Friday, February 28, 2014

Baby Bumps & Birdies

 Today is all about little baby bumps and birdies because I wore one of my maternity dresses sewn from Simplicity 4994, a vintage 1960s maternity pattern.
Simplicity 4994
 I love everything about this dress. The perfect black and white cotton bird print, the easiness of only two main pieces, gives a little shape to a disappearing waist, and......POCKETS!

 In my opinion all maternity should be this easy to make and wear. Pregnancy has a tendency to make even the most stylish of mamas feel a little sloppy. I think women of the past, who did spend more of their adult life pregnant than most today do, had a lot more sense when it came to maternity clothing.

Little birdies up close and personal like.
 I know a lot of people will not get this at all, but I actually like being pregnant for the most part. It's an amazing experience and different each time. Even my husband likes it when I'm pregnant. He says I'm never more beautiful. (I know I'm blessed to have him, ladies.)

When I think back on my grandmothers, I know that for at least one of them who had six children, a really big chunk of her adult life was spent either pregnant or nursing and she liked it that way. I come from a family with four kids and I loved the experience of growing up with my brothers and we are all still very close (three out of four of us even live on the same street). Family is an important part of your life, so don't be too hasty to eschew the idea of motherhood. 
Obligatory motherly bump rubbing shot.
I don't think it makes me less of a woman or makes me stupid or a slave to be an old fashioned stay at home mom. Sure, your body will change through motherhood, but that's not always a bad thing. I know that for a lot of women the idea is archaic and repressive, but I think it's only that way if you let it be. I certainly don't live the life of the nineteenth century housewife (although most middle class wives then had at least one servant!?!), but I don't have to climb a corporate ladder, maintain a supermodel physique, and go get drunk with my girlfriends and wake up with strangers to be a woman either. 

Whether you want to be a mother or not, you cannot deny that our world is a different one altogether from our grandmother's world and somehow the "liberated woman" has tossed aside most thoughts of motherhood and domesticity out the window as not good enough for this new breed of woman. May I suggest that true liberty and freedom isn't about eliminating a role, but being given the freedom to pursue it wholeheartedly without oppression, and that if you really want to shape the future for women there's no better way than to raise sons and daughters well.

The advertising world is full of women making other women feel bad about how they look, and the professional and academic world is full of women making other women feel bad about motherhood and domestic activities. I am not saying that all women should or have to be stay at home moms or live the way I choose to live, but what I am saying is we should as women reclaim the dignity that used to belong to the noble calling of motherhood. After all, good mothers produce a good next generation, and when we see such degradation, violence, laziness, and rudeness in young people, perhaps instead of simply blaming the anonymous culture as an excuse, we need to look at the role of parents. Viewing parenthood as something important and noble and as something each parent should give more seriousness to than their professional careers might just give us a better culture and future. 

The main reason I am a stay at home mom isn't because I couldn't do anything else, but because I realized that my children will go on after me and they will be a part of shaping the future for myself, themselves, and their children. I know I am responsible in a large part for how they turn out and therefore what that future will look like. I decided that was more important to me and to others than any full time job could be. They are only small once and highly impressionable at the youngest ages, why would I want to entrust that time to just anyone? My kids won't remember me with love when I'm gone because I looked perfect or had huge career success, I hope rather than they will remember how much fun we had and how much I loved them.

How do you view motherhood?


  1. Sarah, I agree with you completely! I loved being pregnant and even found giving birth a fantastic experience. Getting to finally meet this new little person who has been growing and bumping around inside you is an experience that tops everything. We have four children, now ages 51, 47, 43 and 42. I wouldn't have missed them for the world. We all live far apart but stay in touch with emails and phone calls and, hopefully, a visit once a year. We are also the happy grandparents of seven wonderful grandchildren. Yes, there were bumps along the way; that's life.
    I have a sister who remained childless, and has often told me that it's irreponsible to have more than two children. I pity her that she missed what to me was the most rewarding part of my life, along with the love of a good and faithful husband. What more could a woman want? How could earthly fame or fortune compare to the love of family?

    1. It's always nice to hear from a mom on the other end of motherhood. Some days knowing others have survived the little years reminds me that there is life at the end of the tunnel.
      I have an aunt that had no children, but because she and her husband were infertile. She loves children more than anyone I've ever known, but she is in a nursing home with her husband who is dying of cancer and lives far from my of her siblings, nieces, and nephews. I've often thought how lonely many of my peers and friends will be one day when it's too late to have children of their own.
      What a paradox our society has become when something as natural and beautiful as motherhood is often seen as common and ugly and rediculous?

  2. Hey Sarah!

    1. LOVE that dress!!! I agree, some of the maternity designs of the past were just to much more practical and easy.

    2. I agree with you whole-heartedly. Motherhood (and indeed parenthood) is, in my opinion, one of the noblest callings in this life, and one that I am happily and blessedly embracing. I hope more and more women (and men) will realize the value of raising up men and women of character to lead this world after we are gone.

    1. Aw thank you! I love this dress, too, and after wearing it through a couple pregnancies it's getting a little thin in places. So I'm going to try to make another one for this time.
      I just sometimes feel like motherhood is treated like a second rate task that doesn't require much effort or praise. Maybe it's because I'm in the thick of it, but it's definitely not a job with much prestige attached to it. I just keep reminding myself that this is a long term investment, but the payoff is phenomenal eventually.