Maybe I should outsource this blog…
We were out with our regular group of moms today and a large handwritten piece of paper on the wall caught my attention. I briefly scanned it and then a bit more. I was trying to figure out why its making me unsettled. It was made with fun bright colors, the handwriting was pleasant, the information was about kids playing…and yet, something about it was not feeling right.
And it came to me, slowly, while we were chatting and playing. The informative poster was giving ideas to parents how to play with their kids, how to expose them to textures, colors and such. Helpful suggestions to ensure that their kids are developing correctly and as expected.
Did you feel the robbing of the confidence of yet another mother? Did you feel the shot that left a bullet of concern and uneasiness that will stay with her along all the other battle wounds delivered from helpful agencies and children’s experts?
Is my child experiencing enough textures? Oh… Is my collection of pencils colorful enough? Is my child developing as expected?
I highly doubt there is any evidence whatsoever that unless your child is locked in the garage in isolation her experience of textures and colors needs any, I repeat any special attention from the parents unless the specific case shows otherwise.
The information at community centers which greets parents, usually mothers, is outstandingly mind boggling. Hugs are important. Eye contact. Breastfeeding. Love and special times. Talking to your children is invaluable tool of them developing their language…We are either a community of complete senseless idiots or something else is going on.
Here is what I think has happened. We have outsourced birth – someone else deals with it as much as possible at least; we have outsourced initial mother baby bonding to professional ‘care’; we have outsourced breastfeeding to formula companies; we have outsourced carrying children to prams and strollers; we have outsourced entertaining our children to TVs and game consoles; we have outsourced caring for out children to daycares and nannies; we have outsourced teaching our kids to schools and universities; we have outsourced knowing what is best for our children to ‘professionals’. And this doesnt stop there, we have outsourced washing to washing machines, we dont walk anymore as there are lifts and cars to do that for us; we have outsourced growing our food to nameless companies; we we have outsourced making our own clothes, as well as furniture, gardening, money decisions…; we have even outsourced taking care of our own well being and mental health, as well as the task of working on our marriages and relationships; we dont take responsibility for our own bodies and care of them has been put into the hands of doctors and various other professionals – nutritionists, personal trainers and whatnots.
We have outsourced just about everything we can. But do we have more time? Do we have more freedom? Do we have more life satisfaction since we have been released by all those supposed hardships and burdens on our day? Hmm, no. In fact we are busier and hungrier for time than ever.
What happened? We became one trick ponies and have replaced thinking and making for, well, buying. We became deficient in skills and ancient knowledge for the sake of the growing economy. Cause if you can fix your own electrics, how will that help the professional that is making money out of it? For if you make your own clothes, what will happen to the thriving exploitative industry of fashion?
But buying fails to deliver the finer benefits that come with making, figuring out and developing. It will not fill you with pride. It will not slowly, but surely build a quiet confidence in your own abilities and worth. It will not give you the security that comes from being abled in a variety of life skills. Money is fleeting, knowledge is forever.
Making something with your own hands and seeing it to fruition cannot be replaced without losses. Yes, one can just go and buy said thing in a few minutes, but how many hours does the same person have to spend in service to others to earn the money needed? And how much satisfaction can a job in which one is just a faceless, non consequential, highly regulated, easily replaceable part bring? And the vast majority of workers are just that.
Back to my poster. It asked of parents to outsource yet another thing away to professionals. Dont just play with your kids. Dont just go with the flow, cause you may do it wrong. Cause you may screw your children up with that limited variety of textures and those silly things you were probably thinking of doing. We know you are morons, so here we are to help you. We are the professionals and we know how to do this.
Screw this! I am the mother. This is my child. There is not a soul or PHD crowned head that knows better than the instincts I have in me who have been passed down through thousands of generations to ME. Most women need as much helpful advice in mothering, as a lioness needs in taking care for her cub.
The problem is that we have outsourced so much of our lives that unfortunately we are slowly losing ourselves and our wonderful capable minds that the need for stupid, condescending posters may as well be real. If not today, then tomorrow for sure.