I don't remember the first time I heard the term "planned obsolescence", but I believe it was in reference to either cars or computers. I was shocked (or at least relatively surprised) to consider the concept that people would plan for something to wear out (cars) or be outdated in two years (computers) instead of building something to last forever. Eventually I came to see how that works, not only in cars and computers, but in furniture, clothes, and the list goes on. Not every item of course, but plenty of them.
I had a recent revelation - I am a product of planned obsolescence! This came to me as I was considering my children. They need me less and less as the middle child joins the oldest in the world of college this fall and my youngest starts high school; I am becoming "obsolete". Now lest you think I am sinking into depression or despair - let me assure you I am not. As parents, this is what we work for from day one; to raise our children to be productive, independent, capable citizens in this world. It is simply something of a shock to see it actually come to fruition.
Of course I will always be their mother, and some part of them (I pray) will always need something that only mom can give, but my role is changing. Unlike a car or computer that has a limited shelf life however, motherhood is (or should be) a constantly evolving, mutating, flexible entity. It is redefined as children grow up and move on. Mothers who consent to their identity being updated, and refitted along the way, continue to be useful, thereby adverting obsolescence.
Motherhood - planned obsolescence, sort of.
Labels: motherhood, planned obsolescence