The last couple of weeks I served a family as their night post partum doula. I dreaded it a little bit.
It’s hard to leave my children in the late evening while they are sound asleep and drive half an hour to take care of someone else’s baby.
But this year has been all about throwing myself out of my comfort zone and so I took the job, with the knowledge that I would be tired and cranky the day after with zero sleep and my three children full of energy to take care of.
Then magic happened.
As I got to know this family a little I just fell in love with their sweet baby and although I basically got to watch over her mostly while she was sleeping, I felt such a privilege in holding her and being her dream keeper for a few days.
She reminded me so much of my daughter when she was a baby, of how different the energy is between boys and girls even when they are just born.
Why is it that we don’t spend more time holding babies. In general, I mean. It should be a mandatory class for each university course! It should be that we gather around the miracle of these tiny creatures more often and that we demand that the time to do so is guaranteed to us.
Instead, moms have to go back to work 3 months after they give birth, 4 if they had a cesarean birth, which is by the way, a major abdominal surgery. No wonder, we as mother feel depleted, sadden and utterly confused by the whole experience of mothering, when everything around us screams for human rights neglect.
It’s a slippery slope because, let’s assume that we do want to honor both our role as mothers and our profession, which perhaps we have worked our butt off during years of studying and waiting tables to finance those studies. Let’s assume, we have been told that this is the way it should be, that babies can be taken care by others while we go back to work and that what do we think we are doing? Staying at home and throwing our careers out of the windows?
When the reality of actually looking at our baby into her eyes the morning that you are going back to work to follow your life master plan and time to say goodbye has come, it can be pretty devastating. Hormones are still dancing the Macarena and we are still recovering emotionally from one of the biggest changes that happened in our life.
I am not surprised when I hear moms admitting that they are exhausted and longing for a good night sleep, when I see them on the verge of quitting breastfeeding because it can be so complicated to pump at work, when it requires climbing thee flight of stairs to reach that little cupboard your boss has designated as pumping room or waiting in line in the restroom to sit on the toilet to pump.
When they say they want to sleep train their babies because they can sustain not sleeping one more night in a row.
I have a dream that one day we’ll realize that the only way to improve our society is to start from zero and by zero I mean the age of the population we need to start to pay attention to. Babies. Yes, them. They seem pretty innocent, for some insignificant, but truly they hold the power of the future.
I have a dream that one day mothers will be allowed to embrace their biggest jobs to be mothers full time as long or as little as they wish for, without being threaten to lose their career and financial means. I have a dream that dads will be part of that dream too and I have seen dads embracing their role as fathers to the point of quitting their jobs to be with their children in the name if the fact that family does come first.
I have a dream that as mothers we will stop one day feeling so judgmental towards ourselves and understand that just because we became moms, it doesn’t mean that we knew how to be one, yet we are so courageous and strong to launch ourselves into the journey when it never came with a compass to show us the way.
I hope that this Holidays Season there will be a little more compassion and a little less cruelty for each and one of us but it needs to start from within, from within our families, our homes and our hearts.