Fights you cant win redux – The Mater Complex

It’s impossible to take the moral high ground when arguing with parents. The “family” being the preeminent Australian social unit, and stay at home mothers being the ultimate in sacrificial living.

So what do you do if you think the mothers are wrong? You keep quite. Or you try to, and you write multiple blog entries along the same theme.

I love my mum. I love that she stayed home to raise me (and my sisters). I think it was hugely sacrificial of her. But I can’t imagine using a Facebook status as a form of parenting support or catharsis.

The author

Nathan runs St Eutychus. He loves Jesus. His wife. His daughter. His son. His other daughter. His dog. Coffee. And the Internet. He is the campus pastor at Creek Road South Bank, a graduate of Queensland Theological College (M. Div) and the Queensland University of Technology (B. Journ). He spent a significant portion of his pre-ministry-as-a-full-time-job life working in Public Relations, and now loves promoting Jesus in Brisbane and online. He can't believe how great it is that people pay him to talk and think about Jesus.

10 thoughts on “Fights you cant win redux – The Mater Complex”

  1. But I can’t imagine using a Facebook status as a form of parenting support or catharsis.
    The world is a different place to 20, even 10 years ago. Many people are further away from family/friends and many don’t have the support that you might once have done. It is a lot easier to go online and update (and also, catch up with many at the same time) then try and have a phone conversation while kids are screaming around you.
    You don’t write and print a newspaper to write your thoughts, you use a blog, because it is more convenient. Same thing.

  2. The flip side being it is nice if parents take the time to ask about non-parent friend’s lives, and not be convinced that parenting is the only important thing you ever do. It might be for you, but not necessarily for me.
    Balance, as always.
    And never, ever say, ‘when you are a parent, you’ll understand’ (even if it is true).

  3. Probably nearing the end of a second day in a row spent all day talking to no-one but a two-year-old and the guy from the carpet store to book in my new carpet is probably not a good time for me to read this post.
    I don’t think that I’m doing the ‘ultimate in sacrificial living’ by staying home, but how DARE you say I shouldn’t be using Facebook as a parenting support. That little bit of contact with the non-toddler world helps break up a sometimes monotonous day.
    You’ve probably got your own ways of breaking up a monotonous work day, which I should hope never goes as long as mine does (which doesn’t mean I think it’s harder, just more continuous). It’s not my place to tell you that you shouldn’t be doing such things, either.

  4. Stuss – here I was calling you a great mum too…

    “I don’t think that I’m doing the ‘ultimate in sacrificial living’ by staying home”

    No, you may not. But you do jump on anybody who writes anything that you deem critical of that decision. See your initial response to my first oversharing post. You know, the one where you accused me of cheapening being a stay at home mum with my stance.

    I’m not a woman, nor am I a parent. I have a great respect for stay at home mums. I found that suggestion pretty offensive. I also find the whole martyr act pretty tough to bear – for most stay at home mums there’s an at work dad. Parenting, in theory, is a two person job. Yes, staying at home is messy, it’s hard and it’s culturally undervalued.

    But its cause is not helped by mothers who harangue non mothers who have the temerity to comment on semi-related issues. I didn’t write a post about stay at home mums – I wrote a post about parents. You chose to personalise it and respond accordingly.

    Amy’s comment today was wise advice. I’ll steer clear of this topic in the future. There’s no way to go there without coming out bloodied and bruised.

  5. “That little bit of contact with the non-toddler world helps break up a sometimes monotonous day.”

    Contact with the outside world is obviously not the type of support I’m talking about.

    Context is everything.

    I’m talking about support that comes from the cathartic vocal expressions of your child’s bodily expressions…

  6. Facebook is, according to its own definition, a place for friends, colleagues, family etc to connect. If a person would talk to their friends about topic A in general life, it is fair enough they’d talk about it on facebook too. Just like a conversation you don’t want to be part of where you can walk away, you can remove their status updates from your news feed.

    Some people use facebook to meet new people, some use it to keep in contact with their family on the other side of the world, some use it to play games, some use it to network, some use it to share their lives with their friends, some use it to connect with and support people who they might not be able to see a lot.

    Just because you use it X way doesn’t give you the right to tell someone else they can’t use it Z way. The only person who can do that is Mark Zuckerberg or the police.

  7. I jump on anyone who is critical because I want to protect the right to be able to stay at home. And because some days it is hard. Other days its a walk in the park.
    I jumped on you this time because you initially said that pretty much anything to do with parenting is out of bounds for a public space. Which is most of what I do from 7am to 7pm, seven days a week, except when Play School is on and I come online.
    I rarely even update my Facebook status, unless I’m in an exhibitionist mood. Or am particularly proud of something milestone-related that has happened in my house and want to boast, am particularly frustrated by something toddler-related happening in my house and want to whinge, or feel like declaring the wonderfulness of coffee to the world.
    I’m sorry for getting so cranky, but I am passionate about parenting, especially full-time mothering, being valued by society. And you probably caught me on a bad week (let alone today).

  8. “Just because you use it X way doesn’t give you the right to tell someone else they can’t use it Z way. The only person who can do that is Mark Zuckerberg or the police.”

    No, but this is my blog – so I can tell people how I think they should and should not be using it.

    The ten people who read it may care.

    I’m not suggesting we set “rules” – I’m just suggesting that you use it in the most caring way possible…

    And I’m suggesting that if you want me to not unfriend you – and I’m not putting a value on facebook friendship with me – then you should behave in an appropriate manner.

    Honestly, some people need to reassess what this site that your commenting on is. It’s opinion. It’s not gospel.

    I’m allowed to be wrong sometimes. And if you tell me I’m wrong and I disagree, I’m allowed to disagree.

    I’m not really asking for a lecture. I’m also not trying to be arrogant and condescending at this point…

    If you’re going to bang on about my “rights” remember that you’re on “my blog” that “I” pay for.

  9. oh, and thanks for the compliment. I probably missed it skim-reading while I had a small child climbing on me…

  10. “And I’m suggesting that if you want me to not unfriend you – and I’m not putting a value on facebook friendship with me – then you should behave in an appropriate manner.”

    So you’re basically saying “talk about what I want to hear or else I’ll unfriend you”?

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