Hey fellow stay-at-home moms, good news, there's a new movie about our wacky, unfulfilled, stressful lives out there! It's called Motherhood and it stars Uma Thurman (who ironically, is a working mom in real life). In the article I read, the women who wrote, produced, and star in it discuss how they are uniquely qualified to make a movie like this because men just wouldn't know what it's like to be a stay-at-home mom.
But then it goes on to say that none of them are stay-at-home moms either. According to the New York Times article:
"All the women who created Motherhood have made different life choices from Eliza (the maind character), in that they have all stayed in the work force and risen to positions of power. 'For all of her angst the fact remains that Eliza has the option of not working,' said Rachel Cohen, head of production for the iDeal Partners Film Fund, one of the producers of the movie and a mother whose son is 5. 'I didn’t have that option, and if I did, I think I would still want to work'. They work, the creators agree, because they fear becoming their lead character, who has metaphorically lost her voice and is struggling to figure out what to say about the choice she has made."
Err, excuse me?
Is there any career more horribly depicted in our culture than stay-at-home moms? Always shown as petty (New Christine), over-sexed (Desperate Housewives), depressed (Mad Men), and/or harried (Everybody Loves Raymond).
Maybe used car salesmen. I guess I have never seen a movie or TV show that showed the upside and fulfillment of that job but it, like any other job, has its ups and downs, its joys and sorrows.
Just once I'd like to see a stay-at-home mom on TV or in the movies that looks just a little like the smart, funny, kind, extremely generous moms who I know. Moms who look great in a pair of jeans, garden like Martha Stewart, and offer to watch kids when you're sick. Women who were once lawyers, business execs, and teachers who left it behind to do endless loads of laundry in exchange for the privilige of being present for every first step, new tooth, and birthday party. Moms who clean up every drop of puke, pee, and blood from every one of their blessed offspring. Who read Green Eggs and Ham a thousand times and then read it again. Great women who run church fundraisers and make meals for sick neighbors. Good friends who always know when you need a cup of coffee to discuss the latest child worry , or a glass of wine to celebrate a small rite of passage. Amazing women who know how to turn hydrangaes pink, install a light fixture, and get mud out of white pants.
But I guess the truth just doesn't make good TV or movies.
In fact, now that I think of it, there a few groups of women who are as maligned in the movies as stay-at-home moms --it's working moms (who are always shown as torn between two worlds) and career women (who all allegedly lust after babies).
I guess the message from our culture is clear then: no matter what you're doing--you will be ridiculed.
So here's to all of us- moms and childless, working and staying home. We're all terriffic-- we just aren't funny movie characters.