Tuesday, February 19, 2013

In A Perfect World

I recently had an assignment in my Child Growth and Development class to analyze my perspective of the ideal circumstances for having a child.  I was also asked which of the circumstances I feel are most important. My response was as follows.

Wendy McCord, PhD says, "We could change the world in one generation if every baby were wanted."  This particular therapist sees many patients with emotional challenges and psychological disorders; she roots most of their problems to feelings of being unloved or unwanted.  So how could every child be loved?  Her answer is that every child be planned and/or graciously accepted.  She believes that love begins even before conception.  She says, "We have it all wrong, thinking a child's life begins at birth.*  A child's life begins as they are thought of, before conception."  As a child grows in the womb he/she feels what the mother feels- whether that is worry, love, anticipation, rejection, anger, etc.  McCord says love must start here.  I read an article recently that claimed we have our focus on the wrong spot.  It speaks of recognizing that sex is not purely for pleasure but also for creating new life.  Among other declarations, this article urges its readers to respect this power.

So, to bring new life into the world, the ideal situation would be as follows-

A woman + a man + love; so much love that another human would be necessary to share that 'happy' with.  Enough money to allow the mother time to stay home for at least a year to nurture their newborn. 
A home would obviously be had, preferably in a nice neighborhood with low crime rates and good schools.
Supportive friends and family would surround this family, after all, it takes a village to raise a child.
Patience, a good deal of patience is needed and a lot of humor.

Now before you get all upset, I must say, I'm not against couples of the same sex raising a child. (Well, maybe that's going to make you mad but check out this story!)  Today's culture has grown and changed and regardless of your religious beliefs, I encourage you to be cautious of judgment.  Some of these cultural changes are for the better, some not so much.  America prides itself to be the land of prosperity, growth and family- we talk about making places safe for children, yet have more school shootings than any other developed country; our corporations brag that family is most important, yet we give our mothers three months of unpaid leave while other countries provide compensation for a year postpartum.  We are a culture of  lot of talk and little action but of course it can't be done for us.  These are changes that we must make as the people of this country.  Supporting new mothers, government funding for college education- these things take money and thus higher taxes, a challenge that says to me, "let's put our money where our mouths are."  If our mothers were supported and having a child was less of  daunting task, perhaps more children would be loved and wanted and perhaps the incidences of violence would lessen!

My personal stance is a bit different than the perfect world I described initially-

The ideal situation for raising a new family is bound by support.  Even a single mother can bring a child into this world or adopt and love one already here, she just needs support.  Love, patience, humor, a home, a budget and income are the necessities for starting a family.  Oh, and flexibility. :-)  A new mind set might be good too.  Understand that children aren't expensive, things are. A planned pregnancy is great but not too common.  In the instances where "oops, we're pregnant" happens, if women weren't made to feel that their whole life just wend down the drain, that would be great. When I had my children, I didn't stop rock climing, I just bring them with!  The phrase is "a new addition to the family" not "a new life."

Same life, more people.

 This wonderful Journey of Life has only just begun!

*For more information on Dr. Wendy McCord and details on this theory, check out her book Earthbabies Birth Psychology presents a review and abstract for the book here.

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