Last night I emptied my doula bag. Rice socks, essential oils, compresses..even straws and hair ties.
As I removed each item, I took a moment to remember every birth I have witnessed, every baby I have watched take that first breath earthside, every mama I have seen dig down deeper than she ever thought she could to push her baby out.
I thought about meeting each of you at your interview. Watching you grow throughout your journey. Watching you make careful choices about your care provider, your birth plan, your body and your baby. And your birth. I thought about your birth. I thought about your strength and your power. I thought about what you didn’t know. What you didn’t know was that feeling you left me with as I walked out of that hospital, with this doula bag over my shoulder, smiling and giddy like I was holding some amazing secret in my heart, passing all these people visiting loved ones and arriving for their shift, not knowing what I had just witnessed. And then getting in my car, sometimes in the middle of the night, tears running down my cheeks overwhelmed with humility. And then I remembered you on your postpartum visit. Nursing your new, precious baby. A birth warrior. A different woman from just months before. And I remembered your worried calls about fevers and milk and even poop. And I thought about how you had no idea what those calls meant to me. To know you trusted me. And I know, because I made those calls after I had my babies.
Last night, I emptied the bag. But I filled my heart. With unexpected memories that make me forever grateful. So thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Each and every one of you who have given me this honor. I can never repay you. I know I will continue to attend births. I do not know in what capacity or when. But I do know that I have enough birth love in my heart to get me through.
I don’t get what the big deal is.
I mean if Time Magazine asking “Are you Mom enough?” beside a picture of a mother nursing her toddler insinuating you’re not mom enough unless you nurse your toddler, makes you feel like less of a mama, then you need to reevaluate your confidence as a mother.
If the cover had been a mother sitting in her living room farting around on Facebook while her 9 month old screamed and cried himself to sleep in his crib and the caption had read, “Are you Mom enough?” insinuating it takes a hardcore, mom of the year type woman to let her kid cry himself to sleep it wouldn’t have made me feel any less of a mom. It would make me think poor, poor baby, but it would not make me feel less of a mother just because that’s not how I parent.
Am I missing something? And trust me, I have read allllll of the responses to the cover. Is Time Mag really pitting us against each other by asking this? Trust me when I tell you that if it ever comes up in conversation that I had my baby at home or that I nurse my kids until they don’t want to nurse anymore or that at least one kid sleeps in the bed with us every night, unless I’m preaching to the choir, the majority of women don’t find the need to hold back their disapproving opinions on how I parent!
And on top of that, Attachment Parenting IS hard! It is hard fucking work. And not everyone is cut out for it. What is so wrong with that. And I’m not talking about women who wanted to breastfeed but struggled with it or women who wanted to have a natural birth and it didn’t work out. Women tell me straight up all the time, “yeah, I don’t know how you do that. I need my time” or “I need my space” and even “that’s too hard”. “Are you Mom enough” may not have been the very best wording but it sure does sell magazines. Isn’t that what Time Magazine does?
And you know what..I liked the picture too. Not all nursing mothers are overweight. She looked beautiful and strong. What’s so wrong with that? So now is Time Magazine insinuating that if you have a toddler and you don’t look like this mama that you are a lazy and fat and inadequate?
Get the fuck over it already.