Moving into motherhood, I am already terrified about the infighting I am going to have to face in the years to come.
And I’m talking about before the baby even comes – I’m talking about the judgment I’m going to get for using a midwife instead of an OB; the trouble I might have breastfeeding and the abuse I’ll suffer if I find that I can’t – a distinct possibility since my mother found it too difficult and painful.
I’ll face judgment for the toys I allow my baby to play with, the TV or DVDs I allow him or her to watch and when I start allowing it. I’ll be judged for when I stop breastfeeding if I can start and for when I go back to work (because there is no question that I will have to go back to work). All of this judgment will come from other women who are facing the same struggles that I will – they made their decisions and feel they need to defend them, or feel superior for having made them – I’m not really sure.
I’ve already encountered three conversations with women who assure me that I’ll be in labour because of course I’m going to have an epidural. They say this with such conviction that I just nod and ignore the arguments going on in my head because they have said it with such conviction that I know if I point out that epidural is not an automatic thing for me I’ll leave the room feeling like an idiot. It’s a personal decision that I will keep to myself in these situations because I don’t feel like being judged. I don’t judge a woman who goes in having decided for sure one way or the other, so I will leave myself free to not be judged.
I want to get along peacefully in my daze of new motherhood without feeling like every online community I visit has something against me because of some decision or another I have made. I would think that all mothers want that.
I can be judgmental, don’t get me wrong, anyone who reads my twitter feed knows that. And the people I hang out with in person know that I am passive aggressive too. But the fact is that I tend not to openly judge people based on serious decisions they have made – usually it’s about they way they’re dressed or how they think it’s okay to park their car directly in front of a fire hydrant in a no-stopping zone.
When it comes to my friends and their babies and how they choose to raise their babies, I am generally just sort of fascinated and watch them in a daze and wonder how those same decisions would work for me and my family. With my good friends, I look at their lives and wonder what would have happened if I had taken their direction instead of my own, or how I can get to the same point that they’re at.
The fact is, I’m insecure and I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life. When I made decisions, they have generally been agonized over and I’m worried that once I become a mother I will be filled with so much doubt, and surrounded by so much advice and judgment that I’ll crawl into my dark little hole and wait for my child to show signs of being massively screwed up.
I don’t need the added pressure.