What is a "modern mother"? I hear this word alot. Is she a full-time working mother, or a self-employed mother, who is able to stay at home? Maybe she doesn't work at all? Does she have every modern convenience and baby product available? Is she eco-conscience, and insists on buying organic produce only? Business attire or urban hippie? Nannies or play-dates? Natural births, breastfeeding, push-up bras, tummy tucks?
Is it possible to be a little of everything? Or is it an "all or nothing" title? I think now, women have the opportunity to embrace the modern conveniences while still holding true to the innate gift that "mothering" really is. We have advanced technology that allows us to connect to any website, network, and virtually any other mother or group we wish to ask for advise, help or just observe. We have the opportunity of a world-wide support system. But, maybe, some mothers get lost. They get caught up in a trend or feel like they must personify a "type" of person. I fear more mothers getting caught up in this fake world with this new show, "Pregnant in Heels". I refuse to watch this show; I am not giving them a second of air time!! But judging from the commercial, it is train-wreck of clueless, self-absorbed women who have babies. (Is this wrong of me to judge? Yes. I can't help it. I just feel bad for the babies.) This show celebrates the high-profile type, with her perfectly matched clothes, stiletto heels and a live-in nanny (a la "The Nanny Diaries"). She had a scheduled c-section, of course, so not to disrupt her "busy" shopping schedule, and while she was under, she insisted on a "mommy-tuck". Hair and make-up before breastfeeding and bonding. But for the show to air, there must be a demand for this garbage - and, to me, that is sad. Is this a "modern mother"?
Our society, lifestyles and jobs have evolved, but "mothering" has not. Or has it? Is being a modern mother so different then being a ancient Roman mother, or a turn-of-the-century mother? The external image certainly has changed. Inside, I want to believe that there is still a drive and desire for every woman to mother her child. Sadly, everyday, I see things that tell me otherwise.
Think about this: The ancient Roman mother did not worry if her 3 year old still crawled in bed with her early in the morning. She did not run out and buy every book on baby sleeping, talk about it consistently to her doctor and friends, thinking that something is wrong. Instead, I think she treasured this special time for what it is, because soon, he will not be doing that again.
The turn-of-the-century mother did not worry too much when her 18 month old stopped eating his favorite food, or alot of food for that matter, as long as he was seemed fine. She did not run out and buy a baby scale to weigh him every day and compare him to the "growth charts". She just gave him plenty of love and realized he will eat more when he is ready.
I wish to see more "Mothering" books out there that support mothers to trust their instincts. You do not see that, at least not in the big-chain stores! Most parenting books out there have a strict code to follow and make you feel completely dependant on that method. When it doesn't work (which most times does not!), the desperate mother seeks out another book or professional claiming to "cure" the child from whatever the case may be. I would like to see more books that encourage the mother to trust her instincts and "Mother" her child and not worry if it goes against the book's methods or any of her preconceived ideas.
So, in conclusion, I choose to embrace the conveniences of this "modern" world, while still reflecting on the primal and instinctual aspects of mothering. I do not care what people think when I breastfeed my now 21-month-old in public, co-sleep with my baby, and insist on organic, raw foods. I do not buy fancy clothes or get pedicures. I color my own hair, and I do not have an I-Phone. I would much rather be doing yoga, watching a cooking show or reading to my son then shopping. However, when he is napping, I love that I have a computer and can write this blog, research and connect with friends. And that is just me.
Who are you???
Permission to Mother: Going Beyond the Standard-of-Care to Nurture Our Children
The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding (La Leche League International Book)
The Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby from Birth to Age Two (Revised and Updated Edition)