Barefoot & Pregnant
When I came to this country many years ago, I heard the expression: “Barefoot and Pregnant”. It struck me because at that time, it ACTUALLY applied to my life! I had come to the States not in pursuit of the “American Dream” but I came because I fell madly in love at the age of seventeen (!) and followed my young Argentinian husband here. I guess you could say I was seeking the “happily ever after love story.” I did get pregnant after a year…. As you can imagine!
I had a good life in Mexico filled with family and friends and I had just begun my studies in Communications. I left all this for love and during the early period of my marriage. I was thrilled to be “Barefoot and Pregnant”. I fulfilled the role of keeping house even though we didn’t have much money at the time; therefore not much house to keep but still……I was so young, I didn’t care. However, once my children started getting a little older and having more needs, the “Barefoot and Pregnant” thing wasn’t working so well if there wasn’t much money at home. Plus, I started to get eager to get out and do more for my family- my kids needed me to no longer be “Barefoot and Pregnant” and frankly, so did I.
To make a long story short, ironically, I didn’t end up having the “happily ever after love story,” but I DID accomplish the American Dream! And I did it on my own. I’ve been hearing so many stories lately about women who have to do for themselves and for their children. The option of being “Barefoot and Pregnant,” as negative as the expression is meant to be, is no longer an option. In this day and age, even as a progressive, feminist perspective, I think we can appreciate that it is a luxury to take some time off work to be at home with the kids still knowing that you can go back to your profession.
The love a woman has for her children is immeasurable and what a mother will do for her kids is above and beyond what she will do for anyone else. A mother may not have financial stability but she will move mountains and the oceans in order to give her children what they need. Is it perhaps because we mothers get to carry the baby in our womb and a very special bond is forged? Even if the father/mother marriage unit falls apart, the mother is steadfast for her kids. You rarely hear about a mother not being able to do for her children. Although it may happen sometimes, it is rare.
However, it is very common for a father to detach from his kids after a marriage falls apart. I wonder why SOME men don’t have the same powerful connection that a mother does? I emphasize here the word SOME because throughout life I have encountered men who are EXCEPTIONAL fathers, (my own, my son, my brother) but I must say that it surprises me and alarms me how many other fathers can just close the door behind them and forget the basic human responsibility towards their children once they get a divorce. Maybe some men see “family” as a unit that includes the wife and once the wife is no longer there, the “family” part is hard to uphold by themselves? Does a man need a woman in the house in order to create a “home”??? No. Actually they don’t. Sadly, these men who can also be amazing, professional, hard working, loving - socially normal men, don’t have the slightest idea of what they are missing when they drop the ball when it comes to their kids. I know, I know! _ This sounds harsh on my end. I KNOW that mothers can also cause emotional damage. And I know there are mothers that abandon their kids sometimes…… but it is the exception to the rule. Why is this? Can someone answer this for me?
The primal need for our parents, both parents, is clear. Where do I want to go with all this? I don’t know, I just wanted to get it out of my system, it’s been something I’ve been thinking a lot aboutlately and I put out there what I see in my daily life and in other peoples’ lives. So if you are one of those parents that for some reason hasn’t been there for your children, whether they’re toddlers or young adults, I hope you give it a second thought before you continue to be that missing link in their life. Your kids need you.
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