Thursday, December 6, 2012

Day 81: What to Expect when You're Expecting

After listening to the Interview 'A Mother's Love of Guilt' - I realised that I have always romanticised what it would be like to have a child. You always picture those moments of holding a baby sleeping or playing with a child in the park and things like that - you know, the nice stuff. I also recently saw the movie 'What to Expect when You're Expecting' where this one lady was really eager to get pregnant and she was expecting to experience this state of 'bliss' in terms of having this profound connection with the baby and this whole lovey-dovey experience in relation to carrying a child. But then once she gets pregnant, the bliss is nowhere to be found and all there is is physical pain, tiredness, uncomfortableness, emotional turmoil, weird cravings, mood swings, uncontrollable peeing, and so the list goes on.

So - what our expectations are as what we project of pregnancy and motherhood have no connection in any way whatsoever to the reality of living and walking these points in the physical.

It's fascinating - because I've spent time with cihldren for long periods, like on camps, where I'd be responsible for entertaining a group of teenagers for ten days. Or, during the summer working at a daycare, where me and 4 others would be in charge of 30 to 40 toddlers each day. And sure - there was moments where I'd have so much fun with them and absolutely enjoyed their expressions and way of looking at things - but at the end of the day, I was just so fricking glad that I could send them back to their parents, because I was utterly and totally exhausted. So - I've had this practical experience of what it's like to spend a whole day or several days with a child, continuously having to place the child as the number one priority and where I basically have no time for myself, except after the children's bedtime - and yet, my ideas and projections of me having a child of my own don't consider these experiences in any way whatsoever.

I mean, I've even raised baby-chicks in my house - which is this tinly little being that you have to look after all the time. And if you for a moment don't give it the required attention by not feeding it in time or not letting it fall asleep under your shirt, it tweets so loud and continuously that your brain tries to flee from your head. And once they get older and start to want to wander around by themselves, I waddled around after them to clean up their poop from the floor. And when they still got older, I made them diapers, because their shits were now getting so big and frequent that I couldn't keep up. And so, then I was changing diapers every day - which was so not a pleasant experience - I mean, chicken-poo really stinks and I can imagine that baby-poop stinks a thousand times more. AND STILL - when I try to picture what it would be like to have a child, I focus only on that which I think I would enjoy - completely forgetting about the poo-factor and the fact that a baby-human can't walk by itself for a really long time, where you have to carry it around all the time. I mean, what's the deal with that anyways - even a chick can walk after day one!

Anyways... the point is that I'm deliberately ignoring the fact that having a child means to be responsible for the life and well-being of a completely helpless creature. Without me doing my part of taking care of the child 24/7 - the child dies - simple. If ever I thought choice existed - that perception would be completely annihilated when faced with a having a baby.

I don't want to spoil it for you by giving the details - you should really listen to it yourself - but the interview 'A Mother's Love of Guilt' explains very clearly how and why it is that our projections of what we think it will be like to have a child/be a mother never ever matches the actual reality of it. It also explains why mothers often have 'bad'/negative thoughts about their children of wondering if they didn't make a mistake in having a child, or wishing they'd never had kids or thinking they wasted their life in having a child. Obviously, this is a topic no-one speaks about, because the mother doesn't want to be judged as being a bad person or a bad mother. But, I mean - every mother has these thoughts - and it's not that it's a bad thing - but the thing is that mothers don't understand why these thoughts come up - and in listening to this interview, you'll get a clear explanation, which will allow you to understand these experiences and be able to direct them more effectively. So, if you're a mother and you can relate to these experiences - then listening to this interview is a MUST. If you're a mother and you're reading this and you're kind of feeling offended and thinking "no ways - I would never think that - these are lies" - then, by all means, leave this page and move on. Only those mothers who are honest with themselves about their experiences will be able to change them in any case.

To be continued.
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