There must be something in the water. Or maybe it’s the election frenzy that’s bringing hope to people, promising a new beginning after eight horrendous years of Bush. And speaking of bush, it seems women around me are getting knocked up left and right and couples are pro-creating like rabbits in the springtime. What’s with this baby fever all of a sudden?
The baby boom around me started when my cousin gave birth this past July. Recruited as a last minute doula, I had the honor/insanity of assisting Sonia during the partum process. Thrilling, scary, and adrenaline-rushed, I watched my goddaughter Mia enter this world. It was one of the craziest experiences I’ve ever had, and it didn’t even involve a naked woman, chocolate covered strawberries, or a stuck elevator. Coming face to face with a delivering vagina and a newborn child radically heightened my awareness to this parenthood trend flourishing around me.
It seems that babies are the new black! All of Hollywood- Gwen Stefani, Tori Spelling, Christina Aguilera, Nicole Richie, Ashlee Simpson, Angelina Jolie, and Ricky Martin- are having/adopting children. I’m sure Ellen and Portia will jump on deck soon as well. And with a new goddaughter, a pregnant best friend, and a few other folks I know (including a wonderful lesbian couple) expecting a visit from the Stork , this blogger is left questioning her own perspective on motherhood, the paradigm of queer parenthood, and how having children affects all the dimensions of life in this mad, mad world.
Watching so many women join the Mommy club makes me anxious (but by no means feverish) to be a mother myself. In college, I wrote an essay arguing motherhood as a social construction, and I still firmly believe that women in all cultures are raised to want to procreate, to accept it as an innate, biological female urge. Truth is women are conditioned from the day that they are born to be mothers - baby dolls, strollers, and toys of this nature are just examples to prove it. The desire to be a mother is socially created and reinforced, and by no means is it a biological urge. But that’s a whole other blog.
Watching a child enter this world, seeing the glow on my best friend’s face, watching new moms ramble on and on about the joys of babydom forces me to consider so many things. Foremost, it makes me consider the struggles of motherhood. The sleepless nights and long days of feeding, cooking, changing, washing, and holding down a full-time job. The budgeting, spending, coupon-clipping and saving for college tuitions. The doctor’s visits, soccer games, piano lessons, and ballet classes to get to. The purchase of a (cringing) van. All these factors dramatically change someone’s life (style) - financially, professionally, physically, familialy, even morally and ethically.
Having a child compels me to think about all the children in this world that don’t have parents. While everyone is out reproducing, there are millions of orphans without shelter, food, arms to comfort them. Why are we bringing more children into this world when we have a world of children who need parents already?
Being around lesbian mothers-to-be obliges me to consider the trials, tribulations, and obstacles a queer parent faces. With constant bigotry and opposition like Proposition 8 and Focus on the Family reminding us that we live in a society that’s uber-homophobic towards same-sex families, queer couples who want/have kids deal with double the trouble of raising a child in a world that hates them. It also reminds me of my duties as a godmother to teach Mia acceptance, respect, love, and tolerance for all peoples, all colors, all sizes and sexualities.
Most of all, this baby boom pushes me to praise the power of the pussy! What mighty beings we are, that we can create, nurture, and bring life into this world! Men might be physically superior to (most) women, but when it comes to birthing a being, they have nothing on us.
Thank Goddess I find the concept of motherhood appealing and pregnant women to be super hot; I’d be screwed at this time being constantly surrounded by them if I didn’t. Whether it’s pure coincidence or if I’ve just reached the age where my peers are ready to populate the earth with their offspring, I look forward to a generation who will hopefully grow up in a better world, a more tolerant, respectful, loving, Obama-run society. When I look into my goddaughter Mia’s eyes, I see myself in a few years, raising my own little feminist. But a soon as she spits up her lunch, I smile and hand her back to Mommy. Someday, I’ll drink the water, but for know, I’m happy just swimming in it.