False Expectations

Frida Mom ad

Too real, too graphic. Too harsh to watch.

All said about a postpartum ad rejected by the Oscars.  The ad shows a mother struggling to get up in the middle of the night for her crying, hungry baby, then going to the bathroom and dealing with a pad and peri dish.

 Why is it too harsh to watch? Because of expectations, I gather.  

New motherhood is portrayed as magical, when in reality that’s far from what new mothers feels like 99.9 percent of the day and night.

Image result for unrealistic new motherhood portrayed by celebrities  vs  Frida Mom ad

We see celebrities standing on hospital steps and waving, big smiles on their faces, hours after pushing an eight-pound baby out of their bodies.

I remember a picture of Chelsea Clinton waving happily in front of the hospital with her new baby. Nothing but smiles. Kate Middleton did it several times. Yet, recently she spoke about how isolating those first few months and years felt. This from a woman who has all the support and money to make it better.

We’re guilty of creating unrealistic expectations for ourselves and other women. I raise my hand, I’m guilty. I go into celebration overdrive when I hear a woman is expecting. Is it up to me to share what I know? Not unless I’m asked, but choosing to share only the magical when there is so much more is wrong.

That’s why this ad hit a nerve. This is what we should show young women, more of this. A lesson in reality. This is what new motherhood really looks like – never mind the product promoted.

Most comments I read on the ad are supportive with a large number of women saying, no one ever told me what to really expect.  Because most people behave the way I do when I see a pregnant woman. Because reality makes us cringe.

But reality is what cuts through the feeling of isolation. The feeling of embarrassment and loneliness. Because, excuse me but it’s difficult to discuss bowel movements and bleeding and bloating and pain with just anyone. Reality is what makes a young mother feel like she’s not alone. That it’s okay, even though when it happens, it feels like it will never be okay again. It’s not easy, not pretty. We understand. We felt what you feel. Every bit of it.

Take note, prepare. Have an honest conversation with yourself and others. If asked, tell a soon-to-be mom the truth and point her to this ad.

No false expectations.

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Images: google, bloodandbaby

Mindfulness

assorted-color dandelions

When mindful, we can find profound meaning in everything. We can see the world as a constant source of inspiration.

Exploring ideas, writing, can keep us in the moment. And it’s so good for a clear and intuitive mind to be in the moment. But there’s always the internal chatter: can I do it?  

Can I focus? Can I achieve mindfulness?

As the mother of a teen who at times lacks focus,  I’ve been looking at the concept of mindfulness. At the idea of maintaining moment-by-moment awareness of thoughts and feelings and the surrounding environment. Deep, uninterrupted focus. 

Phronesis, Awareness, Philosophy

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are various mindfulness techniques. 

There is meditation. Some, designed specifically for teens.  

Getting a teen to sit through meditation, though — well, good luck. 

There are books. Some better than others.

There is mindful walking. Mindful writing.

There is poetry.  

Mindfulness is uniquely important for adults and young adults alike. That’s what I tell my son. And he reluctantly agrees.

Think about the focus necessary to sit through, observe, and carry on anything from routine chores to issues of massive importance. Without mindfulness, we’re barely scratching the surface of so much there is to know and better understand. 

The mindfulness technique I like best — unlike my son — is meditation. Among other things, meditation helps me understand there is a level of maturity youngsters need to reach in order to appreciate the art of internal reflection coupled with breathing and soothing music.

So, I give him his space. For now. 

What about you, dear friend? How do you achieve mindfulness? 

Images: pixabay

Stepping Back from Duties

Radio, Old, Retro, Vintage, Music, Sound

I turned on the news today, ready for traffic and weather. The latest on what’s going on in the middle east. The world. 

Within minutes, the talk turned to Harry and Meghan stepping back from royal duties. The shock. The dismay at an American woman stealing a British prince.

This could serve as great inspiration. We have to build our characters based of someone. Why not those beating up on famous figures? 

Later, I clicked through more articles on Harry and Meghan – don’t ask why – and one look at the comment section clarified these people’s desire to bail. The scrutiny and abuse, my goodness. The man is apparently not even in line of succession to the throne – outmoded a concept as that is – so why are folks bent out of shape?

Lion, Animal, Savannah, Lioness, Safari

The money?

Some commentators are complaining about the money spent by the couple.

So, I found a page that broke down how much the royals cost the taxpayers. Around $1 per British family per year.

For one dollar per year, the professional commentators want ownership rights to the air these people breathe. They want to rip them to shreds on the international stage for everyone to see.

One commentator was asking for a refund from Harry and Meghan.

How much would that be? Three dollars for the past three years. For three dollars this woman felt entitled to leave several nasty comments.

Something tells me nothing, no amount returned, would shut her up.  

Another commentator referenced the Queen. How sorry he felt for her majesty. Does he think the Queen – a loving grandmother, we assume – enjoys seeing a family member abused in such a manner?

If for the Queen’s sake, then why not leave her grandson alone?

So my question, all the way from California, is: why the dreadful behavior among the public?  We were on the brink of war not long ago; there is serious conflict in the world. Serious illness. Despair. Don’t people have issues of their own to resolve?

Can’t be the $1 per year, or the saddened royals.  

If the royal family love their son/brother/grandson they would be hurt reading despicable comments, wouldn’t they?

Images courtesy: Pixabay

Dreams

Eye, Brow, Brown, Day Dream, Thinking

The dream sat at the edge of my consciousness all morning.

Like a flickering lamp — flashes never materializing into a bright whole.

Of course not. I was awake.

By early afternoon only the memory remained. A night story of the mind. Subconsciousness riveted by life, maybe. This dream, broken and mysterious, stayed with me longer than any other during the wake state when dreams should be gone.

Will I ever see it again? 

Bokeh, Background, Light Reflections

Have you experienced persistent bits of dreams throughout the day? Not  memories, but fragmented bursts of the real deal that push to the surface of your mind at random times. Demanding attention. Then fading away. 

My grandmother, in the old country, used to interpret dreams in all forms. I think every woman her age did. She inspired the dream decoder character in my novel, Stranger or Friend.  

I remember her talking about chance encounters, the possibility of an argument in near future, a visitor — all read from dreams. Some things foretold happiness, others not so much. 

To my grandmother dreams in any form meant something. They were to be dissected, analyzed, discussed.

Those days are now a distant memory.

Wish I had listened closer.

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Images courtesy: pixabay