Of remembering and mothering

Jim Mora and I started our Critical Mass discussion with a look at the lost art of total recall in which The Guardian’s science editor Robin McKie discusses techniques for improving your memory from Joshua Foer’s book Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything.

We also looked at Just had a baby? Welcome to the 1950s. Rebecca Asher discusses modern motherhood, the equality illusion.

She makes the point that being the primary caregiver is hard and most of the work still falls on mothers.

She is right.

But after reading Private Secret Diary in which Alex Marsh,* writes about being the at-home parent for his children, I concluded that the primary parenting role is no easier when it’s the father who does it.

* Alex has published a book Sex, Bowls & Rock & Roll on giving up paid work to look after his children and swapping music for bowls.

I bought it on the recommendation of Quote Unquote, have just started reading it and am thoroughly enjoying it.

8 Responses to Of remembering and mothering

  1. Andrei says:

    From your link

    Today, our children are five and eight, and even though my husband and I are now separated, the children are with him half the time. Despite our shared beliefs about equality, it wasn’t enough. It wasn’t until we were separated, each with our own home and shared custody, that we became equal. It has freed up oceans of time and energy on my part, and when I talk to other divorced women, my own experience is confirmed: men always benefit from marriage. Women, on the other hand, have a lot to lose – and a great deal to gain through divorce.

    Which just goes to prove the utter selfishness and banality of feminism.

    Sadly men and women are not equal and never can be.

    For reasons unknown we are designed to compliment one another. Its not supposed to be a contest. But this is what the screeching harridans of the feminist movement have achieved.

    Turning it into a contest and a gender war as the feminists have is sheer wickedness and it is the children who miss out.


  2. homepaddock says:

    Men and women can never be the same but I don’t agree that they can not be equal.

    I read the extract you copied with sadness – marriage and parenting involve sacrifices and rewards, as do paid work and most other things in life. That this couple weren’t able to work it out and find a balance where they were both happy together doesn’t mean others can’t.


  3. Andrei says:

    “equal” is a weasel word – no two people are “equal”.

    This one can run faster than that one, that girl is prettier than the other on, this boy is built like the proverbial outhouse and is in the front row while that boy is an asthmatic etc etc etc.

    What ya gonna do, play the asthmatic in the number two position? Just so he’s equal?

    Men and women are complimentary not equal and the attempts to make it seem as though they can be have reached the heights of absurdity where men are marrying other men etc

    All the while one third of marriages now end in divorce and the women from the broken marriages don’t end up as “fulfilled” CEOs but unhappily stacking shelves in the supermarket.

    And that misery guts who wrote that excerpt did so to promote her pathology and unhappiness.


  4. homepaddock says:

    There’s nothing weasel about being equal under the law which was what I was thinking of, and that equality is relatively recent. Women not much older than I am weren’t permitted to carry on working in banks once they married – presumably because they couldn’t be trusted not to divulge confidential information to their husbands.

    Complimentary is a good word to apply to a married couple but I don’t think complimentary and equal are mutually exclusive.


  5. JonnyB says:

    Thanks Ele – really glad you’re enjoying it!


  6. homepaddock says:

    Thanks Jonny, just a couple of chapters in and I’m hooked.


  7. JonnyB says:

    Yes – just realised I should have signed that one ‘Alex’ and not ‘Jonny’ – force of habit!!!


  8. homepaddock says:

    Blame it on sleep deprivation Jonny/Alex – hope it’s getting better.


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