08
May
08

Kid-unfriendly by Miz Pink

So, I mentioned a couple posts back that I’d explain why I kinda left Deke in a lurch a couple weeks ago and didn’t have my “weekly” post in for once. Well, the hubby and I were kinda excited about something and had a lot of calls and stuff to make. And now that I’ve told everyone else (starting with my son and daughter, working through the core relatives, out to the relatives I only see every few years for reunions, and then to my friends and then co-workers and then, finally, the mail carrier), I can tell you: The hubby and I are preggers. Well, okay, only I’m pregnant but I’m dragging hubby into whole new territory with this third (and final! I mean it! I want one more and only one more! Please God no surprises when I hit 40 or 50!) child, so I figure he might as well be tied to me in this and get pregger status too.

So, what is different with this kid, why should you care, and what does it have to do with this post?

Well, I’m kinda concerned about what this is gonna mean for my churchgoing experience once the baby pops out. We flit between three or four different churches, with one in a pre-eminent position for us most of the time, and I think all of them are going to pose challenges for me with child #3.

Oh, sure, the folks will oooooh and aaaaah over the growing belly and all that. But this child isn’t going to be like the rest, and no church I go to…heck, no church I’ve ever been to, seems to be equipped to deal with the neo-hippy way I plan to do boy-or-girl three.

You see I’ve been workin’ hard to be a healthier person. A less polluting person. A better mommy. Etcetera etcetera. I didn’t feed kids #1 and #2 a ton of junk and I didn’t slap their behinds red very often or nothing like that. But I do recognize that kid #1 got the short end of the stick because I was young and foolish and didn’t have a great marriage going, and he got a lot more junk food than he should’ve. Kid #2 was born into a happier household and I had begun to discover the wonders of organic and (more important) locally grown food and such and I was a bit more mellow on discipline, although butt-whoopings did occur at times.

But this time, I want to raise my child in a way that makes me feel really good about my choices and that will (I hope) allow him or her (still don’t want to know gender. must resist temptation to have ultrasound tech or midwife tell me…) to grow up in a very positive way. Breastfeeding all the way until at least 1.5 years old, maybe 2 years old. Cloth diapers. Toys that are mostly natural products. Gentle discipline. No TV or videos (I hope) during year one and maybe not until he/she is two. Maybe that sounds hippy dippy to you, but it’s important to me.

But I’m not sure my main church or backup churches are going to be so down with me on this. Particularly the breastfeeding. Now, despite laws protecting the right of mothers to breastfeed in public and give their babies what God (and nature) intended them to consume, a lot people still get freaked out when a mother puts child to breast, no matter how discreetly she does it and even if no one ever sees that damn nipple. Now I’m not into to rubbing the breastfeeding into other people’s faces (get your dirty minds off that track right now) and I did a mix of breast and bottle with kid #2…but people shouldn’t get so bent about what is a very natural thing. Somewhere along the line, corporate America convinced us babies were supposed to drink formula, and that’s wrong and cheats the baby of a lot of stuff it needs to grow healthy. It’s also expensive and wasteful and environmentally unsound.

Nowhere do I expect to get a bigger cold shoulder with breastfeeding than at church. And I can tell you already what’s gonna happen at most of ’em. I’m gonna have to go into some little room or into the basement to do it, and I’ve gonna miss a lot of the service, and I’m gonna wonder why the hell I bothered to come to church at all. Because God forbid I be in the back of the church with a blanket over my kid’s head letting him/her get a nice healthy dose of God’s brand of baby food. Why men and women in this country cannot ever think of the breast as something non-sexual at times is beyond me.

And that got me to thinking about what the future will bring when it’s time to put my kid in the nursery…or if I even want kid #3 in the nursery. Are they going to really listen when I tell them my rules for how the baby/toddler needs to be fed? When they should come and get me out of sthe service? Whether they should let him/her cry for an extended period or not? I know that I’m going to tell them what they are supposed to do for my kid, and I know they mostly won’t care. And I know this because I dipped my toe into some neo-hippy stuff with kid #2 and got a lot of thinly veiled shock and passive-aggressive resistance any time my rules differed from what everyone was force-fed as the “only way” when they grew up. And I’ve seen a handful of other breastfeeding and alternative parenting mothers get the same stank eye treatment. And if a baby is in the sanctuary and starts to make any noises, boy, do some people give you looks for not having gagged junior before entering the church and for not being able to get out of the pew 2.5 seconds after noises begin.

And it’s sad because I’d like my “church family” to be supportive of my desire to raise a healthy and happy God-fearing kid in the way that (most) of my biological family is. Instead, I’m going to be pushed out of the camp like a menstruating woman in Old Testament times and left lonely at church for much of my child’s early development most likely. And that’s going to make me wonder how much my church folks love me, really.

(I wonder if I’ll look as good as Salma Hayek in that photo when I’m that big this time around? Nah, I’ll look better…and if I don’t, dear hubby better say I do anyway.)

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6 Responses to “Kid-unfriendly by Miz Pink”


  1. 1 Deacon Blue
    May 9, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    Well, at least you told me via e-mail before my readers found out. Did I rank before or AFTER your co-workers and your local postal worker?

    And have you let your creditors and the folks you went to junior high with know yet?

    Seriously, though, congrats. You have fun; two’s plenty for me and Mrs. Blue, I think.

  2. May 9, 2008 at 2:33 pm

    I get all sorts of looks and veiled and not so veiled comments about all my hippy stuff (I’ve chosen almost exactly the same route as you). It’s all worth it when you can tell that your baby is flourishing though. The other opinions don’t matter that much…although, that is a difficult spot to be in when you’re dealing with a church community. There is a desire to have the support of others, and when it’s not there you feel more alone than if you’d just stayed home.

  3. 3 Inda Pink
    May 10, 2008 at 6:31 pm

    Oh, I’m with you 100% mamajama. I figure it’s worth the trouble. In fact, I was “hippy” enough with #2 to see a lot of the benefits. One of the things I did was spend the first year at home with le baby, and that was scrumptious. Did wonders for bonding, development and all that jazz. Wasn’t willing to go the whole shebang with cloth diapers and those pricy wood toys tho. To be honest I’m not sure I’ll be cleaning the cloth diapers I use with #3 either…thinking a cloth diaper service. Not so sure I want baby poop cycling through my washer.

  4. July 12, 2008 at 8:33 am

    hmmm…I rarely attend church. And am beginning to wonder if the whole pulpit-thumping, stand up, sit down, and lets grow into a a bigger club of fireproof individuals to please God, afford a bigger building, and teach others about the minimal entrance requirements to Heaven, is really what God had in mind. I’m really much better at making several small groups weekly. Now, there is a messianic jewish synagogue (I’ll be surprised if that’s the correct spelling) a little north of me where the littlest jews wander around unrestrained, along with dancing mothers, dancing spinsters, and young (maybe) virgins. I think you would be well received…as for the breastfeeding thing, I myself find it powerfully erotic, And I am not alone, as you know. I would love to see it happen in Church. I think it’s important not to confuse erotic thought with sin. I think there has been a really bad misinterpretation of what Jesus meant about gazing on a woman lustfully. Congrats on the upcoming addition to your family, and good luck with some possibly painful choices.

  5. 5 Inda Pink
    July 12, 2008 at 4:00 pm

    I don’t think of the breastfeeding thing as erotic really but we may be taking two diff views of the word maybe. I really see it as a get the kid started right in life thing. It’s a basic sustenance and health move and a way to bond with child. I know that the breast/lactation thing can be a turnon but I frankly prefer not to dwell too much on the idea that people might be getting…warm…from me doing somethign I see as simply a basic part of caring for my child.

    Just my two cents. I think the breast is oversexualized already.

  6. September 21, 2011 at 10:29 pm

    Maybe you haven’t found the right church. Wish you live around here. Our church may not be perfect but they’re respectful of others decisions and wouldn’t mind breastfeeding or having children/babies in the sanctuary during service.


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Deacon Blue is the blogging persona of editor and writer Jeffrey Bouley. The opinions of Jeff himself on this blog, and those expressed as Deacon Blue, in NO WAY should be construed as the opinions of anyone with whom he has worked, currently works, or will work with in the future. They are personal opinions and views, and are sometimes, frankly, expressed in more outrageous terms than I truly feel most days.

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