I'd like to think I have pretty thick skin. I've always been a competitive person, and I've always (mostly) been able to laugh off people who judge me. Like when someone told me I was an over sharer, and that my blog was sinful because I shouldn't air my dirty laundry for everyone to see. I had to literally stop myself from laughing right in that person's face, and instead I carefully attempted to explain why I love blogging and talking about issues I am facing. I'm not a perfect robot. I make mistakes, and I don't mind telling people about them. I'm only human. However, this person lives with the mindset that you should always place your best face forward and showing your flaws is somehow dirty and disrespectful. I mean, that just sounds like you are setting yourself up for a lot of disappointments. But I do agree I am an over sharer. I love writing. I love sharing. I like to think that things I go through may reach someone somehow, or make them laugh or smile or feel less alone. When I read people's stories and heartaches on their blogs that I can relate to, I feel less alone. Mostly it's just my story.
Ah, where was I going with this? Things I'm tired of hearing. Nothing has affected me more then spiteful people who attack my person over parenthood. Yesterday it just cumulated and I cried for a good 10 minutes. And I can't even hold my baby yet. For some reason, perhaps related to my fragile state as a walking gestating receptacle, these comments hurt. In the last four months I've heard the following from actual, real life people.
- If you don't take folic acid, your baby will be born disfigured. (Uh, my prenatal has folate acid in it, but apparently this person didn't think it was good enough. Also, not my doctor. And they wouldn't stop telling me I was wrong.)
- If you don't vaccinate your child, you are a child abuser. (me trying to research about vaccines. I mean, I am a new mom. I wasn't trying to make a freaking political statement, but I am having a baby. There is a million things I need to know about and I want to know about vaccines as well. Why do you assume that I don't want to do this when I am just trying to learn about it??)
- You can't eat chocolate during pregnancy! (way to judge. now I feel horrible and I don't even know why)
- If you have a home birth your baby will die. Why would you want your baby to die? (I am not having a home birth. But thanks, anyway. It's not like I'm not already afraid of my baby dying.)
- We home-school because we don't want the government raising our children. All good parents should home school. (I don't even have a baby I can talk to yet, and I'm also panicking over a million things I need to learn to do in the first year. Don't lecture me over something that is years away and I haven't really thought about yet)
- If you end up homeschooling your kid they will have no social skills and be totally dependent on you. (Said by someone other then the person above. I mean, WHY do you bring this up?? This person asked me, and I said I was leaning more towards homeschooling. Not a decision I've made yet, but my decision over how to educate my kid is not a criticism of how you are choosing to educate yours.)
- You can't cosleep! You are married, that would be wrong. Baby should always have their own room! (Because keeping a baby in my bedroom for ease of breastfeeding is somehow terrible because I'm married? What? This is our plan right now, if baby likes it. What does proximity to baby have to do with me being married?)
- Please tell me that you will circumcise if you have a boy. Uncircumcised people hate their penises (yes someone actually said that to me...)
I could go on, but listing these things out is just making me more depressed. I'm just tired of hearing all these judgmental things. Instead of telling me what you think I should do, why don't you tell me what you did and how it worked for you and then let me make my own decisions, with the help of my spouse and doctor? These comments not only hurt, they destroy my self esteem. Here I am, growing a baby that I am going to have to take care of 24/7, and instead of being helpful or uplifting you decided to say that?! If I wasn't already panicking, I am now.
I'm a new mother. I will say I don't know much. I'm researching and reading and praying like crazy preparing for this little one and I am so excited. I want to make the best choices for my kid. But these kinds of comments drain me. They make me not want to talk about my new bump or my plans. They make me not want to vocalize anything about my pregnancy! Honestly lately I feel like I've been fighting a battle. Parenting is not a war. If I send my children to school, that means nothing against people who home-school. If I home-school, it is not a political statement against public schools. It's just a choice I would make looking at my child's individual needs, and due to the fact that I don't work right now outside of my home. I can see pros and cons to each choice. And that is what I'm searching for. People who will be honest about the pros and cons of the choices they made. My husband was home-schooled and he was honest with the things he didn't like about it and the things he felt didn't help prepare him for life. He also knows a lot of the positives from homeschooling and he is thankful in many ways for the time he got to spend with his family. I went to a public school for many years and for high school attended a private school. I can see many pros to how my mom decided to raise me and also some cons as well. There isn't a "right" answer is what I am saying.
I never knew parenting was such a hot topic or that people could do a complete 50/50 when I happen to have different opinions about things then they do. It's a diverse world, people. You wouldn't want me trying to make decisions for your kid, would you? Then stop trying to make decisions for mine. Be helpful, kind, and share your story with me. Don't judge and don't ever make ultimatums. Lets all have a little respect.