Haves and Have-Nots
While reading the other mommy-blogs that I follow, I imagine that I can relate to these women. They seem to have the same stressed out, sarcastic outlook on this adventure we're all going through we call parenthood. I rejoice in their accomplishments, groan at their newest disasters, offer advice in my comments when what they are going through is something I made it through alive and unscathed.
So, naturally, I see them as my online peer group.
But then I look deeper. I see the photos of a mommy-blog party held at one of my favorite's houses last weekend, and it's a gorgeous, spotless home with all the new appliances and awesome formica countertops... not a single sippy cup cemented to the surface.
I read of another's beautiful tale of activism, and in my eyes, heroism overseas in Africa. A selfless journey of love and charity.
Another, my absolute fave, and a follower of my blog. (To which I am totally amazed and humbled she would read my blog, when she is absolutely awesome and has half a million followers) Well, she runs a business from her home, which obviously doesn't look like hurricane toddler hit it or people wouldn't trust her to do what she does.
The point, I think, of all this, is that these mommy-bloggers, who are all economically sound, well travelled and probably very educated, might not be my peers after all. They would possibly be horrified to find the week old cherrios that live under my couch, the hand-me-down clothes I'm so grateful to receive, and maybe most of all, my checking account statement of just $10 deposited to open the darn thing.
The truth of the matter is, I'm a welfare mom, trying to get free grants to pursue my nursing degree, typing this on a mid 90's computer that was given to me for free. I live in government subsidized housing, a modest 3 bedroom apartment, that's actually in a very quiet and pretty complex, but I can hear when my neighbor slams their kitchen cupboards. I don't have a car or even a bus pass. I don't think if any of my mommy-blog friends saw me on the street, they would give me the time of day. I carry myself well and dress as well as I can, but my lack of Coach accsesories or Eddie Bauer stroller tells on me every time.
But, just like everyone else, I care for my children the best I can. I research what could be harmful or beneficial, and do what I feel is right, or the closest proximity thereof. Just like my friends, I am equally baffled and hopefully well informed in the daily activities my kids participate in.
When my kids are sick, I give them the medicines they need, and the home remedies that sound reasonable. When they are scared or needy, I give them my support and understanding to the best of my ability. They, at this point, want for nothing.... but then again, their wants are simple at this age. Hopefully, by the time they want designer jeans and BMX bikes, I'm making $20 an hour, working at the hospital. But until then, where do I fit in? I almost hope my M-B idol doesn't read this particular post, would I be seen differently? Pitied instead of empathized with? I don't know.
So why try to rise above my station? You may not ask it aloud, but think it. Why not stay and socialize with my white-trash counterparts? Well, I'm a strange bug. I graduated high school, I don't spend my days drinking and I interact with and supervise my children. (Perhaps because I'm worried that if I don't, and something happens, everyone will think it's because I'm a white-trash welfare mom, but probably not.) I don't normally have much in common with my neighbors in that respect.
So, are your peers those who fit the same economic structure as you, or those whom you share the same ideals and intellectual thought? Am I living a lie, galavanting among those of infinite more privlage and prestige?
Some may think so, the bolder of those might even say so.
I don't think I do. Rich or poor, educated or ignorant, if we share a common goal.... in this case, raising our children with most of our sanity remaining intact. Maybe that's what makes us peers, and hopefully friends... in a loose, never-met, internet sort of way.
I could, out of fear, try to keep those buddies, by pretending to be what I am not. Behind this keyboard, we are allotted a certain amount of anonymity. It's said that one doesn't know who one is actually talking to over the internet.
Well, you are talking to me. And I am not afraid.