You won't read this in the glossy ads of a pregnancy magazine, but motherhood often leaves women feeling burned out, disappointed at times, and confused about who they are anymore.
As a writer on this topic, one of my major conclusions is that it's not our reality that is necessarily so difficult, but rather the gap between our expectations and reality that drives us crazy.
What creates this gap? It begins with the romanticization of motherhood, the buildup to the "big day" of childbirth, like the idealization of a wedding as opposed to the reality of a marriage. Mothers-to-be are marketed to like crazy, and I am concerned that high-tech gadgets have a particular role in this problem. The marketing of gadgets raises the bar of expectation even higher, and gadgets tend to promise new parents an unrealistic level of control and certainty.
Take the BabyPlus "prenatal education system." Hey, I guess a regular baby isn't good enough any more. You need to produce a baby PLUS. This little pod is the latest gadget that a pregnant woman is supposed to strap to her belly to give her fetus a jump-start on academic achievement. The device "introduces patterns of sound to the unborn child in only the language he or she understands - the maternal heartbeat." The promised benefits include better sleep, better nursing, more self-soothing...right up to improved school readiness.
Now I can't say whether this program has any effect or not, but the marketing really bothers me.… Read more