Friday, May 9, 2008

Book review, reviewed

I recently bough the book The Second Nine Months. I haven't had time to read the book yet (I'm in the middle of the new Leif Enger book and I've also just started the book that John Krakauer wrote about fundamentalist mormons). But I saw this customer review of the book and I knew I HAD to write about it.

This memoir allegedly tells the real story of becoming a mom, but I think it is more likely related to having an interventionist hospital birth and lots of bad advice. Unfortunately the author fails to make a connection between her inability to bond with her baby and her medicalized, unsupported birth and hands-off style of mothering, complete with sleeping separate from mom, "crying it out", and being pushed around in a stroller instead of being worn. Vicki Glembocki clearly needed a midwife before, during and after the birth. Rather than funny, I found the book so depressing that I felt like crying. I find incredibly sad that an educated woman would have no insight at all about birthing and parenting. I hope she find out that it doesn't have to be this way, and that joking about throwing the baby out the window or leaving it with strangers is not normal.

Oh, you poor poor poor reviewer. The judgmental nature of this response is exactly what gives pinko-lefty-treehuggers like me a bad name. It's that liberal's sense that if you aren't part of the big Mom Commune than you are a terrible person who will raise kids to be ax murders or Republicans!

I am not sure that my college and grad school education has given me any insight at all to birthing and parenting. In fact, I can assure you it hasn't.

I read on a yoga post card the other day that having kids is like having an orgasm. Until you have one, you can't really be sure what it's like. It made me snicker, but in thinking about that, it might true. All the schooling in the world won't get you ready.

Her assumptions about what is right and necessary for healthy children misses the important addendum of "for my family...." The truth, to me, how you give birth, choose to sleep, or convey your infant is a whole lot less important than how you to choose to meet the day to day tasks of being a parent.

And, frankly, joking about throwing a colicky baby out the window seems a pretty sane response to an incredibly stressful situation.

1 comment:

Julie said...

I agree. Children rarely come with buyer beware labels. You never know what works for your family until you try it...that's what is beautiful about parenting and teaching. You can read and study either, but until applied with creativity in specific situations and proven to be effective, study won't make a difference.