A gentle transition to motherhood

“The Expectation of Nurture” or “Why it’s not HypnoParenting”

Posted by on Aug 10, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

First let me start by stating, for the record, that I never slapped Kira in the face (read this blog if you don’t know what I mean).

Now, I know that my wife likes to use metaphors for effect, a trait that regular readers of this blog will also know and enjoy. But I wonder whether it could be somewhat concerning to, say, acquaintances on Facebook who see a post with a provocative title and don’t know what to think…

But maybe that’s just me. After all, this HypnoMothering blog is not for me. It’s for moms (or “mums”, whichever you prefer) so what do I know.

But I am aware that there may be guys out there who take exception to that. “Why is there a blog, or even a whole program, just to help moms transition to Motherhood? In this day and age, shouldn’t it be for parents transitioning to Parenthood?” I imagine they might say.

“Yes,” they continue, “of course Moms need their own resources for the physical changes they experience as mothers, the breastfeeding and such. But when it comes to the element of nurture – we ‘new men’ help with the overnights, we change diapers, we get deeply familiar with the five S’s, we’re co-nurturers – so we deserve to have equal resources. We deserve HypnoParenting!”

Well, if there are any guys reading this who share some of the opinions of my imaginary friends, the short answer is – no, no we don’t.

Dad’s may take on a lot of the responsibility for nurturing these days – and that’s great – but we do not take on the same level of expectation from society to be nurturers.

The imaginary guys in my head would understand this best through a sporting analogy. Dads are like the Kansas City Royals of nurturing – we’re the underdogs who aren’t expected to knock it out of the park, and so we get standing ovations for doing things that would be considered pretty standard for other teams in our division.

Moms on the other hand are the New York Yankees of nurturing – everyone expects them to be on top of their game all the time and, even when they achieve things that are amazing, society greets it with a yawn and a nod.

Not sure what I mean? I’ll give you an example.  A few months ago I had our kids (twin toddlers) by myself for the afternoon, and I took them to a 3 year old’s Birthday party. I was treated like a rock star. “Wow, Dave, I don’t know how you do it! Are you OK? Can I get you a beer? Can I take one of the kids from you for a while?” It was fantastic. I didn’t milk it (no one likes an ungracious underdog), but boy did I appreciate it.

When I got home I let slip to Kira what had happened (perhaps in response to her pointing out I hadn’t done the dishes… I forget the specifics…). Big mistake. She was mad. I didn’t understand why. So she told me. “Do you know what the response would have been if I had taken the kids to a party? ‘Oh hey Kira, thanks for coming.’ No one would have offered me a beer! No one would have even thought it was out of the ordinary. It would have just been expected.”

And she was right, I’ve seen the opposite – Moms are just expected to handle it. Anything Dads do in terms of nurture, especially in those first few months, is still considered ‘extra-credit’ as far as society is concerned. For Moms, doing the same thing barely gets them a ‘C’ grade – generally they have to face lots of voices (either physical or disembodied in Social Media) telling them that they deserve an ‘F’. And all this on top of the physical things they are dealing with.

That’s why Moms, especially new Moms, still need their own resources when it comes to nurture. Dads may now share the load, but we don’t share the expectation. Even if we put that expectation on ourselves, or our families do, we don’t have society judging us every moment, whispering in our ear that we’re not good Mothers even when we’ve hit a nurturing home run. Don’t get me wrong, we have our own problems, but this isn’t one of them. So let’s let Moms have their Mom resources, after all, they deserve a ticker-tape parade every day.

[Editor’s/Wife’s note – if this ends up going viral it will just prove my point.  But hey, what a guy, right?]

 

David is Kira’s husband – so he has been there since the beginning of HypnoMothering – as the Father of TBATST. He is a Theatre Director by aspiration and a Marketing Research & Strategy Director by trade. Sometimes he writes down some thoughts that he thinks are good enough for other people to consider reading (i.e. blogs).

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