Sunday, January 22, 2012

Makes You Think

I really enjoy the CBS show "The Big Bang Theory". Sometimes. Often it's too racy for me, which is sad, because I think the characters are great and the situations the nerdy geniuses get themselves into are often hilarious. One episode from this season, though, has stuck with me, and not because it was especially great, though the bit with Sheldon giving Amy a gift of jewelry was EXCELLENT.

It's called "The Shiny Trinket Maneuver" and the secondary story involves Howard, played by Simon Helberg and his fiance, Bernadette, played by Melissa Rauch. When the storyline isn't focused on sex, I actually really enjoy their relationship. She's adorable and he's awkward and usually does everything wrong with women, and it's nice to see them so happy together. In this episode, Bernadette tells Howard that she doesn't want children. She doesn't like them and can't see herself giving up her career to raise kids. I was going to quote her here, but I can't get the video to play again (my wifi is atrocious in the evenings). She makes quite a few comments about how horrible that would be-- giving up her career and her body for that. She really, really doesn't want to be a mother.

I recognize that there are probably a lot of real-life women out there who feel like this-- who think having babies and being a mommy is degrading and unclassy and even disgusting, but I think I speak for the majority of mothers when I say that Bernadette doesn't realize what she's saying!! My heart breaks for the future children of such a woman. To be seen as an inconvenience and something to be pushed off on to someone else (even Dad, who, sorry folks, can't quite take the place of Mom. Be he the best Dad on planet Earth, he will still never be Mommy, just as she could never replace him...) to raise them and to bandage scraped knees and kiss boo-boos and watch them take their first steps... sigh... it makes me so sad!

I kind of understand the appeal of a child-free life, especially when mine are throwing up or throwing fits or bickering or otherwise frustrating me, but I would never, ever trade the years I had with them as babies for all the success, financial or otherwise. Ever! I adore my kids and when they were babies, I couldn't imagine anyone besides me having the mommy experiences I had. I read to them, potty trained them, I cleaned up after them, I hugged and kissed and snuggled and read to and ran with and held hands with all of them. I still get to do some of those activities! There's nothing more rewarding than having my 16- and 15-year old sons put their arms around me. They are silly sometimes, saying "I wuvoo!" and such, but it's sincere and I can't think of anything better.  So, while I understand her position, I can't image ever feeling like Bernadette. I can't imagine only seeing motherhood through the superior, self-centered lens that her character seems to have on. Sad, even if she is fictional, that she represents some real women out there. Ah, well... maybe not all women were meant to be mommies.

You can watch it HERE, and I would be curious about what you thought. It's a decent episode overall, it just made me sorry for Bernadette's character. I suppose I can accept that many women prefer their careers to motherhood, it just makes me a little sad for them!


Angie said...

I sort of agree, but I do have to say that I think that if someone does not want children they shouldn't have them. I think the feeling of "supposed" to have kids may be contributing to the abuse and abandonment of kids and so I think if you don't want them leave to to those of us who love motherhood:) I will say that I would never change my own life, I love my kids and fell so fulfilled and happy to be a mom, but I know some people don't feel this same way.

Angie said...

He he..I noticed that I have some typos in that last comment, sorry about that, I blame it on my pain meds:)

Steph said...

Yes, I absolutely agree with you, and I should have expressed that. :) If Bernadette (or real-life women) don't want children, they shouldn't have them at all. No compromise. Children need love and nurturing and caring from their mothers, not a "We agreed you would raise it!" mentality... And what if they get divorced? It's a subject that strikes a chord with me, I guess.