Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Motherhood, German-Style

If you've read my Todo Sobre Meine Mutter, you've got a general sense of my idea of German motherhood: stoic dedication to duty (however strangely that might be defined), at all costs. While pondering this, for some reason, an image of the ice-cold Corinna Harfauch playing Magda Göbbels on the last day in Hitler's bunker from the film Der Untergang (Downfall) just flashed through my mind. But it must be clear by now that my mind is, well, a difficult thing to control...

What prompted these musings was a New York Times article on German women's roles, particularly as mothers. It's worth a short note here, as it goes far in explaining my own experiences with my third-generation German mother. She had to put her career, personal development and life in general on hold to raise her children, and by god she never let them forget it. Lo and behold, neither of her two daughters has reproduced. Match this with the German birthrate, which hovers around 1.3 - 1.4 children per couple and I'm sure you agree with me that German mothers are putting themselves out of existence.

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