May 13, 2007

A Mother's Day post.

My own mother is gone. I'm glad I've got a picture or two of myself being a good daughter:

And I'm glad I've got some pictures of myself acting exactly like the mother I thought I should be:

But a lot of the time I was performing at this level:

That's just the way life -- beautiful life -- is.

This is my mother -- Marise Beatty Althouse -- with my son, John, in 1981:

Look for some love today:


Kirby Olson said...

I'm curious why you collapsed at some points, or often, as you put it.

I don't think I would make a very good mom, either. As a Dad, I'm ok, though. But there is a lot less tension in being a Dad. Or a lot less explanations.

Kirby Olson said...

I meant to say expectations, but a kid interrupted me, and a malapropism stepped in.

Jennifer said...

Your captions made me laugh out loud.

bearing said...


"performing at that level" looks like a fine job parenting to me. Baby's asleep, content, no?

Unknown said...

Happy Mother's Day!

And yes, absolutely, it's much easier being a dad.

reader_iam said...

And yes, absolutely, it's much easier being a dad.

I should think it would depend on the dad, and etc.

Joan said...

I don't think it's easier being a Dad. Different, but not easier.

I love this collection of photos -- wow, that was some seriously red hair! And that photo of you and the baby, asleep, brings back many happy memories -- they are so exhausting when they're tiny! Even though their needs are usually so easy to meet, it's still a physically demanding job. Every mom deserves a nap. That was the advice I got, anyway -- sleep when the baby sleeps. In the blur of those first weeks, it was either sleep or shower...

PatCA said...

Beautiful little photo essay...

Happy Mother's Day to all. And thank you, Mom, for everything.

Brent said...

Your mother was beautiful.

Mother's Day Blessings!

Ron said...

Yesterday, while waiting for a friend at a store, a woman was pushing a shopping cart past me which had two very pretty little girls with sunglasses on in it. I smiled at them and told the woman I thought they were quite cute, and she turned on me and snarled in a gravelly voice, "Take 'em for an afternoon, and then tell me they're cute!"

A hasty retreat was beaten...Happy Moms day, lady, whoever you are!

Ruth Anne Adams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

"I should think it would depend on the dad, and etc."

Yes, of course, the various personalities within each family and each family's own circumstances would, obviously, factor into that.

But, as for my family's own Hallmark Card/Rockwell painting-like life (really, it's almost a caricature), yes, it is much easier being the Dad than it is being the Mom. And that has lots more to do with my wife than it does me. And, for whatever it's worth, across the diverse families we're associated with, it's generally agreed that in most cases its much harder being Mom than it is Dad.

Titus said...

Happy Mothers Day Ann and to all mothers!

You can tell by the pictures with your mother you were a good daughter.

I love mothers, they are the best.

To all mothers, who have one of the most difficult jobs, have a wonderful day. Hopefully everyone will be sharing a little love with family and especially Mom today.

Love the pictures, thanks for sharing.

JorgXMcKie said...

Great pics. I think there's one somewhere of me with a baby asleep on my stomach as I sleep. When my kids (or nephews or nieces) needed a nap but wouldn't sleep we frequently put them on my stomach (I'm not *that* big) and I held them gently and the next thing you knew -- sleep. We never did really figure out why it worked with me and not with others.

Anyway, I think being a Dad is easier in terms of *effort* rather than emotion or whatever. I believe it's because Moms care in a different way about the kids not that they care more.

Moms care in a protective, preventive way, I think, while Dads care in an exploratory, exposure to the world way. This may explain why I've *never* seen a Mom throw a baby into the air, no matter how much the kid likes it.

So, Moms are worried about what *may* go wrong and work very hard at stopping bad things in advance. Given the number of bad things that *might* happen, this is very labor intensive.

Dads worry about kids learning to interact with the physical world and competitive interactions, which is more specific in a given situation, I think, and thus do less physical *work* (and maybe less worrying, too).

Anyway, I vote for Moms having the harder job. My Mom died this past January and Dad passed 15 years ago, but both were good parents.

Maxine Weiss said...


THIS is my favorite Althouse post.

At last, Althouse celebrates a holiday.

Peace, Maxine

Cedarford said...

Lovely little Mother's Day photo essay, Prof Althouse. Your Mom must have been a wonderful person.

A good Mothers Day in her memory, and a good Mother's Day to you!

Sara (Pal2Pal) said...


Love your pictures. When I saw the one of your Mother titled: Marise Beatty Althouse, I did a double take as your Mother looks the spitting image of my Great Aunt Betty, Elizabeth Beatty Young, wife of Dr. Alfred Clyde Young of Pittsburgh, PA. Aunt Betty died a few years ago at the age of 96. She and your Mother could be mistaken for twins.

MadisonMan said...

Wow, you and your Mom look alike.

Have a happy day all you Moms! I've called mine, and seen the mother-in-law in person.

Methadras said...

It's nice to know that even when your parents aren't with you physically, that they are still with you in every other way. I can just imagine that your mother is beaming with pride right now. Happy belated mothers day, Ann and to everyone else who's mother is beaming at them as well.

TMink said...

Thanks Ann. Wonderful post.

Damn I miss my mother.