(alert, this blog was authored by Quick Fingers and Sleep Deprivation. They are a duo that births Typos. Feel free to let me know. Editing takes a village too.)
This is a quick post to say something that means a lot to, well, all of us.
We’ve missed the mark in postpartum care for women.
But, not how you think. Sure, there are medical and psychological negligences. There are missteps and horrendous oversights in how we help a woman do the most important - and hardest job - imaginable. And, while we’ve done a lot of talking and a lot of organizing about it and while I think we’re headed in the right direction, there’s one piece that hasn’t been discussed very much, if at all.
The postpartum experience and deterioration of men.
So, consider this: The way we used to birth and then bond to infants was within a tribal community, most of the time in which other women surrounded the new mother with endless help. It was NOT done alone in a house with plastic objects and the drone of a television for company as it is done today. It was done in a close community of helping hands of other women. This is important because in many of those communities, the new mother was also separated for 40 days from her husband/partner. Why? Because those cultures understood the dynamic of men and women and knew that in order to secure the healthiest recovery after the MASSIVELY SHIFTING experience of pregnancy and birth, that women not only needed to be surrounded by expert help, but that that help was not done best by their male partner but by other women.
Is this a knock to men? No. Is this a dip into antiquated assumptions of female “place in the home”? HECK no. This is just a reality of the conditions of birth and of the ancient tango of that process.
Nowadays, we’ve not only completely nixed the tribal support of other women, we’ve put men in a rather dicey position. Not only are they expected by our society to greet parenthood with being a suited up, stable provider, but they are also needed to be in-home, tribal-like support at home. I believe in my heart that there is a huge failure in this dynamic, one that many couples brilliantly navigate, but one that many couples simply do not know how to tackle.
The result is a rather unexpectedly and unnecessarily dark period for families. I think it’s time that we, the activists and advocates of the female experience, start to look at the fact that our support system, our partners, may in fact be suffering from postpartum depression and postpartum physical deterioration in their own way. To be honest and to get real, this is extremely hard to hold - we all know that women get the shit end of the stick in the long term. And it’s hard to pull out of that reality and see that men, a vastly more privileged demographic in our culture, are being a bit oppressed in this situation as well. It’s hard to do. But, it’s worth it.
I wonder what would happen if we really gave this aspect of the postpartum experience some more attention. What if we stopped being so silent about the fact that something is amiss in the male experience as well. And what if we started to give simple, easy solutions for facing it head on. I would hope that this would actually help our culture rise to what we believe is true: That modern families can completely revamp and redefine the gender-tied, gender-biased adventure of parenthood and do this thing in a very evolved, equal way.
We don’t need tribal communities to fix this - although I’d love some sister wives right now, not gonna lie. We need to face, embrace, and strengthen the new tribe that we do have. This means the male (OR female partners) at home who did not give birth, the online communities we all engage in, the physicians and schools we visit daily, the commutes to and from work, the childcare and maternity leave rights in our careers, and so much more. THIS is our tribe in 2017 and I think, with a smart approach, this tribe can be extremely efficacious in creating a bright, nurturing, less interruptive, more healthy, stronger, less physically and emotionally painful postpartum experience.
And we ought to remember that the postpartum experience IS what shapes the world ahead of us. If you dial back and look at the roots of pathology, addiction, anger, disconnection, materialism, etc, we can see that so much of it happens from the often missed opportunity for secure attachments and basic trust in infanthood. Mothers are the key to this. THE key. They need the utmost support at this time, yet they’re not getting it. So, instead of trying to run for the hills to live in a tribe (I mean, I’ll still do it, but), let’s greet our modern, rather cement-filled, way too digital postpartum experience with solutions instead of disdain.
Here’s mine: Along with the thriving world of MommaStrong, I introduce today PapaStrong. Guys can get access to 15-minute workouts that face head on the most common issues of their postpartum experience, from shoulder pain, to back pain, to knee problems, to energy issues, to growing bellies, to mushy tushies, to weak backs, to low muscle tone, to joint inflammation, to a general loss of play in their life. All for $2 a month, because how do I put a price on this sort of strength?
I'm inviting them to join me on Monday, January 16th for a 28-Day Challenge called Scratch where they will rebuild their strength in a way that will support their roles in supporting you and your children and their dreams and their prosperity and the world’s healing.
Now, before I go, I will answer three questions that your guy is gonna ask:
1. Is 15-minutes really enough?
Yes. Work smarter, not harder. Look at guys like Tim Ferriss and other top-notch do-ers in the world. They are all in this same line of thinking. Getting stronger has moved away from the old paradigm of going to the gym for an hour each day and rotating your workouts by certain body parts of certain days. Read these articles on High Intensity Interval Training.
2. Is it really that hard, it doesn’t look hard enough?
Yeah, it is really that hard. Again, there’s a way you, a guy, have been trained to think strength conditioning ought to go. And I’m not gonna fit into that notion at all. I’m way outside of that box, I promise. So, you’re gonna feel an initial skepticism. You ought to. High five to that. But, I double dog dare you to try a few days of the workouts before you decide that. If your goal in life is to lift 1,000 tons over your head while smiling, well, I can’t help you there. But, if your goal is to play soccer again, to run after your kids, to go on adventures without getting injured, to have access to a pain-free existence, and to feel that aging is absolutely a positive experience, well, then, I can help you. For $2 a month and for 15-minutes a day.
3. Dear Courtney, you are a woman who specializes in women’s strength. Why should I train with you?
Good question. Well, I am a body engineer. And I have worked with men most of my corrective exercise life. I’ve trained body builders, marathon runners, and elite athletes. I’ve worked in corporations, helping to reduce missed work from back pain through sitting ergonomics. I’ve helped guys lose hundreds of pounds just by adding in 15-minutes a day and nixing sugar. I’ve helped Dads get back to their favorite sports and activities from when they were young. The human body is amazing. Your needs are different than women in some ways, but I know those ways and I handle as best I can.
HERE'S A FREEBIE WORKOUT. Or, maybe just go to www.papastrong.live and sign up already. The new new challenge starts on Monday. It's $2. So, why not?