Ayelet Waldman Quotes
29 Sourced Quotes
During the periods in my marriage when I chose to stay home with my kids rather than work as an attorney, it caused me no end of anxiety. Despite the fact that I knew I was contributing to our family by caring for our children, I still felt that my worth was less because I wasn't earning.
Dodgeball? My children were playing dodgeball? That cruel, brutal, violent schoolyard game so mercilessly satirized in the 2004 film with Ben Stiller? The game, more important, that exemplified everything that was wrong with my childhood in suburban New Jersey, a short, pasty-faced Jewish girl in a town full of scrubbed, blond, athletic WASPs, their long tanned limbs toned from years of tennis lessons and country club swim teams? Dodgeball? Over my dead body.
Gym class was, of course, where the strongest, best-looking kids were made captains and chose us spazzes last. More important, it was where the figures of supposed authority allowed them to do so. Forget the work our parents did molding our minds and values. Everything fell apart as soon as we put on those maroon polyester gym suits.
Those of us whose parenting style can be described as "a series of reflexes, instincts, and minute-by-minute adjustments," as Julie of A Little Pregnant puts it, rather than as a philosophy, are less invested in our own practices. What we do is often less a matter of conviction than one of convenience. What we need to remember is that there is no need to apologize for that, even in the face of the most red-faced outrage.
I believe that mothers should tell the truth, even - no, especially - when the truth is difficult. It's always easier, and in the short term can even feel right, to pretend everything is okay, and to encourage your children to do the same. But concealment leads to shame, and of all hurts shame is the most painful.