Tuesday, September 28, 2010

misguided mom

Have you read this yet? The ace mom who insisted her children (7 and 3 years old) watch their baby brother's birth despite the children repeatedly stating they did not want to do so? You might want to check out the Salon article before reading my heated response so you can follow the bouncing ball.

I don't buy the "planning doesn't come naturally to me" faux excuse. Sounds suspiciously passive-aggressive to me. As in, I want my children in here because I think it's a splendid idea, so, hum, let me conveniently forget to plan a safe harbor for them. Safe harbor, i.e., where they could wait in excited anticipation and be given the gift of a happy reunion with their new baby brother.

No, instead they feel frightened and devalued. The moment considerably diminished, if not ruined.

I don't agree with the "childbirth is natural" line, either. Sex is natural, but not for a child. Neither is watching others have sex. Childbirth and sex are both beautiful conditions for mature adults. Not children who are too young, too developmentally immature, too emotionally ill-equipped to understand and process these events. Their young brains are simply not ready.

Consider this: There are many sexual perpetrators who ask the child for consent under the delusion that a child is developmentally mature enough to give consent. Children are not. We have laws in this country which dictate that minor children cannot give consent. Not even sixteen year olds can give consent. Laws devised under the guidance of child development experts who hold post graduate degrees from esteemed universities. Asking "consent" is clearly not appropriate and especially at such a young age. And yet, this mother thinks her seven year old can give consent? Her three year old?

We as adults, as parents, are assigned the profound task of making judgement calls designed to protect and nuture our children. This is our job. Not to make them a witness to our own magical but terrifying hour.

An hour that could result in tragedy. Ever take a walk through an old cemetery and see how many young mothers' headstones you see?

So I don't care or respect that the children were "asked." It matters not one wit. That the children clearly and repeatedly said no? Does matter. As in, hey super mom, you were given a get out of jail free card but you ripped it up.

What also matters is that these parents and grandparents and any other adult present, partook in what amounts to group neglect of two young children's emotional limits.


Lee said...

What a disturbing story. I realize this is going to sound extremely judgemental but I wish that woman was not a parent to any children let alone three.

kristi said...

Those poor kids!

Anonymous said...

We had this conversation at work recently (MCH unit). Why is it so hard for some people to recognize how horrifying childbirth could be to a young child! It's horrifying for many of US to consider when we are pregnant! Those poor babies!
If only there was a parenthood entrance exam....maybe we could weed out some of the duds.

Megan said...

Yeah, I'm with you. This is horrible. And I try not to be too judgmental of other parents.

hokgardner said...

There are grown ups who can't handle watching childbirth, and they know what to expect. I can't imagine thinking kids could handle it.


Coffeypot said...

I agree with you. The mother should be jap-slapped along with the doctor for allowing it.

Mental P Mama said...

This infuriates me.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I read the article yesterday--I didn't comment because the other 200+ responses largely shared my viewpoint.

If that article is any indication, she is an extraordinarily selfish person--including when it came to the unborn baby. "I'll just try and hold back labor because I never made arrangements for another mom to pick my kids up from school."

Who has a 3-year old and a 7-year old and no friends to call upon? That's a red flag about her right there.

And the one comment that children are more traumatized by staying with strangers? WTH? Don't people have FRIENDS? When my newborn needed to be rushed to the hospital with pneumonia while my boys were at school, my good friends tag-teamed caring for the boys so my husband and I could be at our daughter's side.

I was disturbed by so many things in that article.

andrea frazer said...

I couldn't agree with you more. For the record, I didn't want to be present at my childrens' birth either - I was that terrifed. But I didn't have a choice. Sigh... Seriously, I am with you on this one!!

dkuroiwa said...

that is just wrong. terribly, terribly wrong.
I'm an adult and I don't care to see a child being me silly, sorry. I can't imagine the scars that have been left on those poor kids brains to be dealt with...and they need to have someone there who will realize if and when they DO need to deal with this.
that mom? should just be slapped. it wouldn't help at all, but....those poor babies!

Mrs. G. said...

I still haven't mentally recovered from my OWN episiotomy.

Rachel Cotterill said...

I'm not sure I'd want to watch someone give birth, despite knowing it's a natural and normal thing - and I'm 27 (and squeamish). I find it uncomfortable to think that someone would take so little care of the children's wishes.

Jenn @ Youknow...that Blog? said...

Oh my god... how absolutely horrifying! Those poor babies! That woman is a monster!

Kathleen Scott said...

Sounds like a self-centered bitch whose head is stuck in her ass..."it's all about me and what I'm doing, EVERYONE (even the toddler) has to pay attention to me".

Not that I have an opinion about it.

Glennis said...

"So it was with education in mind -- education with a whiff of indoctrination -- that I wanted them to see a woman give birth. "

Uh, a three-year old? Sorry, lady. This was about YOU, not about them.

I don't think there's anything wrong, in principle, with the kids being there, but she asked the kids if they wanted to and they said NO. So take NO for an answer.