Sometimes, I find myself thinking that my blog is getting stale and so I try and stir things up a bit, case in point, yesterdays blog :). And it seemed like it worked.
I was going to respond to some of the comments left for me using the comment field but then quickly realized how frustrated I would get with the character-limit so I vetoed that idea and have created a new post. (One of the perks to owning the blog, I guess :).
I think Caius brought up a terrific point when he said “…if someone let’s themselves go it’s because of habit or lazyness or a general lack of self interest.” I hadn’t considered that to be honest and I think that statement certainly has merit. If a woman doesn’t wear makeup or often wears sweatpants before she has her baby, chances are, it’s not going to change after she has a baby. And I certainly tried to make sure that I emphasized that I didn’t feel that ALL mothers were like this, just some. But I still believe that there are women who do let themselves go after they have the baby (and quite correctly, as Jojo said, after they get married) and I really don’t understand why that is. I had a long conversation with a woman I work with today (who, coincidentally, has 2 kids) and she pointed out that there are a lot of seperations and divorces that happen soon after the kids arrive for this reason – her comments were about women not caring about how they look once they are married and/or with kids because they’ve gotten the results they wanted and no longer feel like they have to try. As someone who takes pride in how they look because it makes *me* feel good (Tay appreciating the way I look is definitely a perk – but, for example, I certainly don’t wear makeup for him, since he doesn’t really like it much), I couldn’t imagine only coloring my hair or dieting or putting on lipstick so I could lure an unsuspecting fellow into marrying me and then not bothering anymore.
If you get married and/or have a baby and then stop carrying about how you look, what does that say about a) yourself and b) your relationship with your spouse? (This same argument can apply to men who let themselves go after marriage as well). I would think that within any couple it would be important for that person to remain attractive to their spouse. I just think to not care any more is disrespectful. And to add further, there ARE women out there who use the fact that they are pregnant or new moms to get away with stuff they probably never would otherwise do. I remember once saying that I couldn’t wait to get pregnant someday so that I could eat as much as I want and I could get as fat as I wanted and I wouldn’t have to do anything and then I realized what I was saying and how I was sounding and I was really bothered by those thoughts because I don’t think that being pregnant should be a free pass to becoming a slob. And I know I’m not the only woman that feels that way because I have heard other women say the exact same things.
Next point – I 100% agree that if you bring a child into this world you need to give it priority – you need to love it and care for it and provide with with all the things it’s entitled to. But at the same time, I think parents also need to still make each other a priority as well, and themselves as well. I do agree with Caius that you do need to find a balance within it all and I believe that it’s probably a very challenging thing to do and which is why a lot of people don’t bother with trying to find that balance.
Next point – Caius brought up how his parents lives didn’t stop when he was born, but instead it how continued and expanded. And I love hearing that because it certainly eases my worst fears – that Tay and I will (someday!) no longer be able to do the things that we normally do now. I think it’s great that parents include their children in all these things – theatre, and movies and restaurants, but at the same time – there’s got to be an appropriate age to share these things with you kids. It frustrates me to no end when we are dining out in a nice restaurant and there is a 3 month old baby crying at the next table or when your in a movie and someone who thought to brought their kid lets it cry through half of it. It just seems to be that a lot of couples either will bring their kids along (which I feel pretty strongly about being a very selfish thing to do) or do without because they don’t want to bring the kid (which, at the same time, seems to be a very selfless thing to do). Of course, the common ground being here that the solution would in itself to be to get a babysitter but I don’t think sitters are as popular as they used to be, whether if it’s because parents are a little more cautious, or if because family geographics are more broader (ie, Your parents don’t live just up the street). I know of a couple who just had a baby who are new to their area and when they want to see a movie, they take turns seeing it so that one of them can stay with their daughter. Which makes a lot of sense, but that solution is still flawed because you’re depriving each other of that time you would normally spend with each other.
When I was talking to Lori today she agreed with a lot of the things I was saying and made sure to tell me that she thinks the fact that I am considering all of these factors is hugely important and if I feel the way that I feel now, chances are that when I do have a baby, I will still feel somewhat the same way (though perhaps not as strongly).
(I also know that it’s impossible to know what I will be like when I become a parent and it’s one thing to say that I will be a certain way and then I may very well react totally different.)
Ps. I have to wonder about mothers too that have to be in control of everything after the baby is born – ie. mothers that insist on only breast feeding and not pumping (therefore allowing their husbands to relieve some of the burden) and when that’s the case, it’s no wonder they are exhausted and can’t be bothered to brush their hair. But then, that’s a whole different topic altogether (ie. how unfair it is to the new dad to not be involved) and I think I’ll leave it alone for now as, once again, I’ve probably already said too much!
PPS. I also want to add, for the record, that I am not the only one that thinks this way – if memories serve me correctly, there was an episode of Sex and The City that dealt with the outcome and babydom and, a few seasons later, Miranda had to squash her own fears when she became pregnant. And while it’s true that Sex and The City isn’t particularily realistic, it does help support my argument(s) :).
PPPS. I’m also aware that I can sometimes be insensitive and a little bit mean. (I clearly recollect a conversation with Tay’s Dad’s ex-gf in which she called me heartless and uncaring). Fortunately, it’s a side of myself that doesn’t surface very often and when it does, I do my best to bury it in my blog. Perhaps some things are best left unsaid, but a lot of the times, it helps to vent. And so I do :).
Jody () @ 04/03/2004 05:03:
I’v been called ‘shallow’ because I one said I wouldn’t settle for a man who has less than me (& I didn’t have a lot) i.e. poor job, no car , no ambition, etc. Sorry, but I worked to get where I am and I want a comfortable life – couples who have to struggle all the time because one partner has no ambition to do much, is not what I want – & I’m NOT shallow.
Groom () @ 04/05/2004 15:00:
Men letting themselves go after marriage? Yeah while I’m sure that exists, it seems to at a significantly smaller percentage of women. I think women change fare more after marriage than guys. At least, that’s my impression or the one I’m led to believe based on film/tv/media.
Tina () @ 04/05/2004 15:22:
Gotta say, since I have a kid, not much has changed in my life. I wore jeans and sweats before Colby, and I wear them now. I actually take more care of myself now that I did before I was married and a mom, and *shock disbelief* I actually own and wear makeup! It’s a great feelign when Colby looks at me and says “mommy, you look pretty”. Makes being a mom worth it.