Saturday, June 7, 2014

Another Side: Death

This post is the last in this series.

from here
This is what I realised last week: I pour my all into motherhood –my body, my mind, my time, my identity – but if I died, Alan could hire someone to do what I do. Practically speaking, life could continue on as it now does with me here.

Alan, on the other hand, is much the same as he was before children: his body has not stretched or softened or drooped thanks to babies, nor has his mind been overrun with the minutiae of parenting. His time is mostly spent working at what he wants to, as it was before he had kids. But if he died, everything would change. I couldn’t hire someone to fill in for him. 

Him living is integral to our family functioning the way it does, even though right now we can get by without him being around, if he randomly decided to go away for a night, or a week, or a month. For example.

Yet here I am, not able to randomly decide to do much of anything, up to my eyeballs in family, and COMPLETELY REPLACEABLE.


  1. I get that I'd be missed if I died and that no one would ever love my kids like I do, but in terms of the everyday stuff I do, it would be quite easy (though expensive) to find someone to replace me.

  2. A lot of your thoughts in the posts from this series have really resonated with me and helped put into words some of the aches I've been feeling too.

  3. This puts into words something I was trying to express to my hubby who has been travelling for many weeks. And I am trying so hard not to be whingy about it the "balance".

    1. Oh my goodness, Bec, "many weeks" sounds TOUGH. I hope your husband understands what you're trying to say (and in this case I reckon whinging is *totally* allowed).

  4. Yes it would be possible to replace you with someone to do what you do. But you are not just what you do. You would be missed but your loss would effect your children, Alan and others that love you forever, my mother died when I was an adolescent and even though I was mostly grown I can still see the effect her absence has had on me and how I interact with others - not the least my own kids. You are so much more than the sum total of what you do. I feel society has a 'occupation' bias. One of the first questions asked when we meet someone new is 'What do you do?" I hated this when I was working at home as a mother because it was a real conversation stopper. Please don't underestimate the effect you have by being you. The 'hand that rocks the cradle' quote comes to mind but unfortunately we continue to live in a society that devalues those who do this and so we tend to end up devaluing ourselves.