A mother’s place…

Now that I have Maya, and am bringing her to work, I have a few opinions on the subject of where a mama should be. And it’s at home. I know this goes in the face of all the feminist gibber gabber out there, but there is very little understanding in our culture about the process of acquainting a child to the planet earth. Babies need their mama’s and mama’s need their babies. I remember talking to a new mom who had recently returned to her job and asked her how it was going. A sad, almost tormented look came across her face and I knew the topic was off limits or she would probably start crying.

Of course, a  woman’s gotta do what a woman’s gotta do, and like soldiers, women across America truck on through, dropping of their newborns at daycare in order to pay the bills. I’m so absolutely grateful that I own my own business and can at least take Maya to work with me, even if I can’t take the year off as I would prefer (and is legally required, with pay, in other, more civilized societies). I remember reading some years back in Time or US News or some such magazine profiles of these top executive women, CEO’s at the top of the ladder. One woman gave birth and returned to work within the week, in keeping up with the men, not wanting to be seen as weak. I reflect back on this and wonder, would it not have been more empowering and sent a stronger message had she used her position to educate those men around her about what a woman and child needs & deserves? What kind of message must she have sent to the women in her company with this move as well?

I’d love to hear your thoughts ladies and gentlemen…

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15 thoughts on “A mother’s place…

  1. I think it is sad the position women are put in these days — sure, it was sad before, when they were expected to do nothing more than be wives and mothers (which I find to be a very limiting role if it is forced as well) but now not only are we expected to care for our babies, care for the home, we are expected to “bring home the bacon and cook it too” as the famous commercial suggested. Boy, there’s feminism for ya’. I think the first feminists, the ones who championed for our right to vote, to have a voice, who said we could be more than just a man’s support had it right — but the neo-feminists (in my humble opinion) miss the mark by a long shot — because what they essentially did, however unintentionally, is put us in even MORE limiting roles by heaping so much expectation and responsibility on our shoulders, and leaving us in a very ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t’ position where we are judged from all angles — if we stay home we are allegedly crapping on all the feminists did to “free” us from our “place” in the home, if we work, we have to come right home and try to juggle it all, and of course, be PERFECT at it, lest someone think we are complaining about our “freedom” to be all things to all people at all times…leaving of course, our babies to suffer.

    I think a mama’s place is with her baby. I firmly believe it, as you said, feminist gibber gabber aside — I think a woman can ‘do it all’ but I think where the neo-feminists miss the mark is in convincing us we could do it all AT THE SAME TIME without ANYTHING or ANYONE suffering in the process.

    I feel badly that we live in a country where motherhood is not respected the way it should be, where mamas are pushed into (or have no other viable options) than to leave their precious babies. Where we are seen as “weak” if we find joy in simply being mamas (which is the most important job on the planet imo) —

    but yeah, I could go on about this topic, it is one that I reflect on a lot… lol…

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  2. Fully agree. I believe in the equality of men and women, however there are very specific biological differences that need to be respected and appreciated when addressing this issue. Bonding, breast feeding, and recovery of the mother should very well be taken into account (men should have time to bond as well!!) Women pay more in insurance costs here in the states, why should we feel even the slightest bit punished for our gender, especially in regards to responsible child rearing? I believe that we are in a state of transition in regards to the feminist movement, one that has both desirable and undesirable consequences, including those you mentioned above. Daycare can be great after a certain age, but babies do need that comforting parent to bond with. Breast feeding issue aside to account for LGBT or adoptive parents, it could be the mom or the dad, really, just as long as its LOVE!

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    1. “very specific biological differences that need to be respected and appreciated when addressing this issue” — makes me really have a new appreciation of women in the military, especially. Women ARE different and should be given exceptions, as it’s not just the woman whose life is impacted, but her babies as well. Women in active duty only get a short amount of time after giving birth & are then expected to return to service, leaving their child in the hands of a full time provider. How well is this mother going to function while on duty, and what in the heck does that do to a child?

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  3. Oh, I wholeheartedly agree! You know I try to bring my daughter, but can’t always and it isn’t exactly quality time spent if I have to, well, Work.American society is so crooked. I say we move!

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    1. And I love it that you can bring your daughter with you when possible. Let’s not move, let’s CHANGE it. If we are smart enough and hard working enough to do it this way, we surely have enough resourcefulness inside us to change the paradigm.

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  4. I agree with you Julie, and thank my lucky stars every day to have grown up with a stay at home Mom who was always there for me and my brother and sister. I’ve purposely avoided having kids of my own since I’ve never been able to figure out how I could do the same, and not be living on the street since I couldn’t pay my bills. You’re an inspiration to women for how it CAN be done.

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    1. I too, was lucky enough to have it. I’ve always respected my mother’s choice to do this, and never thought of her as “less than” because she did. I always thought of her as equal with the other “working” mom’s but now I’m wondering if she wasn’t somehow smarter ;p

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  5. i feel very much the same and i’m glad to see a hard-working woman, entrepreneur, and devoted mother declare it unabashedly. when looking forward to having my own children, i can only hope that i will be so blessed as to be able to make mothering my top priority and be the maternal provider that my baby wants and needs. i can’t really imagine it any other way.

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    1. well, i’ve never been shy about sharing any of my opinions ;p I’m blessed to have a business partner that graciously allows me the honor of putting my mothering first, and recognizes that maya deserves only the very best, and trusts me enough to make that call. it’s costing us more in the short term, money wise, but makes up for itself every second as I watch the time investment blossom before my eyes.

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  6. I’m a great advocate of stay at home moms. I was a stay at home mom until Jill went to college. It was the hardest and also the most rewarding job I will ever have.

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    1. Ah, mom! A wonderful role model, thank you for embracing your divine feminine and giving it all you had, sticking to your intuition. I know we gave you a run, but look at how awesome we turned out, and the gifts of your grandbabies! Looking forward to introducing Maya to the magical christmas you always created for us!

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  7. Julie-

    I’m so glad that you wrote this. My mother (a stay at home mom of 26 years) and I were just talking about this very subject today. I am 1 of 5 children and my mother gave up her career to stay at home with us. She thought her place was with her babies. She did return to work after we were grown, but I have always respected her for what she did for us. My mother was a maverick who went against the “normal” standards of society. After having 3 hospital births, she had me at home with a midwife. I nursed for almost 3 years. My sister was also born at home and nursed for 4 years. I find it very sad though that she did not get the respect she deserved from other women. She was often looked down upon because she chose not to go back to work while other women were venturing out into the workforce and putting their children in daycare.

    I am now a mother of 2 beautiful babies and a stay at home mom myself. My husband and I struggle with money at times, but deep in my heart I know that I am exactly where I am suppose to be at this time in my life.

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  8. Thank you for all of these perspectives. This is an interesting topic indeed. I feel that many new mamas like myself who know they have a purpose to serve on this planet and to help others have created an interesting position for ourselves. We’ve created the need to integrate motherhood as part of our higher purpose. We knew that becoming a mother was the next step in our evolution.

    These mamas are passionate about the “work” they do in the physical world (birth work, light work, educating, etc) and are just as passionate about embracing motherhood and mothering their babies consciously. It feels that we need to create an environment that supports this. We’ve actually already started creating this 🙂 An example of this is that as a community we’ve started to honor, respect, and support our mamas-to-be as they embark on this journey with the Blessingway Ceremony. We’ve started caring for them as they come out of “initiation” by delivering postpartum meals.

    We can’t stop there now. We have the responsibility to continue to support each other and CREATE THE CHANGE WE WISH. Support w/ bringing our babies to work, support in the form of babysitting coops, support for the spiritual development of our children in the form of school coops, etc. We CAN do this, we have a responsibility to do this, and we ARE doing it.

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