Our ‘Mommy’ Problem - NY Times, 8 November 2014
WHEN I hear someone telling an expectant mother that having a baby will turn her into a new person, I can’t help but imagine a pathologically optimistic weather forecaster brightly warning that an oncoming tornado is about to give a town “an extreme makeover.” Becoming a mother doesn’t change you so much as violently refurbish you, even though you’re still the same underneath it all.
That can be hard to remember when teachers, coaches, pediatricians and strangers alike suddenly stop addressing you by your name, or even “ma’am” or “lady,” and start calling you “Mom.” You’ll feel like a new person, all right — a new person you don’t necessarily know or recognize.
Motherhood is no longer viewed as simply a relationship with your children, a role you play at home and at school, or even a hallowed institution. Motherhood has been elevated — or perhaps demoted — to the realm of lifestyle, an all-encompassing identity with demands and expectations that eclipse everything else in a woman’s life.
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