By Sonia Verma
I might hate my onesie
Babywear maker Wry Baby took serious online heat for selling a onesie that reads “I hate my thighs.” The company responded to critics by saying it was a commentary on the stupidity of fat-shaming, because babies’ thighs, chubby or skinny, are cute. But ultimately they took it off their site and donated the proceeds of all sales [which went through the roof, because there’s no such thing as bad publicity] to a foundation for women.
On the one hand, the irony is clear: skinny or roly-poly, babies are as perfect as any human can be. You simply cannot hate anything so cute. Yet how do you explain it to an older child? “Well, see, some people hate their bodies . . .” Talking to your kids about self-esteem and a positive body image is great. But most of us don’t and shouldn’t take our parenting cues from a onesie.
The best laid birth plans
momstown’s Megan Powell, who is having a baby later this spring, still has to find a moment to sit down and think out her birth plan. She’s hoping to have her baby at home, just as she did with her first child. She has had to defend this choice in the past, and is braced to do so again.
At Today’s Parent, blogger Jennifer Pinarski writes about Gentle C-Sections, which will, one hopes, help dial down a thoroughly undeserved stigma related to cesarean births. A C-section is serious abdominal surgery with a long convalescence during the most exhausting time of your life. It’s not for the weak.
And Tara-Michelle Ziniuk writes about her own post-partum PTSD after her upsetting experience with a drug-free childbirth. It is a raw, emotional read, and it will make you feel protective of a woman you’ve never met.
So from momstown, this reminder: HOW a woman births a baby is not indicative of anything, least of all her calibre as a parent. Baby was in; now it’s out. As far as anyone else is concerned, that right there is a successful birth.[Frankly, while birth is obviously a huge deal, the true test of a parent is in the raising of a kid, not in producing one.]
Whatever the uterine equivalent of “if you can read this, you’re driving too close” is, we need one: If you judge how I birthed my baby, you’re too close.
The flip side of caring how a baby came out is when people take it to the other extreme and say, “All that matters is a healthy baby and a healthy mother.”
Wrong. Yes, that is all that should matter to you, stranger. And it is arguably what matters most. But “everyone’s healthy” is not ALL that matters to the family. Certainly not to the mother.
Birthing a baby is a huge big deal, and if things go very differently from how you’d hoped, it can leave a lifelong emotional scar. That’s no small thing, and we’re not diminishing any mother’s dissatisfaction with how things went. You are absolutely entitled to have a plan or a hope of how things will happen, and you are absolutely entitled to feel elated or thoroughly pissed about your birth story afterward.
Don’t call me Stan
From momstown Edmonton, here’s a superbly expressed rebuttal to a movement that wants us not to give our daughters “girly” names. Like Amelia, or Isabella. In fact, no ethnic names, either.
Hmmm. My daughters have Indian girl names. Clearly they can never be chief justices, CEOs, leaders or any damn thing they want to be. We should just give up right this instant on raising them to be strong, independent, fiercely intelligent and compassionate human beings who happen to be female.
There’s not enough Harrumph in all the world to express our contempt for this kind of idiocy.