This morning I was made aware of an article in the Guardian newspaper with the headline of
A letter to … My 10-year-old son, who needs to hear a few home truths
The summary of which is, “Son, you have acted like most normal children and I’m going to vent my frustrations at having to deal with childishness from a child. Oh, but don’t forget I’ve done it all for you because I love you although of course I could have been earning three times what I do now”
Thankfully there is no byline, if there were I would be feeling even more sorry for whoever this ten year old is since they would have had it there online, possibly forever, how much their mother resents them. As it is, there is a bit of me that suspects mum may well be letting her little sports mad, pant wetting son know in some way.
As I say to my sons there is no such thing as ‘fair’ except perhaps the ‘fare’ you pay for riding on the train or perhaps the ‘fare’ you pay for all the choices you make or are made for you in life.
It is not ‘fair’ that I was lucky enough to be born in a country that is so wealthy and that it put me automatically in the top few percent. It is not ‘fair’ that there are millions of displaced people from a war in Syria who are in desperate straits when my major concern is that I need to get a leaky pipe fixed.
It is also not ‘fair’ that twelve years ago I became the sole carer of my sons having had to battle the prejudice that a mother is automatically the better choice for rearing children.
I too had to give up lucrative work, with at least as much of a multiplier as mum from the Guardian was talking about. I also went to sports matches and concerts and had to spend a lot of time trying to sort out education and an awful lot else besides. I did it it because I both wanted to and I think it is the right thing to do and it came with no strings attached.
As for respect, well I cannot make my sons respect me and I do not believe that guilt tripping in the style of mum is worthy of respect. I would rather that my sons respected me as a human being and for the way I treat other human beings.
I also think that the Guardian should think a bit more carefully before they publish such ill considered tripe, certainly you have lost a little of my respect.