Saturday, October 18, 2008

Pregnancy and Newborns

A friend of mine just had a baby. He took a week off work to help with the adjustment. I arrived at their home to paint a commissioned mural in the baby’s room. This family is lucky, as my friend has a good job. Still, he had to go back to work and leave his wife at home to deal with one small person and three dogs.
I’ve also had several pregnant students in my lecture classes who were due during my class (well, not literally…) These women have all thought they could return to class after a few days. It’s never happened, they just disappear, dropping or taking an incomplete. I don’t know who is telling them that giving birth and dealing with a newborn is so easy. It amazes me that they think their babies will cause so little disruption in their lives.
These young students are thinking like men, because men can think this way. Men will not usually be responsible for the daily care of an infant. They’ll pop in and out, need their space and guy-time, and women will still take care of almost all the shopping, cooking, cleaning and childcare. And then go back to work or school. With all the liberation, things just haven’t changed enough.


namastenancy said...

I remember when I was married and wanted some help from my (then) husband. He'd take out the garbage. Once. And then consider that his duties were over and done with for the rest of eternity. I was the one who worked full time, did the shopping, cleaning, cooking, housework and still managed to go to school at night. I will never forget his spiteful petulance when I got better grades than him or his continual impossible demands. Of course, I was married to a bastard but you have to look pretty hard to find a really good guy who will pull 50% of the load.

kloeamongtheturks said...

I trust you are enjoying some of that precious solitude now!

namastenancy said...

I love my solitude and wonder why it took me so many years to realize that was what I craved. But most women are really brain washed about their roles in life so it often does take longer to connect with your real needs. I remember watching my women friends in the 60's, all having babies without a supportive partner (either out of wedlock or married but the guy took a hike). I saw how difficult it was for them and learned a lesson that I fear the younger generation has yet to learn.
Ars Longa, Vita Brevis!

namastenancy said...

Oh - forgot to add that there's a great film out that makes these points a lot better than I can: