Browsing Category: Rambling

How much equality is there in raising a child? A Women’s Day ramble

burning-bra Yesterday was Women’s Day in South Africa, which means today is our day off from work. I often laugh at the public holidays in South Africa, but I sort of like Women’s Day. Okay, I hate all the marketing that goes along with it, and the fact that one day has become an entire month, but it’s nice to see women celebrated. There is so much that women do, that women are expected to do, and even the most staunch feminists among us fall into that trap. And I can feel myself doing it.

Being pregnant has made me think about these things a lot more. How will I raise my son/daughter? How will I teach him/her about gender, about how to exist in society, about how to be his or her own person and not cave to social norms? I am very happy to have a husband who appreciates me, who treats me with respect, who loves me completely and is totally supportive of all my endeavors. However, I wonder if even he will fall into the same gender traps.

Sure, I know that he will be an active part of our kid’s life. He will change diapers, watch the baby so I can go for a long shower or bath, or maybe even take care of things to give me a night off.  But I wonder what the balance will be. I plan on breast feeding and expressing so that he can also help with feeding, but I wonder what the proportion will be of boob and bottle. I am fairly confident that he will watch the munchkin so I can attend events or have a “night off”, but how many nights off will he have in a week? It’s not me being resentful of him or questioning priorities. It just seems to me that even the most empowered women I know seem to do more of the childcare than their husbands.

So, how much equality is there, really? I work from home, which means that in theory I should be able to look after the little one and still continue working. But how will that actually work – I already see my work not taken as seriously as his because I can do mine in slippers and pajamas. Will that only get worse once a baby is in the picture? Will it also mean that I can do nighttime feedings alone because “at least I’m at home all day”? The assumptions just seem to spiral out in my head and get me rather nervous.

Plus there’s that big question – what sort of feminist would I be if I DID take on the lion’s share of raising the child? What sort of feminist would I be if I did sacrifice more of my career to raise this child than my husband will? Is this yet another reason that I’m a bad feminist, or is it just the reality of life that someone needs to make time to take care of a baby and it’s simply more cost effective for it to be me? Also, supposedly mothers “just know” what their babies need – food, rest, a nappy change – so won’t it also be “easier” for me to just do it, even if that flies in the face of gender equality?

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Is this all worth it? A first time pregnant fear

someecard pregnancy

I am growing a human. As I type this, there is a tiny creature inside me, leeching off of my energy, my nutrients, my wellbeing. No, I haven’t felt miserable throughout my pregnancy; for the most part I’ve been able to carry on doing things that I enjoy, except for eating dinner. But I do occasionally suffer from crazy mood swings, and when my awful but normal migraines come, I’m not allowed to take my awesome narcotic painkillers to make them go away. It’s tough but not horrible and I’m getting through. I just have this niggling worry.

Is this all worthwhile? People say parenthood is like nothing else you can experience in life, that motherhood is amazing and that the love I will feel for the little thing growing inside me simply doesn’t compare to any other kind of love. I’ve felt it in small moments – seeing the little legs kicking on the ultrasound, or that moment when I realized that one day a little human is going to call me mommy. But then those moments pass and I just feel gassy and queasy and not quite myself.

I keep telling myself that it will all be worthwhile, that the love I will feel when little Harley or Mason is born will make me forget all about this time. But then I realize that the first few months also might not be much fun when he/she is just crying and pooing the whole time. Oh, and sucking on my boob. I will be sleep deprived and need to find the ideal position for breast feeding while still gaming. It’s going to be tough and I then start to wonder why I signed up for this.

But then I remember all the fun things I want to do with this tiny life that’s growing inside me. I can’t wait to give the little baby a bath and play with those itty bitty feet. I can’t wait to read him or her all my favorite bedtime stories, and a chapter each night of the Odyssey or other classic mythology. I am so excited to watch this little person who is part me and part Dean grow up into a real person – someone who will tell me I’m an idiot for not liking The Hobbit, or crazy for loving Doctor Who the way that I do. Someone who will be excited for the new game release, who I can buy little geeky dolls for over the holidays. I am so excited to have such fun experiences with the tiny life growing inside me, and I have to keep reminding myself that it’s going to be a fun adventure. Sure, there might be exhaustion and discomfort in my future, but that’s not the only thing. There will be new life and a tiny person who will be a part of this world only because Dean and I loved each other and wanted to take this step.

Geez, I just hope this isn’t a giant conspiracy from all the procreators out there. I hope the good outweighs the bad, because at the moment, I’m only have the icky experiences and I could really use some incredible ones.

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A bun in the oven

Bun in the OvenSo I’ve finally gone public with the whole “bun in the oven” thing after 13 weeks. It has been a strange few months, carrying around a secret quite literally. I did tell some people along the way, but only people who could understand why I was waiting so long to tell everyone.

Dean, my wonderful husband, had the fear. After living in Holland for many years, where women often wait well into their 30s and even 40s to start having kids, the rate of birth defects felt rather high. He was worried about there being a problem with the little peanut growing inside me, and wanted to wait until scans could prove that everything was healthy and normal. So far, so good.

I’m now 14 weeks in, and getting to the point where I feel like I can start making plans. Yes, I do know that all plans are useless because who knows what I’m going to get – more than worrying about the kid’s gender, I’m just hoping that it’s a SLEEPER. But until I know what I’m getting, I’m enjoying buying adorably geeky kids clothes, and daydreaming about the books, games and movies I can introduce him/her to. How early is too early to start A Wrinkle in Time or Tetris?

I’m also finally letting myself feel all the things that I’ve been feeling along the way. Now that it isn’t a secret that I’m knocked up, I can acknowledge all the fears, ideas and emotions that go along with the process. And, as a video game journalist by day, what could be better than becoming a geeky mommy blogger by night? Right? RIGHT?

So, this is my welcome blog, I guess. I will be blogging about the whole journey and my conundrums along the way. I have ideas about nappies, breast feeding, parenting philosophies, gaming for kids and all sorts of other things. I reserve the right to change my mind many times. Hopefully, you all enjoy following me from my debating and planning phase all the way through to carrying things out and realizing what does and doesn’t work.

 

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