Traditions, It’s What We Do
by Tequita Williamson, CD(DONA) Facility Manager
I love traditions. I expect my Aunt Nellie to have her delicious Graham Cracker Squares at our family lunch every Christmas Day. I look forward to my birthday banana pudding from my mom, and Homecoming at my childhood church is always fun.
Traditions can be wonderful. But do you ever wonder where some traditions begin? Just how DID they get started?
Have you ever heard this story?
Mom and daughter in kitchen, cooking:
Little girl to her mom: “Mama, why do you always cut the ends off the roast before putting it in the pan?”
Mom: “Hmm. I don’t really know. My mama always did it. Go ask your grandmother.”
Little girl to grandmother: “Grandmother, why did you always cut the ends off the roast before putting it in the pan?”
Grandmother: “Hmm. I’m not sure. My mama always did it. Go ask your great-grandmother,
Little girl to great-grandmother: “Great-gran, why did you always cut the ends off the roast before you put it in the pan?”
Great-grandmother: “Because my pan was too small for the roasts I bought. I had to make it fit”
Sometimes we do things because, “it’s always been done this way”, even when we don’t know why. We just follow along. There may be a good reason for a tradition but then again, the “pan may have just been too small.” Cutting the roast became a tradition in this family and was passed down even though there was no longer a good reason to do it. The tradition wasn’t questioned until a couple of generations later. We tend to follow what we are accustomed to without questioning.
How does Merriam-Webster define tradition?
1 : an inherited, established, or customary pattern of thought, action, or behavior (such as a religious practice
or a social custom)
2: a belief or story or a body of beliefs or stories relating to the past that are commonly accepted as historical though not verifiable
3: the handing down of information, beliefs, and customs by word of mouth or by example from one generation to another without written instruction
4: cultural continuity in social attitudes, customs, and institutions
5: characteristic manner, method, or style
So, how does this relate to pregnancy and birth? There are many, many traditions in the birth world. We grow up seeing or hearing about them and don’t give it a thought.
It’s just what is done. In fact, you may even think you HAVE to do some of them. Stop and think about this.
Ask questions about WHY we do something. Is there really a solid REASON to do it?
Do research. Ask more questions. Use logic – does this make sense when I break it down?
Is there harm done? What are the alternatives? Do I “have” to do it?
You might be surprised at what is not necessary. Make informed, educated choices not “just because it’s what we do.”
Tequita Williamson, CD(DONA) Facility Manager