You’re going to have to bear with me through this post, there’s going to be a lot of metaphors and possibly a whole lot of side tracking. 🙂
Tonight I made bread. It took me approximately 5 minutes to put it all together and then another 3 hours to cook. It came out smelling and looking as yummy as can be, and yet something was missing. I think I was missing the satisfaction of knowing that I made it myself, the empowerment that I would have experienced had I physically made the bread. You see, I just had to dump the ingredients in to a bread maker and voila, I got bread. No kneading, no rising (well, except for in the bread maker), no rolling, no baking.
So what does this have to do with anything? Well, I recently attended the DONA postpartum doula workshop and several times throughout the workshop the process of making bread was referenced. It was referenced as an activity that helped to alleviate stress and pass time. Pass time while in labour or pass time during those last few weeks of anxiousness. Everyone praised the idea of “making bread”.
And here I am now, making bread. But really? Am I? I guess in a weird way I am, but truth be told, I don’t know how to make bread! And there you have it, I am completely reliant on this machine that sits on my counter to make the bread for me. I can fill it with ingredients, but the hard work is done by the machine. And then I started thinking about bread and birth (I know, I know, it’s a weird combo) and how similar they are in in some ways. I see a similarity between the bread maker and the medicalization of birth. Over the years we have become reliant on something that could be great in essence, appears to be very convenient and yet not really necessary.
So what about the traditions and the rituals that lead up to birth (or bread making)? Who teaches a woman how to have a baby? Or should I say, who helps empower a woman to have a baby the way she desires? I think a Doula can help in that area alongside all the powerfull women in the mother’s life, but what about the bread making? Is it a lost art? Are there women out there still teaching their daughters and neices and friends how to bake bread? The old fashioned empowering kind of way? Is there such thing as a bread Doula? (okay, go ahead and laugh)
So there you have it, there may just be something to the old catch phrase, “bun in the oven”. And now, it’s all personal preference too I suppose. Do you value convenience and ease or are you a DIY kind of gal? See, I like the DIY concept and I definitely try that route in most areas of my life, but I find myself using a bread maker every now and then. Is that so bad?