Beyond the occasional physical issues in birthing and breastfeeding, there are also several intellectual problems parents face today when having a baby.
Most of these seem to arise through the pursuit of the concepts of ‘easier parenting’, ‘greater freedom’ and ‘being in control’.
As promoted by movies, magazines and advertising, we find ourselves questioning how asmothers we can still have ‘me time’, get enough sleep, maintain our figures and relationships as if ourbabies had never happened at all?.
Life is not a picture, but we are certainly sold one: the picture of all those women who can do all the above, who right after birth look as glamourous and, and here comes the crux of the matter, as sexually desirable as ever before.
We need to question this very carefully.
This picture is sold to us with a ‘because you are worth it’ label.
It permits us to have it better, easier, freer. It tells us, "Don't be a slave.” It poses that no one wants tospend all day with a baby dangling off our breasts. It whispers that we will miss our independence, our work colleagues, our lives.
It is the biggest pack of lies women buy into these days.
When we are promised freedom, happiness and independence, in reality we are buying insecurity: the insecurity needed to keep a system working.
As insecure women we will buy fashion, diets, hair products, formula milk and the need to return to work quickly, all of which very conveniently fits into our capitalist system.
Women quite often seem to think of motherhood as an unwanted task, a painful experience, a demeaning job no one wants and quite frankly no wonder.
Motherhood is far from glamourised in our culture. It is open for criticism from every angle. It is unpaid and unrecognised in a system that only values economical or patriarchal power success.
It is constantly promoted as sacrifice, pain and endurance, as a lonely task associated with empty women who have no needs, no desires and no intention beyond satisfying others.
As a result of that depiction, I probably wouldn't want any of that either.
But the secret no one is telling women is that motherhood gives us the huge power of raising future generations.
As humans and mammals, motherhood provides us with the opportunity to stick two fingers up atcapitalism and patriarchy by birthing and feeding our babies by our own means.
As mammals, motherhood gives us the strength to understand we are capable of everything, for we can birth, feed and carry and nurture our babies until we are sure they will survive, and we do so with an strength we didn't know we had.
Being mammals is not always a conveniently polite or politically correct label however, and there is another victim to this problem as there was another picture they sold to us in the ‘80s, the one with the muscley guy with baby (and bottle) in arms.
Just like pictures of supposedly free women in power suits with top
model bodies, it was just another product to sell.
model bodies, it was just another product to sell.
Men and women were brainwashed (because it is brainwashing when everything around us tellsus so ) to share the experience of motherhood.
Patriarchy wasn't happy being left out anymore. In truth it never really was, because ultimately it understood that motherhood is powerful.
So men were sold that they too could be involved, that feeding the baby was no longer exclusively the domain of women, that it was in fact manly because it saw an opportunity to sell more bottles, more pumps, more formula products, books, videos, etc, etc, etc.
Today couples seem to struggle when birth and breastfeeding excludes men.
They are shocked by an archaic idea that expects women to breatsfeed every three hours withouttheir partner’s ‘support’ or to choose where they birth without approval from husbands or fathers.
It isn’t modern. It isn’t intellectual. It’s politically incorrect!
Men are caring and want to be active fathers and we all know they have a humongous impact on theirbabies. We know that, but everyone still seems to be confused about the real freedom of both father and mother to be mammals and learn their roles and needs without stepping into stereotypes that promise unrealistic expectations that do not work with human babies and do not provide independence. That is the real taboo these days.
Mammalian birth and parenting is not politically correct, it is biologically geared. Of course we can make it better via intellect and technology, but the question is are we really making it better by demanding that women have childless bodies? By asking fathers to behave like mothers? By losing our breastfeeding capabilities? By feeding our offspring a chemical product? By supressing the spontaneity and freedom of birth and motherhood?
For whose benefit are we doing all of that?
Women are trapped: they have bought into the freedom promised by our current culture.
I dare say men are too.
The only beneficiary in this equation is capitalism.
The biggest losers are our babies.
But once you learn that motherhood is powerful, you might just change the world or at least you will certainly change a couple of lives.