Fear Leads To Anger, Anger Leads To Suffering

I had a fairly eventful weekend, social-wise.  On Friday I had dinner guests, and I made a roasted vegetable lasagne – look for the recipe over at the cooking blog in the next couple of days – and it was absolutely delicious.  I was raving to a friend over the pure delight that is roasted zucchini, and it is so delicious, and had she ever tried it, and her response was “Of course!  I’m Italian.”  Aha!  The lightbulb goes off.  I am just going to say this: the popularity of cookbooks based on Scottish and/or Norweigan cuisine is very low.  In fact, I’m not sure there ARE cookbooks based on those cuisines, with the possible exception of the Lutheran Ladies’ Family Favourites, which I have in my possession. 

Then, on Saturday, I attended a baby shower.  I haven’t been to one of those in YEARS.  It has also been years since I was the lone stay-at-home mom in a room.  Represent!  It made me realize that the overwhelming majority of my friends are also stay-at-home moms, and the overwhelming majority of them have at least one child older than mine.  But in this situation, I was the seasoned mom in the room, with my cares of feeding/diapering/sleeping/swaddling far, far behind me.  I felt wise, like Yoda.

Have I mentioned my children are very interested in Star Wars right now?  They are watching the movies in order from 1-6, and they have finished Attack of the Clones.  A few things occurred to me while they watched it: a) they have a way better idea of what is actually going on in those movies, while I’m like “Who’s that guy?  Is he bad?  Oh, he’s GOING to be bad?  Oh.  Who’s that guy?”, and b) they were actually not at all upset when Anakin’s mother was killed.  WHAT?  Mark, especially, surprised me since he was quite distraught when Anakin left his mother in The Phantom Menace, and also almost every movie upsets him if there is some kind of sadness or unkindness displayed, i.e., Ice Age, Shrek, Cars 2, Lion King.  But Anakin’s mother being brutally murdered?  He’s okay with that.  HEY NOW.

There has also been much talk about fear leading to anger which leads to suffering.  Good times over at the Boyhouse!  Not to be all check out all the wisdom in Star Wars, but honestly, that is kind of true.  Fear DOES lead to anger; often I notice the angriest people are the ones who are the most resistant to and fearful of change, or new people, or the world in general.  They’re all out to get me. Yoda is wise – just like me, dispensing all my parenting knowledge at the baby shower. 

I kid.  I kid.  I dispensed no knowledge at the baby shower, except when asked specifically about a topic.  I didn’t want to be one of those moms, especially since I can’t really remember all that happened when my children were babies.  Hey, I had my kids really close together, I essentially am missing everything that happened between 2005 and 2007.  Hell, I didn’t really sleep through the night until 2010, due to various reasons, and given that my first child was born in 2004, that is a lot of sleepless nights. 

But who wants to talk about that, am I right?  I do not like to even mention my sleeplessness in a room full of non-mothers or soon-to-be-first-time mothers.  The voice of terror…I had a baby, and then I never slept again!  Not super helpful information, in my opinion. 

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how women can get pretty judgy and condemning of other women, especially when it comes to children and parenting.  Honestly, I hate that, but I think that it’s much more ubiquitous among new, first-time mothers, possibly because everything is so new and scary that we tend to get angry about issues (see also: Yoda).  This is why we tend to get all worked up over breastfeeding and co-sleeping and cribs and crying and baby-wearing and toilet training and rice cereal versus pureed vegetables, and it’s because everything is new.  New to us, I should say, because the human race is pretty much doing fine in terms of procreating.  But parenting is scary, and newborns are, quite frankly, terrifying with their wobbly giant heads and their flailing skinny arms and that cry that pierces every mother’s soul.  I have found as I have gotten older and have found a circle of beautiful mothers who I am blessed to have as friends, things get so much less scary.  As we grow into motherhood we realize that each day we can start anew.  Each day we can change something if we don’t like it.  We can wipe the slate clean and do our best every day, and if we have a bad day, it is not the end of the world. 

I feel a bit sheepish that I am actually using Star Wars as parenting wisdom, especially since I STILL don’t really know who Count Dooku is, but it’s true.  Let’s try to be less fearful, and therefore less angry.  And tell me about your weekend!  Unless you are going to tell me it was beautiful and warm, because it snowed here, and that is enough to spiral me into anger.


  1. The Dark Side feeds on anger and fear. Same goes for the purveyors of baby paraphernalia.

  2. I bite my tongue a lot when I’m around new mothers. It’s just easier that way.

    So, are you going to show them Episode 3? My H. hasn’t seen it yet. I’m just so convinced that Anakin slaughtering a roomful of children is going to traumatize him for life. Of course, I could be way off-base. When reading Harry Potter 6, he didn’t bat an eyelash when Harry & Draco have a duel and Harry accidentally uses a murder-type spell, thus nearly killing Draco… but when Harry is then banned from Quidditch he Lost. His. Ever-loving. Shit.

    Blah blah blah, all this to say my weekend was horrific, the kids were all vile and Husband has a head cold, and if I don’t soon get a mommy-break I’ll probably start drinking at lunchtime too instead of just at breakfast and after bedtime. 😉

  3. I hope you didn’t show your sons Star Wars Episode One first!!! That is irresponsible!! My husband and I had a discussion about how we were going to expose our son to the series and decided it should be starting with A New Hope (4). Then Empire and then Return of the Jedi. We haven’t as of yet watched the first three as we want to put it off as long as possible. Prepare him for the disappointment of…..I don’t even want to say his name……Jar Jar.

  4. So my two kids are 6.5 years apart. Right now my son is in 3rd grade and my daughter is in daycare. My husband took my daughter to her first ever birthday party this weekend and was peppered with questions from the other parents of toddlers. It cracked me up that we had accidentally become the wise/experienced parents for a bunch of people with 3 YO and younger kids. I swear I still spend half my time feeling like I’m in over my head with my 9 YO. Parenting – it seems that no matter how long I do it, I feel on the verge of screwing it up. Sigh.

  5. I always keep my mouth shut around new mothers. It’s just easier. I don’t want to be the bossy/judgy one telling them what they should and shouldn’t do.

  6. Oh wise one…that is why me never go to baby showers.
    No one likes to sit there and listen to a bunch of women cackle about the new mom’s choices. Gah. It makes my skin crawl.
    And those stupid games? I want to stab the inventor.
    PS. My neighbor who is Italian makes the best zucchini ever. No lie.

  7. Who knew Yoda was the original Baby Whisperer? Or something. My friend came over with her four-month-old just for the afternoon the other day and when she left I was exhausted! Still sad we never had a third, but more and more certain it would have killed me dead.

  8. My son went through a period where he was obsessed with Star Wars. We have tons of toys.

  9. The other night we watched Green Lantern which also talked about fear leading to suffering…or something bad, I was distracted by Ryan Reynolds abs to pay attention. Any way, that has nothing to do with much, except to show that Star Wars logic works in all situations whether in space or at a baby shower. Yoda was one wise mo-fo.

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