Monday, May 14, 2012

Non-traditional Tradition

It is quite obvious that I read blogs on the internet elated to psychology and other mental health happenings.  I recently read one about marriage making parents happier.  Since we are just coming off of one of the most celebrated holidays during the year, Mother's Day, a few things came to my mind as my parents are not married and I am estranged from my mother--nice combo.  I will sound quite cynical in this post, but I do believe that my points on this matter are worth some consideration. I am intending to invoke some compassion for the other point of view.

1.  What about the kids without a mother or maternal figure?  My mother is not dead, but we have not been in contact in 5 years.  We have both chosen not to contact one another for one reason or another.  Is that holiday a sore subject for me, you bet.  However, I rejoice in the women I do have in my life who have played a major role in who I am today because they deserve it.  But what about those people who do not have a support system?  The media cranks out millions of dollars in advertising to promote this day.  Restaurants offer special brunch, stores offer sales, and Hallmark sells a lot of cards.  I picture a small child who is neglected and consider if those things make me upset, how must they feel?  I assume kind of like me, much more alone.  Do I believe that Mothers in this world deserve that day, yes.  Do I think it is fair that society pressures me to acknowledge a very toxic aspect of my life?  Absolutely not.

2.  Is divorce a bad thing?  In my situation no.  I might be in the minority of children who were glad to see the end to a 20+ year marriage.  I mentioned before about a toxic relationship.  I understand the point of view that your spouse is your priority.  And though I do not wish to have children myself, I do realize the value they must hold for parents.  This love should come above all else, including that sacred bond.  Why should parents stay together when their relationship is poisoning the whole family?  Is it easier to divorce, I don' think so.  Is the best option, perhaps.  But what I do know is that in the long run, children benefit from positive environments with support and communication.  Worth some consideration.  A miserable parent is hard to hide from kids, trust me.  Point is, do not always feel sorry for kids of broken families, sometimes it really is for the best.

So what is the point of this cynical rant?  Be careful to pressure everyone into the idea that you must be married, have kids, and live happily ever after.  Some women are not meant to have children and rush into it to fulfill a societal expectation.  And then when they can not perform, we chastise them for failing at something they should have not done in the first place.  Some couples are good for as long as they can be.  Their growth together comes to a halt and their relationship and interactions with others become toxic, often at the expense of the children creating resentment and unattainable expectations of behavior and emotion.

Happy is not determined by the accomplishment of societal goals.  Happiness is a choice.  I choose to be happy in my life regardless of the perceived misfortunes I have experienced.  Just a thought.


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