A defining moment in my life was caught on camera; it was the moment my new-born son first stared contemplatively at my face, and I his. I realized he was filing away for the rest of his life, who this person holding him was, his entire world, if for a short time: MOTHER. That primitive bond of nurture, protection and comfort would come from this image now implanted in his brain...
Conscious Birthing implies conscious relationships and conscious living. Emotional maturity and response-ability are part of it. Sadly, many woman in India, whether they are aware of it or not, are in a relationship with an immature partner. Especially when married, a woman oftentimes does not only have to work, take care of the household and children, but also has to care of her husband, a “manchild”.
The manchild can operate the most complicated machines, can repair cars and fix electric equipment, but he is unable to deal with a dishwasher or washing machine. If confronted about his lack of contribution to the household and relationship, he becomes emotional like a child. Needless to say that a manchild is not the best support when it comes to reliably supporting and protecting your birthing experience. In fact, he might not even be the best partner to raise a child with, as he is still a child himself.
And what about the upcoming generation? How are you teaching your sons and daughters that house work is family work, not women’s work? How are you teaching your sons that it is not a woman thing. That women do not really like to or want to do all the care of the house. And above all, they do not want pick up after their man as if he is a child. Being pushed into a mommy role by a man is not conscious, not fair and not appropriate.
People who are emotionally immature sometimes have intense and dysfunctional relationships with their parents. For men, this can include how they relate to their mothers.
The unhealthy dynamic usually starts in childhood and is sometimes referred to as enmeshment. When a man is enmeshed with his mother, he might continue to rely on her to meet his emotional, social, practical, and financial needs (even when he is in a partnered adult relationship).
Instead of taking responsibility for their actions or behaviours that might have caused problems, a person who is immature is likely to blame others. People who lack emotional maturity tend to see and present themselves as always being an innocent victim. So an immature person might prefer to spend time with others who also lack emotional maturity, as these individuals are less likely to question, criticize, or challenge their behaviour.
You might find that you dislike many of your partner’s friends because of how they behave. You might even consider these friends to be a “bad influence” or worry that they are stoking your partner’s immature behaviour.
People who are immature often don’t have healthy ways to cope with stress. They tend to use consumption of alcohol, tobacco, food (substance abuse) as well as media (entertainment, video games, porn) to avoid their feelings, responsibilities or anything else that causes them stress. In contrast, an emotionally mature adult takes up a stress-relieving activities such as yoga, tai chi, jogging or swimming, confides in a friend, works with a therapist and basically has a solution-oriented approach to problems.
The manchild lacks a sense of responsibility for some of the more mundane aspects of adult life, like paying the bills or household tasks. He refuses to contribute to any of the cooking, household shopping, cleaning or laundry. If asked to help with chores, the manchild might respond with irritation. And he might need to be “bribed” for performing tasks that are simply a routine part of keeping a home and functioning as a responsible adult.
Menchildren who feel entitled to being treated a certain way by their partner might “act out” if they feel that their needs have not been met or have been ignored. Emotionally immature men who are parents might even feel threatened by their own children. For example, a man might be upset if his partner prioritises the kids’ needs before his (a behavior that is also common in narcissistic parents).
At first, his behavior might have been fun and entertaining. Perhaps you were drawn to him because you felt that he was a “challenge” or someone that you could “fix” or change. His childlike behavior might have made you feel like you needed to take care of him, dote on him, or guide him.
What to do?
Initially, you might have felt attracted to and enjoyed these aspects of your partner’s personality. As your relationship progressed (perhaps even to marriage), however, you might have become exhausted by, or even resentful of, your partner’s immature behaviour.
The first step is to ask yourself how you might be enabling your partner’s behaviour. It might be that there are certain aspects of your personality and life experiences that have influenced how you relate to your partner.
Think back to your childhood. Do you feel that you had to grow up fast? Were you overly responsible because you had to care for siblings or a parent? Is it possible that you are continuing to perform the caretaker role in your adult relationships?
While it is important and necessary for you toe stablish healthy boundaries it will not necessarily “cure” your partner of their immature behavior. These boundaries are for your health and well-being. You can also work on changing yourself. If you have been enabling your partner’s behavior, the changes you make (such as letting go of or shedding the caretaker role) will help both you and your partner move forward.
Throughout this process, you and your partner might benefit from working with an experienced holistic therapist to understand your behaviour patterns and work on changing them. A therapist can help someone identify the underlying reason for their behavior. Emotional immaturity can sometimes be a sign that a person has a mental health condition such as depression, anxiety, or borderline personality disorder (BPD).
In this context, we would like to mention The Great Indian Kitchen (2021). A movie that examines the drudgery of housework through the experiences of a recently married woman. The wife’s physical and emotional labour is invisible to her family, especially her insensitive husband. The film points out typically Indian male entitlement.“Traditional producers, in Kerala at least, would never touch a movie like this,” Baby pointed out. “That’s why we produced the film ourselves along with our friends on a roughly two-crore budget.”
“We need to be talking about our entry into this world – and be outraged that it is so capitalistic and weaponised. Drugs – Epidural – with Fentanyl are normal now. Caesarean is routine… Ritualised separation of baby from mother has become the norm, and so have fast cord cutting and a variety of unnecessary interventions. This is traumatic and the rootcause of war within, and in the world. We need to talk about such militarised births and their impacts on the babies’ brains and bodies as well as the mothers’ bodies, psyches and lives. We should be outraged.” – unknown
In view of the current situation in North India – lack of awareness amongst pregnant parents and medical professionals as well as a lack of facilities – we have decided to move forward with a hands-on-approach: we ask for donations. The money that reaches us will be immediately used for awareness campaigns, networking & research, website maintenance AND eventually for funding the implementation of a holistic birthing sanctuary near Dehradun (Uttarakhand).
You yourself may have experienced a difficult birth, and let’s face it, you only have to start talking to couples about their births, and the horrific stories start pouring out. Clearly the system around birth is not working, because it is not your body that is failing. Let’s look at how birth trauma is defined. Continue reading “The Truth about Birth Trauma…”→
While medical interventions can and do save lives in a small percentage of births, the majority of labors can unfold as nature intended. As natural mamas, we need to take back this experience! Natural birth is a tremendous rite of passage, but you just may be surprised at how beneficial it is for baby and mama.
Written by Genevieve Howland (childbirth educator, bestselling author, breastfeeding advocate, mother of three)
When it comes to health policy, India often strangely lunges at the mistakes of the US, ignoring insights and better approaches from Europe.
India has an irrational fear of midwives. To some, it is a reminder of ancient times with their unhygienic practices and unscientific opinions. Understandably, therefore, many women are unsure of the quality of care they might receive from a midwife, compared to a doctor.
But there is growing evidence that trained midwives are as good as doctors in taking care of pregnant women and in overseeing uncomplicated births. In the United Kingdom, for instance, there is a recognition that “all women need a midwife, and some need a doctor too.” Continue reading “India’s Maternity Mess”→
Lotus Birth is the practice of leaving the umbilical cord uncut, so that the baby remains attached to the placenta until the cord naturally separates from the navel, 3-10 days after birth. Please research this process yourself to make an informed decision. There is a lot of material available on YouTube, blogs, websites and in books.
1.) Birthing can be calm, gentle, painless and even pleasant for a woman.
2.) A woman and her baby have their own timing which is perfect for them. No “pushing” is needed and no nurse or doctor should interfere, know better and try to shortcut the individual birthing process (“Let me give you an injection and your out of here in no time.”).Continue reading “Paradigm Shift”→
The key role for an amazing experience in the birthing process plays oxytocin, the „love hormone“ involved in bonding, sex, childbirth, breast-feeding as well as feelings of peace and calm. Those who meditate regularly might know that also meditation can increase oxytocin’s effect. The deep state of rest produced during meditation triggers the brain to release neurotransmitters, including dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphins. Ingredients that have vital roles for emotional awareness, attention, perception, self-recognition, decision making and stress regulation.
Dr. Michel Odent talks about the biochemical explanation for why birth is and should be an erotic and sometimes orgasmic event: the main hormone in both sex and birth is the same (oxycontin). And we need as good conditions for good labour as we need good conditions for good lovemaking. Because if a woman produces adrenaline (related to fear) she cannot produce oxyocin, which is the hormone not only needed to deliver the baby but also to deliver the placenta. Continue reading “Importance of Oxytocin”→
Why seems birth so easy to animals and so difficult for us humans? Why should we, who have been created as sexual beings that come together in love and joy, get pregnant and then have to give birth in a painful and stressful way? It just does not make sense. And why have women in some cultures gentle, pain-free childbirths and why do women with less educated and upscale backgrounds usually deal with birthing in such uncomplicated manner?
We’d like to share the most important facts about natural birthing as it reveals a whole new perspective on birthing (including a new, much gentler language for the process), which every woman – and man – should be introduced to. Natural birthing methods help to resolve limiting social norms and to recover a healthy confidence in the female body, in its natural instincts and in the harmonious orchestration of the mother’s and baby’s bodies at birth.Continue reading “Conscious Birthing: Re-introducing the Birth Process”→