Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Birthing & Parenting

I've found myself having these long musings in my head lately. Thoughts on what I believe, what I find to be true, who I am and who I am evolving into...These pops of brillance in my head that if I don't write them down I will instantly forget them and suddenly feel very dull and plain and unchanging for not having the thoughts anymore. But I don't have a journal anymore to write in, so here seemed a good enough place.

I used to think that it was important, that it said something about you and who you were as a person and a future mother, how you gave birth. That giving birth is as much about the mother as it is the baby. But of course the socially correct thing to say is "as long as you have a healthy baby it doesn't matter." But deep down I toyed with the idea of becoming a midwife so I could help the world and all mothers see that you could only really see the power of birth by welcoming your new baby at home in a birthing tub, surrounded by your afterglow as a mighty woman. None of which I did with either of my births. But I read stories and watched movies and thought the medical world was trapping woman with fear. We weren't living as a community anymore. Girls grow up without seeing a woman give birth, women aren't surrounded by experienced older women as they give birth themselves. We fear what we are told is the worst case scenario and we go into a powerful time of our lives with fear.

But then I gave birth...and then I parented. I'm raising a 6 and 3 year old now. The 3 year old's tantrums and independent streak are old news to me. It's always been and may always be my oldest, my 6 year old, who teaches me the most. She goes first into the world of teaching me I'm wrong. And so as she breaks out of her world of no longer being 5 and a baby, but into being 6, knowing more than I do, questioning each command I give her, that I want to rip my hair out. How do I get a 6 year old, who I know is still a child baby herself, listen to me, someone who might actually know more than her. Like how to not fall off a chair, what might taste good in a made up recipe, that it's socially awkward to invite the whole neighborhood over for a made up holiday, and how to not hit the car parked next to us with our own car door? And yet as she defies me, she stretches me. Her constant questions about what if (based on a what if world that could not and does not exist) make me mad because I answer back that it doesn't matter what if because what if does not exist. But I'm mad because I can't comprehend the what if world like she can. To her, that world and any other possible world does exist, readily, easily. I am not her. By personality or by age maybe. But maybe I should lower my head once in awhile and try to be her.

Oh, my point. My point is that parenting is far harder than birthing will ever be. Birthing is but a moment. So for now, I really do believe that it doesn't matter as long as you have a healthy baby in the end instead of just saying it. Yes, maybe others do put fear into the situation and they should not. Fear does not belong in the birth process. Yes we should share with one another and make a community of women, old and young, so we can be there for each other. That's love. That's life. But no, in the end, it doesn't matter how you gave birth, fed your baby, diapered your baby and did anything else to your baby beside love them. Because all of this is hard and we all need each other, no judgments, just mercy and grace.

Thought over.

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