Bombs for Moms

Americans like to bomb moms. Whether it's in a far away country where we
send our children to kill other mothers and their children or whether it's here
at home where we drop economic and cultural and sexist bombs on moms, we
definitely like to bomb moms.

Americans like to bomb moms. Whether it's in a far away country where we
send our children to kill other mothers and their children or whether it's here
at home where we drop economic and cultural and sexist bombs on moms, we
definitely like to bomb moms.

we like to show the First Lady tearfully honoring her own mother from a
position of power and privilege in beautiful party dresses in a china and
lace-draped dining room in the White House- like a well choreographed ballet of
national proof one day every year that we love our mothers. Doesn't
really matter which First Lady we chat about here. Each of them plays
their dutiful role in the annual Mother's Day dance of pride.

don't love mothers. We bomb mothers.

recall being a young, idealistic mom who made her own bread and even prepared
the natural baby foods and yogurt I thought would be best for my little
ones. I suspect many in my generation did the same. I had such
dreams and such love for each of my kids. It seemed that my tender hand
could help them achieve, and my attention to their health and their education
and their opportunities was my duty not only to them but also somehow to my
nation and my world.

the bombs. The economic bombs came first in the Reagan years when my
husband could not work consistently enough to keep the family afloat. I
worked full time, and my time for tender pursuits slipped more and more.
Paying the mortgage and the other bills was the priority. But Mr. Reagan
said a new day was dawning, and he claimed such great love for all things
American - mothers, apple pie and such. But millions of idealistic moms
like me saw an end to our vision of family and home.

I watched Michael Moore's latest film the first time last year (Capitalism:
A Love Story
), it was our story - a tome of struggle and standing up
against the odds. Millions of people bought into the charade that hard
work - harder and harder work - would make those American opportunities a
reality even in a failing economy. The trickle down would surely trickle
to moms, eh?

was angry and tired and stressed much of the time through that era. I
tried to keep up all the school activities, music lessons and chances for my
kids to achieve, but something had to give, so I left behind the natural foods
and the gentler, quiet, loving times. I left my own values behind as I
struggled to hold at least some of the goals up for protection from the storm.

family never fully recovered from the Reagan year bombs before the healthcare
bomb hit. Entering our middle years, fully insured and trying to be the
ever responsible Americans we were raised to be, health crisis far outstripped
my ability to earn enough for my family. You see in the 40 years I have
been fully employed outside the home, women like me - moms like me - have yet
to come anywhere close to earning what a man does for the same work in this
world. No matter how hard I worked, I could not earn an equal
wage. My labor was not valued much. We bomb moms again and again.

my kids grew to adulthood, they each took their own paths in life.
Mostly, they ran as fast as they could to find ways to not suffer the same fate
as our family did - they sought better educations, better jobs, better friends,
better personal connections. Who could blame them? The lessons my
actions taught them in their formative years were that you protect and preserve
the income flow and you pay the bills. You don't make yogurt and bread,
for God's sake.

bomb must be dropped on moms, yes sir, a bomb must be dropped.

Mother's Day, one of my children may well be dropping very real bombs on other
very real moms and children as he serves in the Army in Afghanistan. The
rest of the kids are spread out all over the country. A beautiful bouquet
of roses arrived from my daughter yesterday. The calls will likely come
to wish me a good day. I will cry missing them all. I will feel as
though I failed them. And I will be right.

bomb dropped on an idealistic young mom 30 years ago, and bombs dropped all
along the way, have proved me too weak to fight it all off and come out on the
other end one of the picture-book mothers we celebrate in the Hallmark sort of
way every second Sunday in May.

drop bombs on moms here in America and all over the world. We don't value
mothers as a nation. We use mothers. We abuse mothers. We
take the hopes and dreams of the 20-something young woman cradling her infant
in the wee hours of the morning and dreaming of a better world ahead, and we
drop bombs on them both.

hope in the years ahead we will fight for policies that stop this mom-bombing
and truly honor our mothers. Healthcare, equal pay and social policy that
protects human rights would be a nice start. Happy Mother's Day 2010.

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