Thursday, September 07, 2006

Out with the old...


When I was figuring things out with my first child, I was a lot less compassionate. If you chose to have a child, you SHOULD be a baby-slinging, co-sleeping, nursing-on-demand mama. If not, you are simply not up to par. Your poor child…

Now, with a 3.5 rd old wild child and a new baby, I am a little frayed at the edges. I still believe in wearing my babe, and he sleeps next to me at night, and nurses round the clock. We’ve delayed vaccinations, am appalled by circumcision (of either gender!), and have embraced respectful communication. We plan to unschool.

Having kids makes you deeply mindful…of your own choices. Gives you less time and energy to judge the choices of others. Maybe more importantly, it provides new clarification into how difficult it is to be on the path no one else chose. We are biologically constructed to be social creatures, to be part of the pack. So sometimes it’s HARD to feel like you are tribe-less. To feel like you are the weird one. To not do the done thing. So, I can feel for those women who feel society’s tug, and yield to the pressure to conform.

On the other hand, and this is for everyone who chose breast augmentation and cesareans, it is tremendously empowering to walk the unpopulated path. It allows you to yield to what feels good instead of what looks right, which, despite the catcalling of those on the Christian right, is often a stunningly good barometer of behavior. It allows me to have homebirths and nurse in public, and deeply question the ways Society tells me I have to raise my kids.

I have a hard time juxtaposing my desire to be compassionate, to live and let live, with my need to co-create the kind of world I will leave to my children. The lingering question is always, always: is walking away the only option? In other words, is Society so rigidly unchangeable that the only option is to create something completely different, not just outside the mainstream, but in a new ocean entirely? Is it somehow less “progressive” to suggest giving up on a lot of the sacred tenets of modern America, instead of trying to change what I don’t like, a la MoveOn.org?

Is building a new model just as legitimate a way of life as reforming the old?

4 comments:

Radhika said...

How boring the world would be if we were all conformists who varied within the approved ranges! I think new models & new uncharted paths are great. And since all fringe ideas have the chance of one day becoming the reigning paradigm, perhaps one needn't make the choice regarding changing the current model or walking away and building a new one. Do what feels right!

Oh and hey, it is lovely to hear you say you see the change in yourself from Zari to Eden. For two reasons. One, it is a clear sign that you are still growing. And not only that - you are growing & you are still self-aware and thus, perhaps you will be more conscious of the growth you desire.

Saybrook said...

It seems to me that the only life you will ever have is the one you choose for your self

I believe that the media, all forms internet included, has showed most t.v. watching people that if you dont have x,y,z you are not a good person.

Saybrook said...

I believe that you create your own life similar in ways to others but not the same as anyone...much like a snow flake

Sorry for the previous blog burp!

My life will follow a path that I choose to follow regardless of others. At times this has gotten me into trouble but for the most part I am the person I choose to be. I choose to treat people the way I want to be treated and I think most people will do the same. Our media(in the US any way) has sold out as well as our Govt. and public systems education included. The box we all strive to break out of and our bosses are fond of telling us to break out of really is many boxes inside of themselves. We break one only to be stumped by another, some of us are to weak to even realize that other boxes exist. We as a world are on the verge of mass destruction and yet most get in the SUV and sit in traffic so we can bitch about our jobs and CONFORM!

Radhika said...

Hey Sayb,
Welcome back! and right on!! Yes, living on auto pilot is what most of us do. Living consciously and thoughtfully- as you spell out- is what we should strive for.
DOWN with CONFORMITY!!
;)