Monday, July 7, 2008

Screen names

I'm going to rant now about the practice of moms choosing screennames based on their kid's name and their motherhood.

I'm glad that you're so happy being a mother. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, however, making motherhood the whole sum of your identity bothers me. Maybe it's a late-in-life mother thing. All those 40 year olds that waited to have kids until it was almost too late, or the ones that changed their mind when they were in their late 30's and decided they wanted to have a child after all.

Now, it may sound hypocritical for me to chastise someone else for their choice in how they want to live their lives and shape their identity. I just think it's harmful on the personal level as well as for the family dynamic. Investing so much of yourself into your child that you sacrifice everything, including your self-identity is almost as harmful as investing nothing. Look at it this way: if you give up on your personal needs you start to project them on your progeny in order to make up for that sacrifice. In comes the Vicarious Mothers.

Living vicariously through your offspring is probably a combination of a mixture of factors, including boredom and personal frustration. "I had to give up being a ____ so I could have this life and be a good mother, so you're going to do what I could never do." That's hardly a healthy way to raise a kid.

So what's next Alismom, Martasmom and Clintonsmom? Are you going to name yourselves Wifeoffred and Wifeofmatthew online now? And how come we don't see men naming themselves Franksdad and Alisdad? Why just the women? It disturbs me that we can so easily fall back into that kind of thinking in this day and age.

*See also: your baby as profile picture, engagement ring as facebook profile picture

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