Perhaps I’m just jealous because they clearly have a larger readership than I do. Maybe that’s why I find a lot of celebrity pregnancy and baby commentary to be utterly ridiculous and sometimes even flat-out offensive. It’s always sort of refreshing when celeb moms come right out and own up to the amount of work that motherhood is, the difficulty they had in regaining some semblance of their pre-pregnancy shape (or the rare candor to admit that not everything always goes back to as it was pre-baby), or the fact that breastfeeding (whether on set or heading back to a normal-people, 8-5 gig) is just plain TOUGH. But that just makes it even more aggravating to me when I read or hear about ridiculous commentary from celeb mommies.
Now, let me preface this by saying: I do not give even a tiny little chunk o’ crap what celebrity mamas say about parenting. I really don’t. However, we all know there are women out there who might really, deeply be affected or persuaded by those who use their fame or status to push a personal agenda – no matter how worthy an agenda it is. What bothers me goes beyond the “Oh, you’re too pretty to have a right to an opinion.” It’s simply not about that (though, let me be clear: a supermodel’s actual job description, if I’m not mistaken, is to “shut up and look pretty.” Just sayin’…)
It’s about responsibility, and having the ability to see far enough outside yourself to realize what your influence might be and having the ability to own up to the fact that YOUR way isn’t necessarily THE way. But at least be humble enough to admit the trials and tribulations of the process, not lord your own righteous experience and expertise over all the “peasant” mommies out there (in some cases, after one kid who is maybe 6 months old…i.e. a really premature declaration of parenting victory, if ya ask me).
About two weeks ago, supermodel Gisele Bundchen was quoted, for only the 7th or 8th time in as many months, making really presumptious and arrogant remarks about birth and breastfeeding. If you do read the occasional gossip column in the newspaper – as I quite shamelessly and unapologetically do – then you may remember back in the early spring when Bundchen said that her at-home water birth “didn’t hurt, not in the slightest,” and that she was up making pancakes just a day or two after her son was born. *roll eyes* Yeah, whatever, Twig Butt.
Well, just recently, she went one better and told UK’s Harper’s Bazaar magazine that she thinks the reason she had such an easy birth is because she was “prepared,” (by doing Kung Fu and yoga, no less…*yawn*) going on to insinuate that most women are “unprepared,” and that “it’s called labor, not holiday, for a reason.” Le sigh. But this is the same woman who married one of the biggest douches on the planet, Tom Brady. So…maybe I shouldn’t be surprised? Sorry, Pats fans…he’s a tool.
But here’s the real gem, I think: Gisele went on to say, point blank, “I think it should be worldwide law that women must breastfeed their babies for at least the first six months.”
Uh…..homie say whaaaaaaaaaaaaaat? Did she just say that it should be a worldwide law? Like what, you want that crap added to the Geneva Conventions or something? Or do you just have an extremely minimal grasp of how binding laws around the world are even formulated?
Look, bottom line: Breastmilk is the best food you can feed your baby, and there are countless reasons why doctors are trying to get women to breastfeed their babies for at least the first six months of life, if not through the first year.
One problem that Bundchen might’ve more eloquently highlighted is this: The U.S. is simply not as boob-friendly as most other nations in the world. Breasts, at the end of the day, may be great in Wonderbras and Playboy magazines, but they’re ultimate intent is to FEED A CHILD. There is a serious problem with people who expect women to feed their infants in a bathroom because it – for some selfish reason – bothers them to know that the baby is eating from the mother’s breast (usually, under a blanket, a t-shirt, or one of those Duggar-level modesty covers). In fact, I’ve had people tell me before that just knowing that a baby is being breastfed freaks them out. Well, to those people, I have four words to say: Don’t Be An Idiot.
And if that’s what she meant to say, then I really can’t blame Gisele, because clearly breastfeeding has a ton of benefits for both mother and baby. I myself am committed (and I mean like, way committed…as in, it better hurt worse than birth or I’m so going to do it) to breastfeeding Russ for the first six months. And I won’t lie, I do have some self-serving motivations there. That mess burns 500+ calories a day…that’s more food that I can enjoy and still hopefully drop a few post-baby pounds. I’m there. With bells on.
But do I think it should be worldwide law or something that women should have to breastfeed their babies? Uh, no. Do I think that women who don’t or – in many cases – can’t breastfeed their babies are bad mommies? HECK no! In fact, I have some of the healthiest nieces and nephews who weren’t breastfed and all and those kids thrive. They are intelligent, athletic, amazing kids with high IQs and social skills that rival a lot of 30 year olds I know. So, no, I don’t think breastmilk is this fabulous cure-all for the fact that some people check out of their parenting duties the minute their kids hit kindergarten. If you want to raise a good kid, then by all means, breastfeed if you like. But whether you breastfeed or formula feed, your child’s success and health is 100% IN YOUR HANDS. Not your boobs.
And this one is short. Danica McKellar, otherwise known as “Winnie” from “The Wonder Years” tv show, is expecting her own little one these days. And apparently she is really doing great with her weight gain and stuff, which is wonderful, good for her, all that jazz. But seriously, Winnie? This is what I do NOT want to hear from pregnant women:
“I have healthy cravings and not-so-healthy cravings. Like my healthy craving is plain yogurt with a banana and some bird seed on top (no kidding, she calls it bird seed, I didn’t make it up). And then I just don’t indulge in the unhealthy cravings.”
What. The. Crap?
Look, argue with me all day long, but here’s the bottom line: Pregnancy is certainly no excuse to set up a tent and a portapotty in the parking lot of the local McDonald’s. We all know that. But dang, ladies…are we such a weight-obsessed culture that we can’t just chill out and enjoy pregnancy a little bit. Has it ever occurred to some of us that there may be compounds in some of our “craving” foods that our pregnant bodies actually need? If you want some chocolate, have a daggum’ piece of chocolate (or better yet, have some chocolate milk, something with a little filling protein like that). Or if you want a salad, have yourself a salad. But don’t sit there and brag about how you just don’t give into your pregnancy cravings, because that just makes me think you’re focusing on a lot of stuff that doesn’t matter that much. Good nutrition is about balance. Part of the problem with childhood obesity (and adult obesity, for that matter) is that many people have no concept of BALANCE. My dad has maintained the same size for nearly 30 years just by eating his veggies and chasing them with a cookie if he feels like it. He’s active, he loves life, and he eats what he wants in the proper portions. I’ve been fortunate enough to have gained a very healthy (and doctor recommended) 30 pounds at 36 weeks pregnant, and I’ve pretty much given into every pregnancy craving I’ve had – but in moderation. As in, I have a piece of cake, but it’s a small one and I move on and eat something a bit healthier for the next meal. No counting calories. No freaking out. Just LIVING my LIFE.
Big-mouthed celeb mamas just annoy me sometimes. Seems common sense is in short supply these days. I’m sure there’s no shortage of people on either side of the issues who might think that I’m a moron for my views – but I feel proud of the fact that my views tend to fall right in the middle of most extremes. I think as long as you’re doing what is best for your baby and what is best for you – or, as is the case in most instances, the solution that straddles the line of what is best for BOTH of you – then you’re doing something right.