I try to keep my blogs positive. My intention is not to offend and so I try putting a positive spin on anything. I find that helpful in my life anyway. But today I’m going to get a bit more serious. The other night, I was talking to someone who is considering starting a family in the next few years. She is not experienced with pregnancy or children so she had a lot of questions that I was happy to answer and discuss. In my mind, I gave her one really powerful and important piece of advice. That piece of advice was to not allow others to guilt or shame her for anything to do with her pregnancy or parenting. I remember when I was pregnant, everyone had an opinion on pain medication during delivery and you almost felt condemned if you didn’t agree. I also had people tell me that it was wrong for me to find out the gender of my daughter during my ultrasound. Apparently, it was important to other people that I have a surprise. I just wanted to know what colours to buy so everything wasn’t yellow (which is not a colour that is flattering to most newborns because of jaundice). I have also received a lot of advice from people who don’t have kids. I think they don’t realize that kids will act differently depending on your relationship – usually they try to defy their parents more and are nicer and easier to get along with the cool aunt that they see once a year.
The part that I can’t figure out is why we do it. I’m a live and let live kind of person – if you aren’t hurting anyone then live however makes you happy. I have a friend whose adult daughter basically lives in the back of her van and travels around the country doing odd jobs. She loves the freedom and enjoys new experiences. Is it something I want to do? No, I need a normal bed and to know where I’m going to be at the end of the day. But am I bothered by her lifestyle? No, I think all the power to her for finding a way to live that she loves.
What I am truly trying to say is, maybe we should be nicer to each other. Parenting and pregnancy are hard enough. We really don’t need to make it harder on each other or ourselves. You can share your experience without making it seem like it is the only way or the right way. There are a lot of right ways and people just have to do what is right for them.