Every day we get messages reinforcing our culture’s myths and misconceptions about birth and parenting, but some days the good stuff shines through! Today two things made me smile, even tear up a little. I saw imagery in the culture that reflected my own feelings back to me. OK, these are both from alternative sources, which not everyone has access to. But it still makes a huge impact on a mom to feel connection to rather than alienation from the outside world.
My daughter was digging around for new objects to spark her creativity, and she came across this Mother’s Day card my husband gave me this year (bought at a local mom and pop shop).
I love the quote. I wish our culture viewed mothers that way, as the “carriers of the universe,” telling us that we are valued, we are sacred, to be revered and respected. Instead we most often are criticized, given unwanted advice, and our work is seen as simply menial labor that anyone could do. Ugh.
Plus, I love that her baby is sleeping in her arms! As she daydreams with a distant gaze! As I wrote in this post, there are many loud voices in our culture advising that we hold our babies less and teach them to sleep alone. When I look back on my parenting, I’d rather remember an image like this. And yes, my gaze is usually distant and dreamy, due to the barrage of hormones keeping my mind in such a state on an ongoing basis. I wish I could live in this artist’s mom-positive world, beyond Mother’s Day. Check out the cowgirls and other vibrant ladies by the artist, Linda Carter Holman.
The second piece that affected me was this clip from the Bay Area-based public radio show Snap Judgment. In this piece, a man tells the story of holding a tiny premature baby in the NICU skin-to-skin, giving her kangaroo care, and how the power of his own heartbeat was stronger than all the technology around him. A story that could inspire new parents to trust themselves more. Listen to it here.
Thank you for portraying parents, mothers, and babies in such an emotionally deep and positive way!