Ok, so pregnancy is officially kicking my ass (hence the lack of updates as I cannot stay awake long enough to compose an entire post). That second trimester euphoria has been replaced (or, rather, forcibly removed) by third trimester exhaustion and swelling. Everyone at work now comments on how I’m REALLY pregnant… or my waddle. On a side note, NEVER tell a pregnant woman that she’s waddling unless you are offering her a chair and getting her whatever she needs. Considering that the baby is stretching from my bladder to my rib cage, I don’t really think there’s enough room for the both of us in there, which is making me very nervous that he still has another 2 months to grow.
Basically, all of the edema and fatigue have made me more than a little cranky and weepy, which has led to a very short fuse. On the plus side, I’m being a lot more forthright with people, especially those that are pissing me off. However, it is also making me more ranty than usual.
For example, a friend of mine posted the following article on Facebook: Lactation Breeds Lack: The High Cost of Breastfeeding. Now, the article itself isn’t anything to write home about. It uses outdated data, draws conclusions where none really exist (although, I do agree with said conclusions), and focuses more on short-term solutions (such as better laws for expressing milk in the workplace) rather than the underlying issues (the major suckitude of maternity leave in the U.S.). The worst part for me, though, was the comments. Yes, I should know better than to ever read the comments section on any article, ever. Now, do you think that is really going to stop me?
If you scroll down and see my replies, you will see exactly where I take offense. Women post responses declaring that the only reason this is even an issue is because women aren’t willing to leave their job with their precious money and sack up and take care of their children. Now, excuse me while I go tear my hair out and scream! First of all, looking at the state of the economy, I don’t know very many households that are sustainable on a single income, even when “making sacrifices” or “cutting back”. Most people aren’t struggling in their finances because they have expensive tastes (and, generally speaking, those that are overspending aren’t the ones that recognize that they have financial issues in the first place) – it’s because companies are preying on a desperate workforce that doesn’t have a lot of options. Jobs don’t have to pay competitively anymore because, really, where else are you going to go? Secondly, that does not take in to account families where the woman is the breadwinner, not always by choice. Hubby is in law school. Should he sink the money already invested in his education to attempt to find a job that will pay significantly less than what he will be able to make once he is out of school? And that doesn’t even BEGIN to address the issue of the single mother! I despise the criticism that working mothers don’t love their children. Do you really think that we all just go to work for that sweet, sweet cash? Does it ever occur to you that we drag our asses to soul-sucking jobs day after day BECAUSE we love our children and want to make sure that they have food in their bellies and a roof over their heads? That, were it not because of them, we would gladly quit and survive on ramen noodles and live in a cardboard box until we found a rich husband or a better job (with flex time and maternity leave that would allow us to actually breastfeed our babies).
This also leads me down another mental path, one that I have a hard time reconciling. Now, people always say that if you can’t afford to have a child, then you shouldn’t have one. In this day and age, though (and given the position that I am in), this feels elitist. Sure, you shouldn’t be broke and in severe debt and expect to properly raise a child, but what is the “right” amount of money/income for having kids? Are we saying that only the wealthy should be allowed to procreate? That those in a less-than-ideal financial situation shouldn’t be able to start a family? It just starts to feel classist after a while when only the rich have access to the means necessary to reproduce.
I know I am having a hard time expressing my point properly, but my son is trying to escape out my belly button butt-first, and I need to get out from behind the computer now.