A few months back I received this email from a friend:
I hope that you are doing well. I just read this, and thought of you. This article is so on point about the sad state of postpartum care (or lack of) in the US.
I told my husband the other day that I never want to forget what it was like to have absolutely zero help when my babies were born, besides him of course, and a tiny bit of help from my mom. I want to remember it because it is so important for me to care for my own daughters when they have children of their own. I wrote it down. 'I will take care of my babies so they can take care of theirs.'
'll never forget after my first daughter was born. There was so much pomp and circumstance during pregnancy. So many dr visits, compliments, etc. then boom, when you need it the most everyone has vanished. The baby is out, so you are no longer needed. It really is like being thrown into the deep end and expected to keep yourself afloat, while wearing lipstick and a smile.
Ugh sorry, it just really gets me going how in this country women are so put against each other. We police ourselves through comparison. It's like ingrained in us. Can you imagine if we all worked together in empowering, and taking care of each other instead of cutting each other down? I think about this a lot now that I have two girls to raise.
Sorry for the vent.
I couldn't make this email up if I wanted to...guts and grace right here...and girl, you can vent to me about this stuff all - day - L O N G.
Attached to her email was the article that I've been tagged in repeatedly titled Why Are America's Postpartum Practices So Rough on New Mothers. Check it out if you haven't read it. What stood out most to me in her email, was the part where she writes about creating a world where we all work together to take care of each other instead of cutting each other down? I think about this all the time.
Let's take boobs and breastfeeding, for instance. Those of you reading here, I'm certain, have seen or experienced some sort of bullying because of how you choose to feed your baby. Boobs and breastfeeding have become controversial on IG, accounts being shut down and women having to major lengths to get accounts reopened. Then, hop over to Twitter and catch a famous comedian ripping on why anyone would have a baby without an epidural and the thread goes viral. Hop back to IG, and mommas who have no interest in breastfeeding and give their kid a bottle getting ripped on by breastfeeding advocates. Take a chance and go to a VBAC class at that cool yoga center, to find yourself being berated for having a cesarean during your first birth, hearing things like, "You were robbed....You missed out on the most magical thing ever." I mean...come on. Really!?
We have allowed for and created a totally toxic environment when it comes to becoming a mother.
Where did this come from, do you think? Did it come from the system? Does it come from trying to let the hard things roll off your back with a media heavy society? Do you think it stems from our own self-confidence? Where is this behavior born? WTF, why do we put ourselves against each other so frequently? Seriously, I need more information.
It's time to hash out some of these conversations, the tough and sticky conversations that I hear about all the time. Like Brene Brown says, "If you're not in the arena also getting your ass kicked, I'm not interested in your feedback." But aren't most moms in the arena getting their asses kicked, one way or another? Why do we have to bully one another?
Something I learned from my mom, and still apply generously, was to not take shit from anyone. I might dish myself some shit, from time to time, but when it comes to bullying and you're not in the arena with me, I am out the door. I want to teach my kids the same thing she taught me. Strong will, confidence, she minimized my risk and helped me gain massive self-assurance. From that, I learned on my own deep respect and love. As well, the ability to be flexible and engaging.
As much as there is hustle & flow in my life, I often do "can you imagine" scenarios. When my friend asked, "Can you imagine if we all worked together in empowering each other instead of cutting each other down?" I certainly can imagine. But the big question and big work is how do we make it happen? Together? If not for ourselves, for our daughters and sons? What do you think? Let me know.