…that for many women, if not most of us, labor and birth are as easy as it’s gonna get when you decide to have a child and become a parent. It doesn’t matter if that child comes from your body or another woman’s, motherhood is extremely difficult.
I was watching this video the other day where Cardi B talks about having a newfound respect for mothers and I really appreciated what she had to say. Normally I don’t care who’s having babies, celebrity or not, because really, why tf would I care? This ain’t Children of Men times we’re living in here; people have kids every day. It’s that parenting in general is so undervalued that the title of the video piqued my interest.
Cardi talks about the crazy that happens to your brain and the rest of your body after you give birth and the intense attachment she already feels to her daughter and I wanted to explore these topics for a little bit.
The post-partum crazy brain is definitely real and I firmly believe it never really goes away. Amidst baby showers, shopping for tiny little clothes and various accessories, picking out names, yada, yada, yada (all of this is after the soul-destroying intensity of the first trimester when you’re pretty sure you’re dying or you’re going to die from lack of nourishment because your body rejects any and all attempts at being fed and watered), nobody really gets into so many of the other important aspects of what happens to you when you become a mother or what parenting is actually like.
I liken motherhood to forever feeling like your skin has been peeled back, every nerve in your body constantly exposed. Something flips in your brain man. You love your children so much that sometimes it feels like you can’t take it. You desperately (this isn’t a strong enough word here) want for them to be happy, loved, protected, and woe is the person who does anything to even attempt to come between you and your child. By the way, it doesn’t matter if that threat is real or perceived, that fire we feel to take care of our children is very real and can certainly reveal the ferocious side of a mother in protection mode.
As they grow we watch them steadily become even more of who they are. We’re reminded that they’re here on their own journeys so inevitably, as humans do, we clash with our children at times. You’ll constantly have them on your mind, even when your mind is somewhere else; it’s a constant connection that we have that brings awe as well as exhaustion.
And that’s why it hurts so much to watch them fall as they make their way around Earth, figuring out what it is they came for. That love is why they’re the ones we get the most riled up about, when we see them heading straight for some bullshit but they want and need to learn for themselves. With such an unfathomable amount of love comes an equally immeasurable quantity of fear.
Every single shadow you have will come straight for you once you become a parent but nobody really talks about that. Instead people put most of the focus on finances, having all the “right” gear, what’s the best school, what kinds of activities should they be put in, and so on, with many other more practical as well as superficial concerns that really do seem important depending on where the parent is coming from.
It doesn’t seem like people really talk as much about life past the baby and toddler stages. I guess they go into the elementary school age a bit but people get the most excited over the baby phase for whatever reason without really examining the fact that this is just another person, a little bitty one just like we once were, growing up with thoughts and feelings and challenges of their own.
I don’t think that many of us came to grips with our own childhoods before deciding to become parents. It doesn’t matter what kind of childhood we had, there’s always something lurking, buried way down in our subconscious, that our children bring out. Being able to recognize this stuff and deal with it is crucial to raising a child who’s comfortable in his own skin, who can go out into the world every single day with the knowledge of who he or she is and thrive.
These and many others are the conversations I want us to be able to have about motherhood. I’ve only touched on a small portion of my thoughts here but I think about these kinds of things all day every day. I don’t know, maybe not many other people see the world as I do and most people are actually fine with the way things are. When I look around at the world it seems to me that we really do want to have these discussions but something holds us back. Eh, just some thoughts…