Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Reluctant Mommy

There a bad line in an otherwise underappreciated film called I Could Never Be Your Woman in which the main character stops her ex-husband from ruining a boy/girl moment her daughter is about to have - the girl's crush was about to kiss her on the cheek or something. The ex says, "how did you know that was going to happen?" The main character replies, "because I'm a mom," in a bit of a "duh" tone of voice.  The line trips me up each time I hear it. It would've made more sense for the moment and the character and the entire narrative for her to have said, "because I'm a woman."  But she flashes her mom credentials instead.


Yesterday, I got mom-badged.  I applied for a city committee tasked with helping draw new city council district lines.  I applied for this committee because I have extensive academic and practical experience with redistricting. It was the subject of my senior thesis. I also helped draw the lines for Arizona. Yeah, I districted a state.  So far, my actual experience - something that has to place me in the top hundredths of a percent of Californians in terms of actually having drawn lines for anything ever - has no led to my being retained to help draw any lines. Okay, fine, it's a political process, sure, whatever, I'm not naive. 

But one of the women who did get the nod for the committee was cited specifically because she mentioned she has a 3 year old daughter and she works with community youth.  She spoke several people after me. In my presentation, I highlighted that I can draw district lines. Guess I should've focused on my own child and Youth & Government.

What gets me is that this other, selected woman, described just now being ready to get back into things again now that her daughter is 3.  So she was motivated to apply because she can move into some non-mommy projects again but she gets the project ... because she's a mommy.

I'm having a hard time reconciling all of this data.

I need something to do that has nothing to do with either my current day job or my current rest-of-my-day job. Something redistricty would've been all mine: something for which I'm suited top to bottom. Something in which I'm skilled. Something on which I could nerd out. Something that has shit to do with mommyhood.  But I didn't get it because someone out-mommyed me.

Of course, that's a simplistic conclusion. And I really don't hold anything against the woman selected. I don't think she intended for the council to light upon that aspect either.

Somehow, I think this weaves back into my only being uncomfortable NIP around the Capitol.  I can do it anywhere else, but it feels very, starkly uncomfortable around those old stomping grounds.  I don't know why.  I'll keep working on that reason for another post . . . .

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