Category Archives: Doing Right

But WHY are you touching him?

“Oh, how PRECIOUS! Is he a good baby? HELLO!”

And then Nasty McGermyfingers reaches for my kid and I cringe.

Look nice bank lady, I know you’ve probably grasped the idea behind personal hygiene because you work at a bank, but you also WORK AT A BANK. I worked as a cashier for 5 years straight. There wasn’t a day that I didn’t wash BLACK CRAP off my hands from touching money all day. Now it’s true, this lady wasn’t behind the desk and she’s probably not had to count bills in years, but even so…why do you HAVE to touch him?

Why does everyone HAVE to touch him?

I get it, babies invite touching. Babies are soft and cute and have the most awesome silky skin, they smile and giggle and reach out…but they’re also so very vulnerable to the 304958304958396 billion fucking diseases you carry. Now, I breastfeed, I have had him immunized (and no, not worried one bit about Autism…Autism does NOT come from shots, FFS!) and I keep him clean. I know that him encountering SOME germs is plenty important, which is why I don’t worry if one of his toys hits the carpet at home or he grabs my blanket to gnaw on. I let family members hold him, I let family pets investigate.

But I also know the medical history of all those things. I know who’s had their shots, I know what’s irredeemably disgusting, and what’s probably not a big deal.

But you, nasty chubby bank lady…you I don’t know. I don’t know if you wash your hands after taking a dump. I don’t know if you just went to visit your diseased cousin in the hospital yesterday. I don’t know if you are reaching out with a clean hand or a dirty one.

And I’m so shocked and mortified…I let you do it. I want to choke the life out of you…but instead I stand there like a moron, washing him smile at you before finally saying, “He’s getting grumpy.”

“This is grumpy?” Shocked.

“Oh yes. Very. He’s teething.”

“He’s…this is teething?” Pure disbelief now.

“Yep.”

“…”

“He’s pretty easy going, but I should take him home now.” I smile wildly at her, and off I go.

 

Thing is, I’d lie if I were of a mind to – but I don’t even have to. HAR HAR.

 

Now let’s get the little man home so mommy can wash off all the nasty bank-lady germs. YUCK!

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“I have a gift for you! …These are RAGS.”

No seriously. That was what she said.

Her gift to me – the gift for giving her a grandson?

Rags.

And not just ANY rags. No, no, no. They were “good rags” that she sacrificed a “good towel” to make. Not only that, but each one had a purpose that had to be explained to me. One was for the bathroom. One for the kitchen. One for other sorts of cleaning.

Now here’s the thing: Even if it weren’t so insulting to be given rags, I HAD spent the better part of two weeks cleaning my house to an almost-completely-tidy state. Only a month ago had I given birth, prior to which I was on bed rest/limited mobility for 3 months. I had done so so that she wouldn’t be too upset by the state of the house, since I know she’s an insane neat freak. Considering that I was pumping milk every two hours, and caring for a baby as well who was not sleeping through the night, resulting in my…basically not sleeping at all, I thought I had done a pretty fantastic job.

But even IF she had thought that she’d give me rags IF the apartment was a disaster, to still go out of her way to not only explain their use, but also to try and make me feel guilty that she had cut up a towel, packed it up, taken it all the way across the country, JUST so I could have them…it defies explanation.

And let’s re-emphasize a few points:

~ She had come “to help us out”.

~ She had promised “to play nice”. (yet more words that I understood as a warning sign, but was begged to ignore)

~ She had said, flat out, that she understood post partum depression, and that she was going to help me through it.

I’ve been wracking my brain ever since, trying to figure out how this was a positive gift. How you could be warped enough to really, REALLY, think that you were helping someone, being nice to them, and not actively trying to hurt them and not trip their depression…by making their new-mother-gift…be rags?

I managed not to burst into tears, though I recall my cheeks coloring and my throat closing.

I was furious, but actually, somehow, managed to thank her. My mind did also immediately flicker to the huge pile of rags that were sitting in my art studio. Which then begs the question, did you really think an artist wouldn’t have rags? Really? C’mon now.

Oh and a few hours later we got this comment: “I know you don’t keep a clean house, but I’m dealing with that.” In a very sympathetic tone.

I…I’m still beside myself.

And if any of you understand this, I have one thing to say:

To a moron who would deny motherhood’s place in feminism…

Oh yes. That’s what I want to teach little girls. “Don’t be a mommy if your family can afford for you to do so! That’s not a real job! You should be working and paying someone ELSE to be your kid’s mommy! Go back to work and make sure those men KNOW that you can be completely disconnected from your children in order to make a buck!” Wait. Does that mean that nannies aren’t doing work? Why the hell do we pay them if being a caretaker of children (and a manager of the household) isn’t work?

It’s MORONS like this woman, that help men think that being “JUST” a mother isn’t enough to be worthwhile. Homemaker on a CV shouldn’t be a mark of shame – it should be a mark of “I wanted kids, I went out and got them, and now I’m back in the workforce, way more able to take care of my life because hell, working 18 hours a day pushing papers around and “crunch time” moments of “going to have to work this weekend, too” ARE A FUCKING JOKE NEXT TO 24 HOUR, 7 DAYS A WEEK mommydom.” I’m sorry that your dusty old vagina never managed to pop out a brat, bitch…but your job is a fucking joke next to being a mother.

Oh and you really want people to believe that 86 percent of full-time mothers spend the same amount of time with their kids as a stay-at-home mother? Where the hell does THAT add up? 40+ hours of the full time mother’s week are missing from that child’s life, until that kid is going to school. Unless the mother is working overnights, all of those hours are going to be ones that the child is awake for – in the care of…you guessed it…ANOTHER PERSON (probably another woman!). I’m sorry but ZERO percent of full-time-working mothers spend as much time with their kids as stay-at-home mothers. That’s just fucking LOGIC.

And just because “anyone can get stuck in this situation” doesn’t mean a damned thing. With the advent of abortions, if you’re not willing or able to keep that child, guess what? You don’t have to. Which means that being a mother is a choice, not an inexcusable “oops”. And for those who make the choice to keep their kids, doesn’t make them any less a hard worker, or any less worthy of a job when they head back to the workforce (whenever that might be!). YOU are the one reading failure and regret into a pregnancy. No man wants to fathom labor, and reminding them of the awesome power of your body is a good way to one up them.

You could note that she brings up the “women who are stay-at-home moms” as ones who are insanely rich, that have nannies, which results in their spending all their time freeloading and spending their husband’s money, but it should be noted that having kids or not, these woman would be doing just that. It’s got NOTHING to do with motherhood at that point – just being a freeloader. Not to mention that for the majority of the article, she is fiercely stating that if you are not able to support yourself without a man in your life (for any reason), then you are the cause of (not the victim of, BUT THE CAUSE OF) sexism in the workplace. Well fuck you, darling. Most countries in the world give a mother the chance to be a mother to their children without being a “freeloader” and this leave? Not always called Maternity Leave – it’s often called PARENTAL leave…and can be taken by the father, if he wishes!

If you want to change how the 1% view motherhood…you need to learn to respect it yourself.

There is nothing that anyone should be more proud of than being a mother who is willing to be a mother (not a freeloader with a fucking nanny doing their job for them!).

You aren’t edgy, and you aren’t a feminist. You’re an apologist for chauvinistic pigs who would vomit if they ever had to do something like clean a dirty diaper in their own.

The irony of my tag…

Aww, I totally look like I'm going to eat him.

When I say “breastfeeding is magic” – part of that has to do with the fact that like many women, breastfeeding has been an insane challenge for me. There’s lots of things people do not tell you about being pregnant, or giving birth but in my mind what they don’t tell you about breastfeeding is basically criminal.My largest complaints can be summed up in a few short sentences, but I think the biggest crime that can be committed against a woman and child is this:

“If at first she doesn’t succeed, you give the mother a dirty look and tell her that she’s now got to switch to formula and can never breastfeed again.”

This is just such a lie, and such a crime to both mother and child. First off, many mothers, including myself, have large enough breasts/nipples that a newborn (a small one!) can’t possibly hope to latch properly. This is looked at by many nurses (not Lactation consultants…few hospitals have REAL ones!) as a fault of the mother or baby, and they will break a latch over and over and over trying to get “a good one” which is actually impossible to achieve. The baby starts losing weight rapidly, and soon will stop trying to latch at all. This is what happened to MY son, as I had been told the myth that no latch should ever hurt (btw, a good latch CAN hurt, especially if your let down is strong, the child is extra hungry, or you’re severely engorged) the nurses had me breaking one good latch after another in an effort to try and get him to take more breast into his mouth, which was simply impossible.

Finally, after a brutal night in the hospital, with my little man starving, crying and begging for food, the nurse threw her hands into the air, and gave me her final judgement: No milk. He’s getting formula!

But my breasts were SO full, and I was in SUCH pain, that she offered to get me a pump, if I could pay for the attachment (which I could not!). My explosion of tears and the milk that had been trickling out of my massively swollen breasts all night convinced her that torturing me further was cruel. So she gave me one. I started making so much milk, but was told over and over that a hospital grade pump was hundreds of dollars and that I was still destined to give formula to my little man.

Lucky for me, my doctor is also the chief of staff. She caught wind of what was happening, and put a social worker on the case and he discovered that there isn’t ANY support out there for a woman who has milk but don’t have the ability to make her child latch. Getting a pump rented? Pish. There’s formula for that! Who would pump every day, several times a day? Just mix up some formula. It’s so much faster! There’s a million places to get free formula, but not even ONE to get a pump rented, EVEN THOUGH IT’S CHEAPER! On the other hand, you also end up with unhelpful people saying – if you’re going to keep your milk, and you don’t want to use formula, you should fight with your baby before EVERY feeding by trying to put him on the breast, to make sure he’s still being forced to fear and loathe your breasts since they’re too big for him to drink from.

Yeah. I didn’t do any of that. I rented my pump (through some generous donations), I pump my breasts several times a day and I feed my child with a bottle. Because even if my tits aren’t perfect, my milk is still good food for him!

So that’s the reason why there’s irony in that tag.

Update: Now that my little man is 3 months, he’s big enough that sometimes, when he’s in the mood for it, I’ve put him to the breast to give him some comfort (he REALLY hates soothers) and he’s learned to latch all on his own. But he really still prefers to get his meals from a bottle – he much prefers the “complete” taste of mixed breast milk (there’s sugary watery milk at the start, fatty cream at the end) and doesn’t stay on long enough to ‘feed’. But here’s the rub – if I had listened to all those nurses, and if my doctor wasn’t such a nice woman, I would have had my milk dry up long before he was big enough to figure out latching for himself. He wouldn’t be as healthy, and I wouldn’t know the joy of seeing my little man get the best food he can.

All because Canada’s opinion of a woman pumping her breast milk to feed her child seems to be a joke.