I figured since I have written a lot about reading, literature, and libraries, I should also do at least one post about being a mom. While browsing the Huffington Post yesterday, I came across this article, which I read today. I think the author has some valid points in it, though I don’t completely agree with her (the comments are interesting as well). When I was dating my husband, I knew that he was “the one” (ok yes I am a hopeless romantic) and I saw him as someone I could spend the rest of my life with and have children together. Anyways, five years later, I got pregnant. I had the best intentions with my baby. I knew I wanted to breastfeed for as long as possible, use cloth diapers, and at least stay with him for 6 weeks after he was born. Oh and have as natural a birth as humanly possible. Things don’t always go as planned and I’m not gonna lie, after 6 hours of back labor, I was really ready for the epidural (though thank God I didn’t have to look at the ginormous needle they used). I only ended up breastfeeding for a month because my son had such a voracious appetite that I just couldn’t keep up with him. After changing many nasty newborn diapers and realizing that I could handle the smell (not an easy feat at first if you’re not used to it), I decided cloth diapers were not really on my radar anymore even if they were more environmentally friendly. I mean who wants to carry around poopy cloth diapers if you are out and about with your child?
Yes, there are a lot of women, especially well-educated ones that are choosing not to have children. I can totally understand where they are coming from, as there are so many things they don’ t tell you about pregnancy and childbirth in books. According to the above article, “In the United States, the percentage of childless women aged 15 to 44 has increased notably, according to the Census Bureau, from 42.8 in 2000 to 47.1 in 2010.” Badinter, the author of the article, also notes that “Increasingly, that way of mothering is under attack. The reasons for this change are various: a series of economic crises have left women disenchanted with the workplace. Daughters have reacted against the feminism of their mothers.”
She also discusses how women feel like they have to choose between having a career and having a child and the guilt that is associated with going back to work if you do decided to procreate. I have experienced the guilt myself, where I know it will be okay if I go to work, as for one, we really need the extra income but I feel like I’m abandoning my son, even if it is just to a friend’s house. I see no problem in using daycare, just at the moment we can’t afford it. I told my husband from the beginning that I didn’t want to be a stay-at-home mom because now I have my Master’s degree and had planned on starting my career in public libraries. However, that didn’t work out like I planned either, as with the crappy economy they’re not hiring very many librarians due to state and city budget cuts. So now I have a part time job as a receptionist because it is what I could get. Don’t get me wrong, I like my job and the people I work with, it’s just not what I saw myself doing and I do plan on getting a library job in the future, hopefully a full-time one with benefits. Anyways, the point is that I don’t think it is an anti-feminist thing to want to be a mom or not want to be one, and I also don’t think that you’re a bad mom is you feed your baby processed food or opt out of c0-sleeping. I do want put my child first, but I don’t see that as a totally negative thing, I just want the best for him. While I don’t think I’m the perfect parent (I don’t think it’s really possible to be one), I am doing the best I can and learning along the way.