The Heatley Cliff"Star Trek" in Real Life: Motherhood is Just Like "The Borg"Amy Foster

Those of you who read my column with any kind of frequency know that I am a huge, dorky fan of Star Trek.  Recently, I’ve been trying to give “Voyager” another chance, but, I don’t know…I still feel like it was a wasted opportunity to do some great, cutting-edge story telling. Still, my favorite character on the show is Seven of Nine. (She’s my husband’s fave too – gee, I wonder why?) Seven, of course, is a liberated Borg drone. Throughout watching the progress of her storyline, I have come to a rather interesting conclusion: As a parent, I often think like the Borg and I even act like the Borg. I don’t speak these Borg-like thoughts out loud (my kids think I’m crazy enough), but they exist in my mind nonetheless. Maybe as a parent you can relate, or as a son or daughter this seems all too familiar….

Resistance Is Futile. This is what I’m thinking when my 3-year-old has a tantrum over wanting to put his socks on by himself when we are in a hurry to leave or when my daughter tries to go out with her friends before doing a chore that I’ve assigned. They can complain all they want but these things are going to get done, eventually. Whine and whinge and moan- but more often than not, like a Borg Cube, I have the superior fire power.

You Will Be Assimilated. I think one of the most surprising things about parenthood is that I kind of thought my kids would be more like me, like, little versions of the best parts of me. I don’t think I considered my kids inheriting my more negative personality traits. (Ha! right?) Either way, before I actually had kids I just assumed I would understand them because like I said, they would be smaller, more streamlined versions of myself. Wow, I was really wrong on that front. There are so many times when I don’t get my kids at all. This is why, on more than one occasion, I have wished they would simply assimilate and be more like me. It would just be so much easier and less complicated with a fraction of the drama. I don’t think this all the time, often I am in awe of their individuality. But when they are being annoying, I wish they would assimilate.

Irrelevant. This word is what I am thinking when my teenager talks ad nauseam about a boy she has a crush on. And I mean really, ad nauseam, for hours, if given the chance. This is also what I’m thinking when my 10-year-old gets started on the plot of a movie we have just seen together and describes it for a good 20 minutes or when my son is crying about not wanting that kind of cereal because the other cereal is better. It’s like, land the plane…I’m not a terrible mom. I am not always thinking this. It mostly happens when I am tired, when I have had a challenging day and my patience has worn down to a little nub of nothing. Admittedly, I do think “Irrelevant”  at least once in a 24-hour period. I don’t actually say it though, so points for that.

We Are Borg.  Okay, I never actually think this. But I do use the word “we” far more often than “I.” This is both the blessing and curse of parenthood. Once you start a family, you are part of a collective, a hive. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the individual. We are stronger together, and unity can be beautiful. However, many mothers in particular, lose their identity. They forget who they were before they had kids and it becomes difficult to act selfishly, even when it’s clearly needed and it’s needed on multiple levels. As moms, we need to make sure that we are happy and getting enough alone time so that we can be better parents. It’s also important for our kids to see that while they will come first most of the time, it won’t be all the time because that’s life. A child who is constantly catered and deferred to will have a lot of problems “assimilating” in the real world.

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