Feminist Mom in Montreal has responded to my 10 questions about your feminist motherhood. Saraline is the mother of a small boy. I’ve only just come to know her blog but her strong focus on feminist parenting has my interest. I enjoyed reading Saraline’s response and found this to be a particularly astute collection of observations.
2. What has surprised you most about motherhood?
It’s really difficult to pick the surprise that has been the biggest because there has just been one surprise after another. The other morning I was surprised to be woken up at 6 am by my son shoving a tomato into my mouth. The tomato had been squished into an unrecognizable shape so for the first five minutes I had no idea what it was or what was happening. That was pretty surprising, I must say, but it’s not one of the bigger ones. I guess I’ll just go through the top five surprises in chronological order:
I. Breastfeeding is the most difficult thing ever for me at first. Everything else, knowing what to do, knowing what the baby wants, comes naturally. I thought it would be the other way around. Breastfeeding is supposed to be natural and beautiful. Where is this “bonding experience” that I keep hearing about? My baby and I seem to bond much more when he is asleep.
II. I no longer have the same personality. My sense of humour has completely disappeared. Nothing is funny. Everything is serious.
III. The physical and emotional exhaustion. This child is sapping all of my energy.
IV. Oh, hey! My personality is starting to come back.
V. The constant judgement from other people. How much effort it takes not to judge other parents. Oh my god, is that mother feeding her two month old baby apple juice in a bottle? What is she thinking? Wait, stop. It’s none of your business. Apple juice is not a form of child abuse.
This post is part of the 10 questions about your feminist motherhood series. You can find all the many other responses in this series here. If you’d like to respond to these questions yourself you can either email me your answers and I’ll put them on blue milk as a guest post or you can post them elsewhere and let me know and I’ll link to them.