Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Offbeat Mama

I found this blog/site called "Offbeat Mama". I don't care for the name, but the sentiment seems like I've finally found a publication that doesn't make me feel totally alienated in reference to motherhood. For example, at the midwive's waiting room, I found an article in a magazine that polled readers on whether or not they intended on wearing make-up in the delivery room. This is not a thing I had even considered nor did I consider that other women might consider it. I wasn't even sure why you would consider it (for the other people present? It's possible you've just crapped in front of them, who cares about makeup??) until I read one response "regretting that she wasn't wearing any in her post-birth pictures."

Anyway. I found this article on Offbeat Mamas on the topic of egalitarian parenting and I strongly identified with the sentiment of the author, despite the fact that I don't have experience in the actual scenarios she describes (yet). She describes the odd feeling of talking to other mothers pre and post birth and having it turn into a partner-bashing session, rather than anything productive. Partner-bashing, specifically on the topic of male incompetence when it comes to anything domestic, particularly baby-rearing.

Obviously, I do not know how Ryan is going to handle fatherhood but based on statements like, "I'm going to teach her to tie knots. Knots and math." tell me that he has definitely got some plans for her. And though he makes a face when we talk about nappies, he's also and this is important and (was an important factor in my choosing to marry him) a grown-up. So, I imagine nappies will get changed as needed the same way the dishes get done as needed and he will watch her and feed her and look after her because she is his daughter, the same way the dogs get walked and fed as needed because they are his dogs.

However, I have been present for conversations about how incompetent male counterparts and there's not much I can do besides smile sheepishly and mutter something about Ryan not doing that, silently thinking to myself, "Why are you with someone who bugs you so much?"

I hate the cultural suggestion that men are incompetent just as much as I hate the cultural suggestion that women are killjoy shrews.


Jocelyn Rice said...

Yes, yes, so very much yes. I have no models for this sort of parenting. But it's what I aspired to, and it's how things have worked out so far.

Of course with Dan, it's "poker and math." And, as it turns out, diapers and meals and walks and medicine and bedtime stories and all the rest. The grown-up thing really helps.

Incident Alice said...

It's too bad we don't live closer, Jocelyn!