Posted by: thughesa | June 29, 2010

The Show Must Go On!

As I drove home from my solo outing this past weekend, I tuned into the weekly edition of DNTO: Definitely Not The Opera on CBC Radio One. This is one of my favourite programs and I was overjoyed I was able to listen without having to tune out crying or cute toddler chatter.

The topic this week was The Show Must Go On! Or Must it?…, the snippets I was privy to pertained to a woman singing to a bunch of frat boys with her top unknowingly undone and a group of ladies trying desperately to keep Vancouver’s oldest lesbian bar going. The narratives were moving, inspiring, and full of insight into how we as humans behave in crisis situations or when the odds seem stacked against us.

These stories got me thinking about my own life and the hurdles I have come across as a mother: learning to nurse, keeping a baby alive when I had no idea what I was doing, facing insurmountable piles of laundry, maintaining relationships with people in my life who are not my husband and children, keeping my sanity when everyone is crying and I don’t know what to do, etc. There were certainly times when I wished I could go in my room, pull the covers up over my head, and make it all go away. In my past life this certainly would have been an option. But not now, these little people depend on me, love me, and need my help to survive in this world. The show must go on. But what if you can’t keep it going yourself?

It can be hard for women to manage motherhood, the yearnings of their old lives, and the demands of their new one, all the while trying to figure out to relate to this new little life. Not everyone has a husband or partner, a mother who lives next door, helpful friends, great neighbours, or wonderful sisters for help and support. Sometimes mothers don’t know they are allowed or able to ask for help and end up struggling on their own. The show goes on, but the performance may be a bit of a struggle.

No matter what kind of mother you become, this new little person is going to depend on you to hold it together, keep them safe, and create a life together. It is hard when some women have a hard time bonding with their babies, struggle with maternal depression, or just don’t know what the hell they are doing. The show must go on, but sometimes you need a little support from others to keep this production going.

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