I’m sure that I’m not the only expectant mother that has spent countless hours on parenting blogs, maternity forums, pregnancy apps, and constantly interviewing both experienced AND new mothers. I’m currently 23 weeks along, and I feel like I’ve learned a lot of small, helpful tips and tidbits.
I’ve also come across a few things that I had never really thought about, but I think should stop. There is a lot of insecurity residing in very personal decisions and parenting styles, and it is a direct result of the way we view and treat ourselves and others.
Stay-at-home moms (SAHMs) and working moms feel the need to defend their decision
I am still determining the exact steps that I am going to take once Sophye has been born. To be honest, I don’t know how I’m going to feel once I’m actually taking care of a tiny human every single day.
There are a lot of women who set out to return back to work at a prompt eight weeks after birth, and then the closer that day got, decided that they just couldn’t. On the other hand, there have been women who always dreamed of being a SAHMs, but then decided to return to work after six months or so.
Neither one of these groups of women have anyone to answer to regarding their decision. Sadly, based on financial circumstances, not everyone can make their own decision on this when they would like to. The breaking point of being able to pay for childcare and also have money additionally to make sense of working is somewhat complicated.
I feel like being able to make your own decision and go for it is such a giant accomplishment, and I know that it takes a lot of back and forth, number-crunching, and second-guessing your decisions. Let’s stop feeling the need to explain ourselves, and just live our lives the best way that we see fit.
Women who get pregnant easily sometimes have little sensitivity for those who are struggling
Women who struggle to stay pregnant don’t need to hear that it will work out better next time.
Women who struggle to get pregnant don’t need to hear that it will happen in due time, and to be patient.
Maybe I should have said this more loudly, because it seems like some people don’t get that. I’m not trying to be ugly to anyone who has a tendency to want to comfort people in pain, but I feel like I don’t need candy-coat it either.
Even worse are those who say, “Well, then you just need to adopt. Lots of children need homes.” I really hope that we get the opportunity to adopt. I really hope that they begin to make it a more affordable process.
But I did not need anyone to tell me what I needed to do or not do. They didn’t see me bawling in my car after gynecologist appointments. They didn’t have to try to calm me down when I was in hysterics, unable to leave my bed for the night because all I could do was cry over my broken heart.
I wanted to birth a child. A baby that was half me, and half my husband. That’s not to say that a child that is adopted is not a true part of the family; they are. But I dreamed of this too, and there is nothing at all wrong with this. And if this is your dream, there is nothing wrong with it either.
Mom-Bullying is 100% a thing
And it doesn’t take long to find this out.
You’ve got the exclusive breast-feeding mothers vs. “Fed is best,” and the Fitness Mommies vs. the Not-so-fit Mommies, and the SAHM vs. the working mothers; the list goes on and on. It’s exhausting and it’s ridiculous. Everyone is doing the absolute best that they can, with the best that they’ve got, with what they trust to the best of their knowledge.
But the worst part of it is, the women that are shaming each other are the same ones that are working hard to do their best too. I think we can all agree that as long as someone is putting their child first, they deserve to remain unbothered.
Now, if I’m putting the carseat in wrong — tell me. If you have a suggestion to make my life easier or baby safer, by all means, politely introduce the idea. I’m going to be very new at this, and I am willing to listen. But don’t gripe at any mother who isn’t endangering her child.
Your closest friends and family may use parenting tactics that you don’t use or agree with
And that’s completely fine. I’m not certain if this will be a huge one for me, but according to social media and the most popular pregnancy forums, disagreements with close loved ones are very rampant during child-rearing.
This one takes a little bit of forward-thinking, because these arguments often aren’t worth throwing large bouts of time away with based of their temporary effects. If your sister is letting her children watch a cartoon that you prefer your children didn’t watch, that’s none of your business. If your cousin only allows their kid to eat dessert once a week, whereas, your family eats dessert after dinner every night, that’s still none of your business. If your best friend doesn’t let her 12-year-old watch PG-13 movies, and you think that’s silly, keep it to yourself.
The list is endless, but the answer remains the same. Personal preferences as far as habits, practices, or daily routines are exactly that — personal.
It may have seemed a smidge like a rant post, but I assure you that it’s not! I’m sure by the time Sophye has been born, I will have more to add to this, along with more perspective. As always, please share feedback and share with your friends! I’m always anxious to hear what current mommies and mommies-to-be think about these things.