Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Parenting Taboos

I started thinking about creating this blog in the first weeks of knowing I was pregnant because I felt like I'd been dropped into a strange role that I normally see portrayed as a different reality than, well, is actual reality. The idea that motherhood is inherently a magical and happy experience for all women is such a fucking myth. Why isn't that a bigger part of the larger discourse? I started on this motherhood path emotionally, mentally, and financially able to deal with a child--I even have a loving and committed partner to share the experience with--and I STILL felt like I was walking the plank at sword-point.

What I became acutely aware of in those early weeks were all the things I found myself wanting to say or ask, but which immediately seemed waaaaay outside of cultural acceptability. I found myself prefacing these topics with apologies and acknowledgments of how terrible it sounded when bringing them up with close friends I've had for 20 years.

Isolation, alienation, a decrease in importance within your family circles, a shift in how society sees your attractiveness/worthiness, the so-called Baby Blues (a disgustingly euphemistic name for something very real and potentially incredibly dark and soul-devouring)...all of these things are obvious parts of parenting, in my mind. What if I don't immediately want to die for my child at the first moments of holding him? What if other things in my life don't stop being important with the first breastfeeding? What if I want to take a vacation without my kid in the first year? Do any of these make me a bad person...a bad woman? Logically speaking: no. But culturally speaking, the answer I felt was YES.

Through lots of talking about it, I've found that the reality of how women feel about these things is really different--something I can relate to--than what many websites and books and nauseating commercials offer. But, why isn't the real of it all a bigger part of cultural representations?

I found this pretty awesome TED video of Alisa Volkman and Rufus Griscom talking about parenting taboos--those things that culture keeps us from regularly addressing in the open. It's funny, real, and comforting to hear parents saying the things you KNOW are true, but usually seem impolite to discuss in random company.

(21 weeks, 6 days pregnant)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

I'm Just Going to Say It:

...I am super freaked out about what's going to happen to my vag as a result of passing another human being--in its entirety--through my body.

Really, really freaked out. (Thanks for 2.5 decades of horror stories, Mom...)

I know everyone does it, and there's even plastic surgery and the rejuvenation option down the road if it's really bad, but that doesn't change the fact that something beautiful and vital that is, will soon cease to be. Or, at least cease to be as it currently is. And yeah, there's something bittersweet and Buddhist about this fact, but that's not making me feel better.

*facepalm* So shallow...

(21 weeks pregnant)