Friday, June 21, 2013

Day 27: Postnatal Depression & Positive Thinking

mother-and-baby-2 I was reading in some of the pregnancy/baby magazines that I have and it struck me how many females who read the magazines and send in their stories / questions / comments suffer from Postnatal or Postpartum depression.

This is basically like a form of depression that sets in close after the birth of the baby which can last from weeks to years. I was wondering how it comes that so many mothers go through this, but then as I was flipping through the magazines the answer is actually quite easy. All these magazines, books, stories, movies as ‘what is out in the open’ in terms of pregnancy and babies, is all ‘Flowers and Sunshine’, where the focus is constantly on the great and amazing things of pregnancy, birth and motherhood. How great it is to feel your baby inside you, how awesome it is to buy all the pretty cute clothes and accessories, how to look after your little one’s development and how to be a fashionable ‘sexy’ mama…

All of the attention is based on some picture perfect idea of what it is like to be pregnant and being a mother – while the idea/fantasy is one thing – and reality another.

When I read magazines, half of the pages are just advertisement and then half of the articles are indirect advertisement. So there’s a whole money-making industry linked to the whole baby/motherhood point that one can indulge in from a consumerism point of view. So, to be able to have the life as depicted in the magazines, you need a lot of money. All the fancy clothes, prams, cots and baby rooms they show, are all dependent on money. Whenever people send in questions the advise is often to just ‘go to your doctor to get it checked out’. Doctors cost money. When I read through forums (and I mostly limit myself to South African ones), the main point that comes up again and again is money. Women are complaining that they have yet to start enjoying and being happy about being pregnant because they are too stressed out about money. Doctors visits cost money, scans cost money, tests cost money, classes cost money, new clothes cost money, baby things cost money. It’s really quite a pricy journey to walk through, and if you -- as so many people in South Africa – turn out to not be in a very stable financial position: then pregnancy just means a lot of stress. Both for the pregnancy and future costs of raising a child.

So to be able to have what is in the magazines as what is advertised what it ‘should be like for you to be pregnant/have a baby’ is lots of money. A lot of people don’t have lots of money – so when they compare their life to how they believe it ‘should be’ as the fantasy portrayed in magazines and movies: they get quite disappointed, because it’s not quite matching up.

Then there’s the whole ‘spiritual side’ of pregnancy and motherhood (at least that’s what I call it). This one’s all about bonding and love and having a special connection with your lil’ baby. Then comes the baby and you look for a ‘connection’ and ‘a special bond’ and nothing’s there: shit = I must be a bad mom. I mean, this whole idea that you should have some lovey dovey special wooey feeling / connection / bond with your baby from the first second you see him is so ridiculous. I mean, the baby’s going to be one ugly deformed thing that cries, shits, eats and keeps you awake all night. That’s your primary relationship with your ‘little cherub’ – it’s a completely physical thing, where every second of your life and the baby’s is about tending to his/her physical needs. So you’re not ‘feeling the love’, your baby is demanding ALL your attention, ALL the time – forcing you to be in the Physical, just like the baby is – which is something we don’t get taught to do, as all that we are being promoted to do is to be in our heads and ‘do what we want’ according to ‘how we feel’. And now there is this little person who could care less about your personal wants and preferences and needs you ALL the time, for you to give up your life for a moment.

So if you take reality as being money driven and the nature of the baby being a physical – and you place it into contrast to a world where you have all you ever wanted for your baby and you’re baby is this photoshopped cute little thing and you have all the help and assistance you could have ever wished for (like nannies and stuff so you can still have a life), and you just have this AMAZING special feeling thing between you and your baby and this is the HAPPIEST time of your life == well then obviously you’re going to get mothers who are depressed to shit because what you are selling them a reality that does not exist unless you have a lot of money, and then they go and take it personal and believe that they don’t have what is in the magazines and happy movies because they are bad, shitty mothers who are not worthy of having a baby. And then they feel even more shitty because they are feeling shitty because ‘good mother don’t feel shitty after they had a baby because this is a HAPPY time’. It’s such a fuck up.

We live in a world where no-one is taught how to take care of themselves, take care of themselves for REAL. No-one is being taught what it means to actually take care of things in physical reality, how to nurse your body, how to breathe, how to not allow emotions and feelings to dictate what you do but to use your brains as common sense reasoning. So when you have a baby which is all about being here in every moment, and in every moment tending to what needs to be done as what’s best for someone other than you == people just crash completely because it goes against everything they’re used to. We’re used to serving our self interest, doing things because we ‘feel like it’ and to not do things because ‘we don’t feel like it’. But whether we feel like it or not: that baby is hungry, that baby is going to need its nappy changed, that baby is going to keep you up all night because it’s hungry, that baby is going to need looking after for it’s own safety. Suddenly, all your self-interest is forced down the drain for you to be able to keep your baby alive and well – and it’s not the dreamy, rosy fantasy you have been sold.

And I mean, obviously you’re not going to have some ‘special bond’ with your child from the get go. You just met your baby and all he’s into are primal activities. What’s there to bond about? Drool?

So it’s no surprise that with the rise of mass media and the consumerism society that postnatal / postpartum depression started appearing more and more, as we more and more buy into an illusion and lose touch with reality. We have completely forgotten what it means to actually take care of things. That is why we are living in a world with poverty, pollution, crime, war, etc. These are all signs that indicate that we are not effective in how we are moving things in physical reality which leads to disharmony and imbalance in the world. If we truly knew how to take care of things, in a way that is an actual form of caring: we wouldn’t be faced this these ‘problems’. So, we have a race of beings, the human race – who have proved themselves to be completely inadequate in taking care of things in a physical reality sense, who go and have babies who are all about physical reality and then are surprised at ‘how hard it is’. It’s only hard because we haven’t been doing anything effectively.  Because we rather do things because we ‘feel like it’/’don’t feel like it’ which then results in consequences like climate change and us running out of resources – and now all of a sudden we HAVE to take care of things, because otherwise the baby dies. So these type of conditions are probably only going to increase so long we don’t step up our level of responsibility in this world and get our act together.

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