exaggerating. Of course you can take little breaks. Get away from the kids for a while, take a break, whatever. But these breaks are supposed to be temporary. You have just thrown up your hands, said "fuck it" and decided to act like an irresponsible idiot (ie, "I'm doing this for me") instead of acting like a parent. As a parent, your children are supposed to come first - before anything else in your life. You put your good-time-party-bus new lifestyle before them. You were bored with life and put "getting out" and "having fun" and "doing something for myself" above your children.

In short, they don't respect you because you haven't respected them. Have you stopped to consider how all this makes them feel? Have you stopped to think of how your change from "Suzie Homemaker" to "Fun Time Barbie" has affected them? No, you haven't. You've only thought of yourself and that is the fucking problem.

I really can't even believe that you have the fucking nerve to demand respect from those girls after you have annihilated the roots of their lives for petty selfish reasons. Hey, maybe I don't know the whole story, but the story you told went something like "My life was no fun so I kicked it to the curb and why the hell don't my kids respect me anymore?" Did it ever occur to you that THEY were part of that life you rejected so vehemently? They feel rejected too. There, I put it in plain fucking english for you. Why would they respect a mom who, in their eyes, just threw them away?

"Oh no, I didn't throw them away, I--" Shut up! Yeah, you took them with you when you left and what was that life like, eh? Hey kids, how was school, I'm going out for some "me time," see ya when I see ya. Oh noooooo... No reason for them to feel discarded at all... dumbass.

*sigh* Ok, look, if you're still with me this far, let me be serious and non-antagonistic for a moment. You really were being selfish. No, there's nothing wrong with being selfish, but this selfishness affected your kids and that IS wrong. I can understand wanting to change your life. I can understand wanting to have more fun. What I can't understand is why you put all that before your daughters - and, yes, you DID.

Try telling your daughters that you're sorry for screwing up their lives. Try telling them that you were miserable and just had to get out but that they were not part of what made you miserable. Or, hey, here's an even better idea. Why don't you just go out, get drunk, dance the night away and say to hell with your kids. You've been doing a pretty good job of that so far.

Bottom line: You wanna change your life and make it more exciting, great! Change it and more power to ya, but you had NO RIGHT to change their life too. They didn't consent to that and they didn't have the choice like you did. You were wrong and now you're paying the price. You can fix it, but I doubt that you will. You'll just get pissed at this letter and say something acerbic like "He's a man, he doesn't know what it's like." Well, hon, I know more about being "trapped in life" than you will EVER understand, so bite me. I remain trapped in life in ways that I do not care to discuss publicly. I could get myself untrapped, sure, but the price for that is to deeply hurt and scar the people I love. Unlike you, I find that price far too high.

All My Venom,

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