Sunday, November 28, 2010
Eat, Pray, Push Out 8 Pound Baby, Love
I recently started to read a very popular book (which shall of course remain unnamed). The writing was good, the main character/author was funny and honest, and I am pretty sure that even Oprah loved it, but I just can not get into it. I have read about one third and I don't know if I will be able to finish it.
I think the woes, loves, problems, and desires of a divorced and wildly successful New York woman just don't really interest me.
Here I am, a housewife, (to put it lightly) with three kids, and expecting another one. The idea of traveling around the world for a year and finding myself not only doesn't make sense, but would be totally selfish and would most likely result in real turmoil for the few people in his world who do depend on me.
When I think about it, I don't even NEED to discover myself with a fantastic trip through Italy's best restaurants and India's most awesome guru. I have discovered myself through my own little tiny housewifey life.
My book would look something like this:
(Note, it would be much shorter because I don't have time for that much self reflection.)
Consume huge amounts of food for nine months. When people look at me strange I point out that "The baby likes Wendy's" or, "I am on the Brewer Diet, I have to eat a lot. I just want a blue ribbon baby."
My body changes, and like the gal in the book, I gain weight, though 45 pounds is a little more than she did and mine causes permanent "marks."
I will of course doubt my ability to cope as a woman and a mother and a wife through this fantastic journey. This is where the prayer comes into play. The thing about motherhood though is that you can't opt out. Even if it is hard (which it probably will be some of the time) you must truck on.
When labor comes, there might be some prayer too. Or maybe just swearing. (It's OK, you are not the only one.)
Push out 8 pound baby-
I heard a very wise mother of five say once that you meet yourself in labor. I think this is so true (and the reason I don't need a guru to discover who I am or find spiritual balance.)
The laboring mother goes through just about every emotional stage, from joy and excitement, to fear and doubt, and then again to the joy and finally the love.
How do you meet yourself in labor? You find yourself sure that you can not in fact do something. It seems and looks totally incomprehensible for a full sized baby to come out of your body. The physical sensations are overwhelming and probably the most powerful that the human body is capable of creating. You are sure that you can not go on. And yet, you do. And then you have something amazing beyond belief: a human life in your hands.
No, I don't need to see the world to know that I am both strong and weak, powerful and frail; labor has taught me that already.
Ah yes, LOVE. The love between a man and a woman is romanticized and oft spoken, written and sung about. It matters. That kind of love is BIG. It changes the world.
But every mother knows that you don't really know what love is until you have a baby to hold in your arms. That is love on a whole different level. I didn't know what that was until I had my first child.
I know, it was a short book of self discovery.
Sometimes I wonder why we obsess about the expensive, romantic, and fun exploits of those who don't yet have the "burden" of responsibility in their lives. I wonder why we give so much attention to the men and women around us who don't focus on family. I wonder who speaks for the housewife and the mother and the woman who devotes her life not to herself but to those around her, and does it for no monetary reward at all.
But then I realize it doesn't really matter. We are too busy to care. We are too strong to feel weakened by the success and attention of others. We know that we matter. That is the gift that birth CAN be when it is done right. That is why all this birth and mothering stuff matters. It is natures way of teaching us how incredible we really are. And it is free to every one of us.
Enjoy your own personal journey of self discovery. If you have time, write a book about it. You might have a few interested readers out there.