Postcards of Grief

Mourning is a process.

Comments on breast cancer by proxy, written by a woman coping with the loss of her mother.

Friday, October 29, 2004

This may exceed my grouchy quota for the day

I went to a double baby shower last weekend. It was decent. Not too frilly and not too cutesy. The moms-to-be gave one another a variety of cloth diapers, and although both are expecting boys, it wasn’t overtly boyboytruckboytrainboybulldozerboy. This was nice. The one less-nice thing about it was a letter from a woman who doesn’t really know either of the moms-to-be. It was read aloud because this woman likes to write letters and have them read aloud. She didn’t actually attend, and given B’s response to the letter, that’s for the best.

This letter was framed as advice from one mom to new moms, but it didn’t quite end up that way. This mom recommended one book and said that no other baby book was worth reading. She insisted that it was a mother’s job to be with her child, not realizing (or caring?) that one mom would return to work full time within the months after her son’s birth. She commented more than once about the inherent delightfulness of the Little Pink Baby™, not knowing either couple well enough to know that one’s child will be biracial. (As Brooke put it, “Little Pink Baby™. What if K’s baby is just a little bit brown?”) Rather than advising harried moms to shower while their partners can watch the babe, she suggested a shower sling. She gave little mention to the bonding between the non-birth parent (although she used the word “husband” so many times, I though I might be straight when she was done) and the child, and she never once mentioned ways in which the co-parent might help pick up the slack. Both of these moms-to-be have very involved spouses, and neither would stand for her spouse not putting as much work into childrearing as she does. She gave them each a subscription to a parenting magazine that advocates against immunizations even though one is a public health researcher.

I’m not pregnant. I’m not a parent. I’m just really, really annoyed.


At 7:03 PM, Blogger alice, uptown said...

If I received a letter like that, I would hope when that women's children are old enough, they started drinking heavily. And smoking -- anything they can get their teenage hands on. Stealing and truancy would get bonus points. The only bright thing that woman did was not show up to read her own letter...and I have heard from many a mother who has, for whatever reason, ended up staying at home, that too much time with baby can kill brain cells that she was hoarding for the day she got to talk to adults again.

At 12:27 PM, Blogger selzach said...

It's amazing how clueless some folks still are. I've been lucky enough not to hear too much sexist bullsh*t about how hubby and I will coparent him.

I am really, really sick of all the genderized crap for babies. Yes, neutral clothing and such exist, but they are outnumbered by the pink/blue crap. I've bought a few things so far, sticking mainly with animals prints since they don't imply sex. Unless they have dogs or cats. Apparently dogs are male and cats are female.

At 1:11 PM, Blogger Emilin said...

Isn't it strange the way that works? Supposedly, rabbits and trees are gender-neutral. Circus and wild animal themes are great, but it's hard to branch out from there without going in one direction or another. I admire both of these feminist moms-to-be for choosing not to buy into the social norms for gender.

At 12:23 AM, Blogger Smallman said...

I skim a lot of blogs, and so far yours is in the Top 3 of my list of favorites. I'm going to dive in and try my hand at it, so wish me luck.

It'll be in a totally different area than yours (mine is about care diabetes) I know, it sounds strange, but it's like anything, once you learn more about it, it's pretty cool. It's mostly about care diabetes related articles and subjects.


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