This whole pregnancy, motherhood, taking a baby home, and child rearing situation in our society is whacked!!
Did you know that when I was in college I wanted to adopt a puppy?
I lived in a little duplex with a few girls and I wanted to adopt a Boxer puppy from the local Boxer rescue society.
You know what they told me?
Nope. No way in hell we are letting this young college girl, with no yard, a small house, who is not home all day long, adopt one of our cute, precious little puppies. No way lady!! Come back when you graduate, are more responsible, have 3,000 square feet of living space and at least a yard big enough for the dog to take a proper dump in.
They grilled me like they were from the FBI and I was on their Top 10 Most Likely Not To Take Proper Care Of A Puppy List. They wanted to make a home visit. I had to answer a bunch of questions. I thought they were going to ask me for a urine sample and then hook me up to a lie detector.
After I failed and they deemed me unworthy of caring for one of their dogs, I was kind of relieved. I mean, who can handle that kind of pressure? I was too scared and they intimidated me so much that I became convinced that I could not care for their puppy. Maybe there was so much more that goes into the proper raising of a good, respectable, descent, loving, nice puppy that I had not considered. Maybe I would mess it up and it would turn into a Beggin’ Strips addicted, too lazy to fetch, dumb, can’t even walk on a leash, toy stealing, co-dependent dog that I would be ashamed to take to the dog park.
People at the dog park would look at my dog and then think “Well that dogs owner clearly should never have had a dog. Look at him! Sniffing my dogs butt like that. He didn’t even ask if he could play with Fluffy’s ball! He just took it and ran away! Where is his owner? Oh, there she is. Of course. Young. She probably isn’t even home all day to train him properly. She probably just gives him treats when ever he wants and never taught him to sit. Look at her. On her phone, of course. She’s probably wasting time of facebook. She doesn’t care about him. What kind of people gave her a dog? Didn’t they do a background check? Did they even visit her home and make sure that she was capable of taking care of a dog? Obviously not. People like THAT just should not have dogs. Hmph…”
You know what they told me when I gave birth to a baby?
Okay! Time to take him home!
What? Don’t you need to check my pee? Make sure that I’m not hopped up on crack? Where’s the lie detector? I didn’t really weigh what I told you I weighed before I got pregnant. I lied. If I lied about that maybe I lied about more. What if I don’t have a big enough house for a baby? You should know that I don’t have a yard. Nope. No yard. Apartment liver here. Isn’t there some sort of rule that you can’t live in an apartment if you have a baby? Don’t you need to make a home visit? Make sure that I baby proofed it correctly. My husband put together most of the baby furniture, but I did try to help him and put some together myself. You may need to come check it out. I’m not so good with directions. It’s entirely possible that the whole crib will just come crashing down one day. Don’t you want to know what brand of baby formula I intend to feed him? What if I choose a cheap, off brand? Surely you wouldn’t let me take him home if I just choose any old formula and didn’t research it. What about clothes? He’s a boy. What if I choose to dress him like a girl because I’m weird? How do you know I won’t make him wear outfits full of teddy bears and give him a complex later? What if I choose to put a blanket over him at night? What if I let him sleep on his tummy? What if I put him in a Bumbo seat on the table and then leave to go to the bathroom? What if I have no money in savings? What if I never even thought about where the money for his college will come from?
No one is interested in learning these things before you let me take him home? What if I mess him up so badly that if I do end up saving enough money for college he has to spend all of it on therapy?
The ONLY thing I had to have to take my son out of that hospital was an outfit and a car seat. And the outfit was optional.
No one asked me ANY questions. I begged the lactation consultant to come to my house to make sure that I was doing it right. I called my mom hundreds of times in tears certain that I was doing it wrong. I called my husband even more in tears because my baby was nothing like the babies that I had taken care of in the NICU. He did NOT sleep for 3 hours and then wake to be fed. He wanted to eat every 1-2 hours which totally threw me for a loop. He was not supposed to eat that often. Didn’t he know the schedule? We were on a schedule here! He wasn’t supposed to want to nurse for 45 minutes. 30 minutes was the maximum he was allowed. That was how long his lunch break was. He quickly informed me that he did not agree with this allotment of time. Our whole first month was me trying to set rules and schedules and him crying and breaking every rule. He never followed my schedule.
He cried, I cried, and my husband laughed.
“Relax. Relax. He’s going to be fine. You need to just calm down.”
“Don’t tell me to calm down. Don’t tell me to relax. You don’t understand. Just because you’ve had a baby before doesn’t make you the expert.” I was ready to rip his head off when he mentioned my step daughter’s name.
Didn’t he understand what a big deal this was? Didn’t he know that in the past I was unqualified to care for a puppy? I never told him about that. I was afraid that he wouldn’t want to have babies with me. “Well, I can’t have babies with HER. They wouldn’t even give her a puppy She would mess our kid up FOR SURE!”
Our society is whacked.
NO PUPPIES FOR YOU!
But we are handing babies out to every neurotic, crazy, young, under qualified, terrified new mother on the block.