May 12, 2012

Modern Motherhood?

There have been various articles floating around the interwebs and magazines about "unusual mommy behaviours" and what's natural or accepted in public society.  I know breastfeeding in public or pumping milk while at work has been on the hot seat for a long time.  We live in a a world where women have to work to keep a balance in the household.  There are fewer and fewer stay at home moms these days.  One of my favourite sitcoms has a couple who are having a baby, well, not exactly.  See they hired a surrogate not because the mom can't carry, but because she's far too busy to be pregnant.  Yes I know it's meant to be funny, the show is about very rich suburbanites who are very beautiful with beautiful everythings.  But I find the sentiment to be not far off par. 

My sister often remarks how we seem to be headed toward a life similar to that of the 90's movie "Demolition Man", where everything was very clean and very pleasant and very very safe.  No one cussed, no one had germs, there wasn't any tension and best of all you didn't have to touch someone to have sex.  Unless you really wanted a child "the natural way", sex wasn't done in the traditional sense, too risky with the exchange of fluids.  Sometimes I wonder if my sister isn't on to something.

I had a Cesarean.  I didn't want to, I had to, we were in a stressful situation, she and I were both at risk so they went in and got her.  But not until I'd tried for 8 hours to have her.  Nothing of my birth was ideal.  Had I had my way, it would have been in my home, in my tub with a midwife and my husband.  I tried cloth diapers but caved in after a few days, I nursed for a few months, until she and I both decided we were good.  I know I did well, but I still feel like I failed because I couldn't hold to a more natural way of doing things.  I have a few friends who share(d) my ideas on childbirth and bonding.  I've noticed however, the norm here is to schedule your C-section, have a perfect baby and go home to prepared formula and disposable everything. 

Is this evolution?  I mean really?  What is better than having your baby, bonding with said baby, and nurturing him/her into a loving, healthy child?  Are we as women so vain in this day and age that saving our figure is more important than having the joy of natural child birth?  Or is it simply that literature & propaganda has scared young women into believing that natural childbirth is a horrible, painful experience.....
The pain that comes with childbirth is bearable, it is necessary and totally worth it in the end.  Any woman who has been through it will say the same thing.  Breastfeeding isn't easy, but the bonding experience and the benefits that come with it are what make it worth the effort.  Perhaps if it was a more widespread act, we wouldn't have such a prudish society.  Well, that coupled with about a hundred more natural, normal ways of life. 

I understand about modesty in public and I understand that not all things are to be put out there and broad casted because it is a relatively private act, but to throw a woman out of a restaurant because she's feeding under a blanket is just silly.  We have to find a happy medium between having a career or a certain type of household and being a mama.  A real, honest to goodness Mama.  As I said before, we live in a time where it is necessary for women to work.  Even for some of those families that it isn't a necessity, women still want a career to go with that perfect family.  How practical is the idea to burn the candle at both ends?  That leads me into the whole American dream issue, how important is that 3000 square foot home with a camper and at least 2 vehicles?  What's so bad about choosing one or the other?  Staying home at least until your children are old enough to fend for themselves?  Or is that too traditional of an idea for this day and age?  I don't mean we all have to be June Cleaver, but I do wonder where the line is. 

Maybe one day we'll swing back around to natural child birth, having fewer children (i.e. a realistic number a mom can handle), actually taking care of our own children, and enjoying the vocation.  Being a mother is a job.  A j.o.b.  It is work and dedication, no person is not ready for it should even consider the thought.  Like any endeavor, rearing little ones is not a task for the feint of heart, but it is a joy.

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