As a first time mom-to-be, it is universally understood that I know absolutely nothing about birth, babies or their care. It would be wrong of me to make plans, or to have my own ideas about how I would like to practice parenting, or raise my children because I’ve never done it before. Topics like feeding, sleeping, and what kind of clothing and diapers I want to put on my baby are off limits unless it’s only to give real mommies a chuckle. I deserve a little pat on the top of my head along with a ‘there, there, isn’t that sweet’ comment, before I carry on my merry, ignorant little way.
Oh, did that come across a little sarcastic? Oops!
In all seriousness I actually don’t think this is far off from reality. Not only that my thoughts, opinions and plans can and most likely WILL change between now and when Baby Bumpkin is born, but also that in the world of mommies, it is inappropriate to share what those plans are because I couldn’t possibly have any real understanding of what it takes to be a mom 24/7.
A new mom may find it difficult to hear an expectant mother talk about her plans for a drug free labour and delivery, when their plan didn’t work out like they thought. “Well, what does she know, she’s never been in that kind of pain before”. Does this mean, because one person’s experience was less than ideal, other mothers and mothers-to-be shouldn’t be supported in making their own plans? It sometimes feels like when one person has a poor experience, whether is has to do with birth, bonding, feeding, clothing, or with ANY product, it would be insensitive and just plain stupid to put in an attempt on your own.
I believe that information sharing is very important. That is exactly how we’ve come to learn so much about babies, their development and the safest ways to care for them. There is a difference between sharing an experience though, and telling someone what they should do or avoid.
This goes all ways. As a first time expecting mom, you can’t win. If you want to go drug free, people tell you “don’t bother, you won’t make it, take the epidural”, if you want the epidural as soon as you can get it, you’re told “Don’t be weak, it’s JUST childbirth, it’s supposed to hurt.” This carries on into all things parenting as well.
I’m expecting many of the ideas that I currently hold may change after the baby arrives. Sleep deprivation, baby’s temperament and needs, and having to give up grandeur ideas of ‘doing it all’ are going to be real eye openers, I know that! But not preparing and planning now, while I have the time, and resources to do so would be silly, and such a waste in my opinion.
I guess what I’m hoping to achieve by writing this is A. To get this off my chest, it can be extremely difficult to be coddled, talked down to, and to have people roll their eyes right in front of you when you answer their question about if you are using cloth or disposable diapers. and B. To remind established mothers, you were in these shoes once. You had big plans and great ideas for how you would take on this role in motherhood. Yes, some things didn’t pan out, you changed your thoughts, opinions and tactics along the way. But there are other things that have remained the same. You were given the opportunity to try, to succeed, to fail, and to learn as you went along. Please give us ‘rookies’ the same opportunity. Share your experiences, but remember, we already know things will change, no need to constantly remind us.
We have so much going on in our world and in our lives these days. Is it really necessary for there to be so much judgement? With the obvious exception of abuse, why can’t moms simply support each other and the decisions they make for their own children? How I want to raise my babies does not impact you in any way, nor does how you raise your’s impact me. I have worked hard at judging others less, the more I feel judged the easier it is to let up on other moms, it just takes up too much time. There is no reason I can’t do things my way and you, yours and we can all still remain friends.
Capishe? Ok. Rant over.