Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Baby Mine

There were so many things that I was thrilled about when the ultrasound technician revealed that we were having a baby girl. SO many things….

I’m feminine and girly. I love makeup and dresses. Sparkles and shopping. Dangly earrings and painted nails. I just like these things and always have (despite my lack of time/energy invested in them these days). I know it’s the new fad to have ungirly things for your girl. I’ve heard more people and read more articles that talk about having less pink in their girl’s rooms, less girly clothing, gender neutral toys… and that’s fine if that’s your thing. It really is. Not everyone is ultra girly.  And I know pink is just a stereotyped color for girls, but guess what? I love it. And I love baby girl nurseries that are pink. So my sweet little girl has a bright pink nursery. I love things that scream “girl” be it a cultural stereotype or not, so she has always worn big bows. I do not care if they are as big as her head. She makes them look good. And the day that I have been awaiting these last 17 months has arrived…..

She’s found her babies. And she loves them. It’s never really been a question of if she’d play with babies in this house, but simply when.

I know all about what child development says regarding toys, interests, and their impact on gender. I read enough textbooks and listened to enough lectures in college to understand. And on the whole, I do not disagree. If Abi Kate wants to play with trucks-- have at it! If she thinks playing in the mud with army men is the best thing ever, I’m game for that too.  I’m not about stifling her interests into a stereotypical box. BUT… as long as little girl feet walk the floors in this house, there will be babies too.

I loved my baby dolls growing up. They had names and baby clothes, and I regularly begged my mom to buy me packs of “real” baby diapers so I could put them on my dolls. I loved toting them around and rocking them, pretending to feed them. I just loved babies. I loved pretending to be a mother.

And do you know that at 17 months old, I watch my sweet baby girl nurture her soft little baby? She picks it up and carries it around and sways with her baby. And yes, she grabs it by the neck (Dear Lord. We’re working on it…) and she thinks it’s so much better naked (maybe she’s practicing for a future in Elimination Communication?) and she will throw her baby down on the ground in a heartbeat for a piece of cheese (Can you really blame her?!) . But there is a tenderness about her when she loves on her babies.  You can guarantee that I am going to nurture that and cultivate it.
 Naked baby syndrome.

The hardcore feminists would probably be on fire while reading this post, assured that I’m raising my baby girl up to be “just a mother” and pushing stereotypical gender assignments on her. That’s ok. I know better. Without getting into a big long post, I think feminists of the past and today missed the boat quite a bit when establishing themselves and their ideals. I am passionate about womanhood, and all things related to women. It’s why I’m opinionated about pregnancy and birth, breastfeeding and Natural Family Planning. Because they pertain to women--to educating and empowering women in experiences and roles that are solely female.

There is nothing more feminine, more celebratory of womanhood than finding yourself in the role of mother. It is exclusively female. Carrying a baby, feeling them move, feeding a child from your own body, nurturing them in a way that only a mother can-- it is something that only women can do. Being a mother-- it is for women. That’s why we hear talk and research about maternal instincts-- they are real-- no matter how we entered into motherhood, whether scared or assured, through adoption or biological birth.  And I hope Abi Kate learns that in our home. That God’s design of women is beautiful and a high calling. I hope she recognizes that choosing motherhood doesn’t make you less of a woman but instead it celebrates sacrifice, God-given instincts, and helps us understand Divine love. I hope she sees in me that motherhood is a gift and a treasure worth searching for.

 Babywearing with morning hair..wowza

So there will be babies in this house. We will play with them, and hold them, rock them and feed them. Be they naked or clothed. We will push strollers and wear them in slings (Please, I just can’t die to my babywearing-self…) We will play “momma” and love up some baby dolls. We will do all these things with bows in our hair and possibly dirt under our nails. We will enjoy all things feminine, stereotypical or not, because I’ve watched my little girl in these days… and I can already see what a sweet little momma she will one day be. 
Safety first--Visible and chewable kissable

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