Thursday, July 15, 2004

ESC recommended reading II 

Bit of name dropping here...
I've been reading a blog called dooce, which I found off of Dr.Dave's site.  Dooce is a wonderful writer, up on par with Mimi Smartypants, in my humble opinion.
Anyway, on her site she mentioned someone called the Barren Britches Brigade.  Intrigued, I followed the link.  It let me to this link  at a blog called Chez Miscarriage. 
I am not a mother, or mother to be (thank GOD!), and I'm not even sure if motherhood is in my future.  However I give a resounding "here here!" to the advice CM gave to Dooce (whom she calls Doo-chay).  I'll copy it here, but you can get the full impact at her site.  Show this to every mother or mother-to-be you know.
Dear Doo-chay,
I am writing in order to give you some words of wisdom:
Doo-chay, be suspicious.
Be suspicious of people who condemn every parenting choice you make, people who don't know anything about you but who nonetheless harbor strong opinions about what's best for your family, people who are so catty that cats are suing to have the adjective changed. They are the same people who tell infertile women that IVF is "selfish," that they can't understand why we don't "just adopt," that "some people aren't meant to be mothers."
Be suspicious of people who assert that the provision of any structure will irrevocably warp a child's gentle flowering spirit just as water warps wood, people who claim to be "shocked" or "horrified" by the fact that you did or did not give Baby Doo-chay a Cheerio at six or eight or ten months of age, people who swear that all babies are angels straight from the lap of God and therefore - in the grand calculus of the universe - more valuable than you. They are the same people who tell infertile women that IVF is "unnatural," that "fertility drugs cause cancer," that we should all "just relax."
Be suspicious of histrionic mommy-martyrs who peddle ass-pucking hypocrisy, anyone who prioritizes your child's need to breastfeed over your need to not feel suicidal, anyone who begins a sentence with, "Now, I don't know anything about post-partum depression, but."
In short, Doo-chay, be suspicious of people who claim to love Motherhood but who always seem to hate actual mothers.
You have a right, as a human being, to live a life that feels gratifying and coherent and meaningful. If that means that you must temporarily fill your breasts with so many SSRIs that your bra gets an endorphin rush, so be it. Wean. Take a day off. Have a drink. Go back to work, for all we care. I've read the research, Doo-chay, and the research is clear: the single greatest predictor of infant adjustment is maternal mental health. In other words, to put it more scientifically, if mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. So do whatever it takes to be happy. You won't hear a peep from us infertiles.
And if anyone gives you any lip about it, send them over our way. We're used to telling asshats where to put it.
And if I do say so myself, we're getting to be damn good at it.
With love, The Barren Bitches Brigade