Friday, November 19, 2010

The Attitude of Motherhood

As I get deeper and deeper into this mommy world I'm noticing a certain attitude that seems to be running through most circles of moms I encounter. I'm actually quite surprised at how other mothers talk to one and other. I really try to be open-minded and I believe that everyone has the right to feel what they want and express those feelings. I do, however, have a problem with people who express how they feel by tearing down how other feel. Is it really that hard to just say "I understand how you feel but I disagree". Why is it that most of these mothers feel the need to rip apart your choices and tell you why it is so bad and why you must agree with and practice what they say is right for you?
This pattern has become apparent to me especially when it comes to talking about homebirth. I am choosing to have a homebirth. I researched my choices and throughout that process I tried to keep an open mind and ultimately decided that a homebirth is right for me. I'm not saying that I will not transfer if the need presents itself but for a normal birth I want to be in my home. There is a shocking number of mothers who gasp and say "But what about your baby?". Suddenly, I am the mother who doesn't care about her baby and is putting his/her life at risk. They continue to tell me (someone they don't even know) how my home with never be as clean as a hospital and how they could never have done it without the epidural. Then come the horror stories of emergency c-sections and the "thank goodness we were at the hospital" stories. After all this, which I graciously listen to, they say to me "what if that were to happen to you?". I smile and say, "If there is an emergency I have a fully trained midwife who make the call and if we need to transfer we have the ambulance." I think they should be able to feel however they want about hospitals, homebirth and their owns births but the idea that they know me and know what the best choice is, is strange. Did I ask you what your thoughts were? I do have a brain of my very own and I have great practice in using it to make my own choices.
The other place I encounter this attitude is while shopping for baby items. There is always some mother who has all the experience in the world telling me that I simply can not live without a baby swing. Why can't we accept and support each other in the choice that work for us as individuals? I've never had a dad come up to me and tell me I'm buying the wrong brand of diapers. Why do mothers scold each other and judge each other so harshly? I thought being in the mommy world would be comforting and supporting but I'm feeling worn down by all the judgment.
I think it also comes down to what kind of role model you want to be for your children. Do you think that when your child hears you telling another parent "Oh no, you are so wrong! You must do this!" that your kid is learning tolerance and open-mindedness? Would you want your child telling another kid that he is painting his picture wrong and that he should only use the colors that your child likes? I want my child to feel free to be the person they want to be and I want my child to know that others have that right too. I think we all need to take a moment to think before we speak. Think about how what you will say will be perceived and who is listening.
I'm terrified of what I might be like in a couple of year. Maybe it's because I don't have my baby here yet? Will I be like this after the birth? Ok blog world, if I become a judgmental know-it-all please bring me back to reality!

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