Permission to Parent?

by drmariablois on June 22, 2008

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Is it just me or is our society ridiculously quick to expect moms and babies to separate? It seems to me that our cultural norm dictates that mothers need “alone time” that can only be meaningful if they do not have a baby or small child along. In my experience with mainstream culture, even “mom type events” as a rule are expected to be child free. We moved to a new city when my oldest was ten months old and I reached out to many different groups looking for companionship (Moms and More, Mom’s Book Club, Moms group through my husband’s residency…) and over and over the expectation and the norm was that moms and babies would be separated. Awful!

It just seemed so silly to me. I mean small babies nestled peacefully in a sling are just so portable! How silly to not be with my baby just so I could have adult companionship.

And really, all it takes is a nasty look or a snide comment to completely derail a now mom’s confidence and make her feel unwelcome. Yuck. Since when do we need permission to remain with our babies and small children?

I am so grateful that all API and La Leche League functions welcomed my babies and children and I am sad that this is even an issue in our society. Of course moms and babies belong together. How absurd to suggest otherwise.

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drmariablois (12 Posts)


{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Grace Murray June 22, 2008 at 11:58 pm

Thank you for your comment. I couldn’t agree with you more. My husband’s friend and his wife have 5 children but cannot wait to be away from them (vacationing, nights out, etc.). The underlying message to us from this Mom is that there must be something desperately wrong with us in that we choose to be with our young daughters as much as we possibly can. We even bring them with us on vacation!

It is encouraging to know that API and La Leche League appreciate this natural and necessary bond. Moms (and Dads) and babies absolutely belong together.

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Scylla June 24, 2008 at 5:24 am

I completely understand how you feel. There is something daunting about going anywhere with your children, it’s almost as though they are to be seen and not heard, even in our “enlightened” day and age.
I have a lot of luck with the MOMS Club in my area, they were incredibly supportive of having the kids along, and only had one or two kid free events a month, and those were always at night.

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Jenny June 30, 2008 at 8:01 am

That is sad. Luckily I’ve found a group which encourages me to bring my daughter. They’re a babywearing group and have taught me so much about AP! I love that picture; it reminds me of how my one-year-old curls up when I’m breastfeeding her. It’s a little different than bf’ing a newborn!

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