Friday, September 16, 2011
I love my mom very much. It irks me though that she doesn't like to go out. Partly because she cannot walk too much without getting tired. She's not an active person. Partly because I think years of staying indoors and being insulated (community-wise) has made her comfort level outdoors very low.
Problem is, when you have a child you can't stay indoors. You need to go out. You need to try new things, explore, learn and discover. I'm not sure my mother understands this but it makes it hard for us to coordinate get togethers.
All she wants to do is stay in her home. I try to coax her out. I tell her where we are planning to go. I offer to pick her up and take her. The usual answer is, "I don't like to walk around too much."
I am surrounded by park land. My kid loves to run and explore park land. My mother doesn't. She lives near a zoo. My daughter loves animals. I offer to pick her up and take her to the zoo with us. "I don't like to stay outside for too long."
It's not just with my daughter either. She doesn't understand why I try to maintain an active lifestyle. I try to explain to her that studies show an active, healthy woman is better for fetal development than a sedentary, eats a ton of food (unhealthy at that) pregnant woman. Plus, I have a toddler so I'm naturally active.
Now, I wish I were more active but I don't overexert myself and I try my best to eat well and I continue to walk and do what I can physically. It not only helps me for delivery but it also helps with cardiovascular development for my unborn child.
She thinks I should eat a ton of food and just sit and do nothing.
I know it's an old school mentality. I mean, heck, my mother expected that I not take care of their of their child for 35-40 days post partum. By the way, this explains a lot about what Chinese mothers consider 'nurturing'. Sorry, I'm an attachment parent and birth bonding and bonding in general is highly crucial in my opinion regarding the development of social, relational and self esteems of both the mother and the baby.
I know the concept of this old school thinking is that the mother needs to rest and eat alot of herbs to increase her blood production after delivery. However, it not only effect bonding but it also perpetuates the self esteem issues that most Chinese women have. Yes, this is my opinion based on what I've seen from friends and acquaintances.
There is nothing more empowering than to say I can do it, I've done it. You get that esteem flowing in you and I will tell you that esteem will pass on to your child.
Holy hell, you incubated and pushed out your child. That'a feat in itself. You can take care of your child and you can do it your way because, heck parenting is a personal thing.
Sure, ask for opinions and assistance on occasion but there is nothing more empowering than to achieve something on your own and on your own terms.
I want my children to be independent and self reliant. I want them to be self assured and confident. The best way to do this is to be the best role model I can be. Like my Dad said, "God gave you what you have. Use it and do not rely on others. Let your mom be and do what you need to do."