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The Modern Mommy Track

Lately, I've been hearing a great deal about push presents, mommy makeovers, and hipster babies. I'm always curious about new trends so I thought I'd do a little digging to see what the hubbub is all about. From what I found out, it's apparent that the miracle of birth does not provide enough satisfaction to some parents. Also, since new moms have less than a nanosecond to get back to their pre-baby weight, there are doctors who can help new moms with that "problem." Then, there are the parents who don't want to lose their coolness, so their spawn seem like mini-versions of themselves complete with baby UGG booties and Clash onesies.

Push It Real Good
Leave it to marketing gurus to lessen the value of human life with push presents - gifts fathers give their wives after they've endured long hours of pain, sweat, blood and afterbirth.

Okay, what?

This trend has been around in Indian and English cultures of yore where death during childbirth was a pretty common occurrence. In other words, fathers were so relieved - or guilt-ridden - that mother and baby survived the horror that is childbirth that they came up with rewarding the moms on staying alive. And voila, the push present was born. Leave it to Americans, however, to really capitalize on a fact of life.

It's apparent that a baby isn't a grand enough gift anymore. Fathers are now urged to buy their wives expensive trinkets, baubles or fine fibers. However, nothing shows appreciation for the fruits of her labor like a vacay to a far off land like, say, the Seychelles. If dads don't know what to buy, expectant moms can go through the labor of registering for post-labor gifts. To me, the best gifts would be a year supply of diapers, someone else to change said diapers or, better yet, a wet nurse.

The Invisible Pregnancy
There's a trend in this country to judge a woman's sense of worth on what her dress size is. If she's a size 6, then she's seen as intelligent, funny, attractive and worthy. However, if her size is in the, god forbid, double digits, she's viewed as moronic, slovenly, dull and expendable. She could be the smartest and wittiest gal around, but if her size label reads 12, forget it. Even a pregnant woman is looked at sideways if she gains what society has deemed as too much weight - more than 25 pounds. I know of a few women who were so worried about gaining too much weight during pregnancy that they weren't able to enjoy the hemorrhoids and incontinence that go along with carrying a baby to term.

Nowadays, new moms are expected to dump that baby weight macht schnell. If diet, exercise and breast-feeding don't do the trick, there are surgical options, dammit. Hanging onto post-partum weight is being pathologized. Even stretch marks are seen as a malady. Thankfully, there's a doctor for everything now and these woes can be taken care of with a scalpel and about $10,000 to start.

Hipster Parenting
My 'hood is overrun with hipster parents. You know the type because they're all over every major metropolitan area in this country. You can't miss 'em. The parents may sport a few tats and some odd piercings, big-ass sunglasses and wear Threadless tees. Their tots may sport the same but minus the tats and piercings. Their parental role models are folks like Brangelina, Heath Ledger and Michelle Williams and the David Beckhams. Their children are named Chloe, Eli, Brooklyn, Maddy and Cosmo.

Within a two-block radius of my place, I've counted about 10 of these couples with kids. Now, the kids are very cute and the parents seem to really love them, but I get the feeling that some of these parents are clinging to the last vestiges of their so-called hipness by dressing their kids in wee-sized AC/DC t-shirts and styling their tiny locks in that hair-don't, the faux-hawk. Oh, I can't forget the puggle or labradoodle attached to a high-tech stroller. Now, I'm all for individuality but at times some of these parents strike me as being more concerned with their preserving their fading hipness than raising a happy, healthy child. I sincerely hope I'm wrong about that. Also, I hope that my neighborhood hipster parents aren't raising future meth addicts since these kids don't appear to have anything pastel in their wardrobes.

Oscar the Grouch and Osh Kosh B'Gosh overalls are good things. It's never a good idea to dismiss the classics for tot-sized Husker-Du t-shirts. Trust me, these parents will see plenty of this look when Junior hits the teen years.

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Posted on October 9, 2007


MUSIC - School Of Rock Realizes How White It Is.
TV - A Plea To Matt Nagy.
POLITICS - Greedy Goldman Guilty.
SPORTS - Sydney's Paralympics' Legacy.

BOOKS - How CPL Books Get From Here To There.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Remembering James Randi: Hero.


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