The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

There's no 'I' in mom


August 19, 2006

USAToday published an

article about a freelance

writer, Helen

Kirwan-Taylor, who wrote an

essay on how her children bore

her to death, and how she would

rather do anything than spend

time with them.

Having five children, I had

many thoughts after reading this

article, not all of them nice.

Apparently many readers in

England, where the piece first

appeared, were appalled.

First, I want to invite Kirwan-

Taylor to my house. I have an

antidote to her boredom. It consists

of keeping up with cooking,

cleaning, kids playing and fighting,

and endless diapers. I think

one afternoon at my house should

do it.

Second, I thought about the sadness

of her statements. She said

she begged the nanny to read to

her children when they were little.

She also said that she hated birthday

parties and school events, and

found other mothers boring.

Sorry, but if Kirwan-Taylor cannot

see the privilege in watching

her children grow and has a hard

time making friends, she is probably

the boring one.

Third, I was angry. More than

anything, this writer, who works

from home but has a full-time

nanny and lives in a prestigious

London neighborhood, was talking

as if she were entitled to a life

of endless fun. Her children are

simply another box to check,

marked on some list out there that

says you need a couple of kids to

be a proper adult, but that there’s

no expectation to actually care for


I have met many women like

Kirwan-Taylor, especially from

affluent liberal backgrounds. In

fact, before having children I too

felt that “I” was the most

important person. But after getting

married and having little ones, I

realized that the “I” becomes the

“we” and family comes first.

When I chose to stay home

with my children, I willingly

made the sacrifice to put my

career on hold. I love to write and

there are days when I would like

nothing better than to go out on

assignments for a newspaper.

Yet, I sit down with my

youngest daughter, Eva, and we

play “Dora Meet Diego.” Hearing

her little voice beginning to form

sentences and telling me how to

save “baby jaguar” gives me more

happiness than any newspaper


As mothers, we are “bored”

with our children when we put

ourselves first. My family life

works much better when I put my

husband and my children first, and

not so well when “I” want to be


It is sad that in this society the

“I” has become so important

to overshadow the “we” of the

family, which becomes lost in the

liberal discourse highlighting

personal fulfillment above all else.

Kirwan-Taylor may have

forgotten what it means to make

sacrifices. Motherhood can be

difficult and challenging but the

rewards far outweigh what you

give up.

I hope Kirwan-Taylor stops by

my house sometime soon. We’ll

start with changing the baby’s diapers

and feeding the 10-monthold.

I am certain she will forget all

about her boredom.

Anita Doberman is a freelance

writer, mother of five and

wife of an Air Force pilot stationed

at Hurlburt AFB in

Florida. The family expects to

be moving to Cannon Air Force

Base in the next year. Contact

her at:


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