Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Isn't it all just "Parenting"?

I must spend to much time on the internet, yes that must be it. I've been coming across a bunch of articles about "gender neutral parenting."  I'm a bit confused as to what it actually entails. This one here at everydayfeminism.com is designed to display some of the myths surrounding the lifestyle.  Where as this one here on CNN just seems to go with the feminist idea of gender neutral. There are active petitions to prevent companies from gender stereotyping toys. Like the Toys R Us in the UK.

Now, this maybe how I was raised-perhaps having my brothers so close in age prevented a strict gender divide among us-but isn't this all boiling down to letting your children take joy in toys and activities? Male or Female alike? My youngest brother who is now very LARGE, and much bigger than me would run around in frilly pink jammies drowning GI Joe toys then ramming my Barbie RV into a war zone. My parents didn't really care-he wasn't screaming or killing cats. It was pink jammies, and a Barbie RV. My other brother had a thing for pink toenails.  I remember playing a combat game with the boys of the neighbourhood shortly after Jurassic Park came out-we had to kill the dinosaurs. We played it for weeks-it led into a intricate system of snow forts and fallen branches.

Isn't it ALL parenting? We were safe and happy, we solved problems together. Some required an emotional thought, while other problems needed strategy, and for sight. Things I wouldn't have learned playing kitchen alone, or my brothers kicking ass on the dino playing field. I wouldn't know what it was like to have a base ball to the face-and the wouldn't know what it was like to have Barbie smacked across their heads.

Any one who has spent any time with my children will see a diverse set of interests. My 16 month old son is currently obsessed with tiaras, and sparkly hats. My middle daughter loves cars and dinosaurs, my oldest is one of the only girls in her taekwondo class. None of this mean they'll be transgendered or gay-it means they're learning to be happy and open minded.

My goal as a parent is this-raise my children to be well rounded open minded adults who don't live in my basement. I don't care if its as a man, woman, or WITH a man or woman. Just a kind heart, and a giving soul. Strength to stand up for what they believe in, and the smarts to back up their mouths. 

So I think from now on, all attachment, gender neutral, crunchy, traditional, upside down or crooked parenting should be referred to as "parenting". That's it. Straight forward, and to the point. Because if your grown children are good, kind, generous, strong in their own way. Then you know what? You did it right. So good for you! Keep going, you're doing great!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

I can't bond with new mom's any more.

At my last midwifery appointment a class called "Birth centering" was brought up AGAIN. It has been brought up every appointment since week 20. Up until last week, I had politely declined. To busy, taekwon do, hubby has to work. A bunch of excuses to avoid a confrontation. Well, I finally let fly why I REALLY didn't want to go. And it wasn't pretty. Now its a "class" to ask questions of other moms, and help alleviate fears about birth, breast feeding, diapering ect...And the all important question-LABOUR.

This time the reasoning "its a great date night for you and hubby to focus on the new addition!" Okay lady let me lay it out for you. This isn't my first rodeo. Nor is this my first home birth-its my third. I can't bond with a new mom.

Now don't get me wrong, being a first time mom is scary, up lifting, emotional, and its unlike anything you will ever go through again. Ever. Its also horrifying, painful, tear filled, mess ridden pile of garbage. That I never, ever want to relive again. And talking about it forces me to relive it, I can't do it-you can't make me. That's why new moms always say "if someone had just  TOLD me." You don't hear about it-because the rest of us are to busy repressing, wiping butts, runny noses, and thanking the good lord above we made it out alive.

So with that in mind-the fact I DO understand the fear and excitement. Here was my response, that I'm honestly surprised didn't get me kicked out of the practice.

How am I suppose to bond with a mother who has full functionality of her bladder still? Are we going to bond over the fact, that as I ran to the bathroom to pee RIGHT NOW-my toddler beat me and decided to sing the ABC's very, VERY slowly, and I peed my pants. That as you sit there telling me because you PLAN on following the "baby whisperer promises the happiest baby on the block" book, your child will sleep through the night by week 6. This after a night where I did nothing but yell at my 6 year old to "go the F back to bed, your hair CAN'T hurt" until 11pm. Or how excited you are to get back to your exercise routine at 6 weeks. And you'll have date nights, because your perfect baby will NOT scream every time someone other than your boob comes near it. Or you're going to "gender neutral parent."

Guess what new mom? Labour hurts, a large moving human being comes out of A) your vag, or B) through major surgery-WHICH you're completely awake. There can be stitches-there WILL be blood. And Guess what else?  You're still going to look pregnant for a couple weeks after baby is born. I'm going to let you in on a secret-you have NO IDEA how you're going to handle it until you're there.

So miss midwife, whom I normally adore. This ISN'T a relaxing date night for me. I have to find and PAY a baby sitter $10/hr on a SCHOOL NIGHT, drive 45 minutes each way to listen to women and men I don't know ask questions I don't want to answer for two hours. Birth IS a secret cult, and a rite of passage. One you will never ever understand until you're standing on the other side going "Huh, so THATS the kind of parent I am."

Here sits the annoying, horrible kicker. Its going to change you-every day, every stage is going to change how you operate, how you motivate, and how you think. There is NO ROOM for sitting down on the job here-so that's why we don't tell new mom's what the deal is. Because we're past it. On to new things we know nothing about.

Now I'm not saying don't be excited, nervous, fearful-or what ever it is you may be feeling. Just understand, that I've lived through it-and I'm not going to relive those frightening days for any one. I have faith you'll get through it, a wiser, stronger woman. You'll surprise yourself with the amount of strength and ability you really do have.

So momma to be, move on from me-I have a dirty tush to wipe!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The leading cause of Death in child bearing women is Suicide.

I have been alone for along time-or so I thought. Until I started finding articles like this and this one here. You'll find them popping up every where lately. Canada has opened the time frame on what is considered "maternal death" from 45 days post partum to 9 months post partum. The results are terrifying. Women are dying because they think they're alone-so are fathers. As it turns out there is a serious issue with PPD among new fathers.

I've been alone, dragging my family down with me for 7 years.  On a spiral of self loathing, fear, anxiety. It came to a head about six months ago. I was in the grocery store, I had a panic attack in line with two full carts. I couldn't breathe, or stop crying. I blacked out. My husband came home from work, and I told him EVERYTHING.

Days when I need to lock myself in a room so I don't hurt myself. Why I call him so much at work, or why I will pack my day so full there is no time to eat much less think. I have a plan, I wish I could say it was "had" but its still there. It has become so bad this time around there have been days when hubby has had to come home so I can sit in a dark and quiet room and calm down. The thoughts are so dark and violent I can feel the need in my joints, my muscles. The need to kill myself all the way to my toes, and in my hair.  Because I don't DESERVE the wonderful gift of my family. They, themselves deserve better-much better than I can give.

I know everyone says "But they screen for it, there is help" In our area there is a serious need for better mental health facilities. It took me 14 weeks to get in to see a psychiatrist. At which point I was told to come in every two weeks. But they're so booked I'm averaging two appointments in three months. Apparently it was long enough to diagnose me as Bipolar II. This means I will be mentally ill for my entire life. Not just for the post partum period.  I was handed drugs to make me feel better. They don't work, the doctor keeps telling me "give it more time" and sends me on my way. So Yes, there is a serious lack of tangible help for women and men who beg every morning to the powers that be-to hit them with a bus.

There is another issue. People who are depressed, suffer from anxiety, PTSD, bipolar don't WANT to talk about it. We've hid in our heads, and are so convinced we deserve this, or are the only ones. So much so, that its nearly impossible to put it into words.  I'll be honest I sought out help because my husband asked me to. I love him to much to watch HIM suffer.

So there it is, when you read those articles. And feel like you can't connect.  Now you know someone who's going through it.