The Soho Parenting Center in New York City is a special spot where new moms can come to chat, confess, complain, and comfort each other as they ease into their new roles. Child listened in as Lisa Spiegel, one of its founding directors, led a group of eight moms, all with children under a year, in a discussion of life with baby.
LISA SPIEGEL: Growing up in American society and watching all those dizzy old movies, we all sort of got the idea that once you have a new baby, you finally get to live happily ever after. And there certainly are those moments of supreme joy. But there are also harder parts to parenting that can make you feel isolated and insecure.
Parenting can bring up issues of jealousy, competition, and division of labor between partners. We're in the midst of an interesting and difficult time between genders. We've launched into a feminist world where women are making careers and fulfilling lives for themselves. Of course, men are, too, but most of us were raised in a culture with a very different kind of division of labor between the sexes. And in the middle of this upheaval, couples are struggling to figure out how to be parents together and make their relationship work in an equitable way. That's a big challenge to families right now.
Besides the relationship she has with her husband, a woman needs to think about her relationship with her mother and how it filters into her own mothering experience. There's a real struggle for women today to balance work with mothering; to meet your own needs, your family's needs, and your child's needs; and to make the decisions that feel best for you. These are some of the things we're going to talk about today.