I have several friends that are pregnant right now and often, I get asked about advice. (Why people ask me, I have no idea...)
Got any advice for this new mom?
Buy wine before you head to the hospital.
Got any tips on how to assemble all these baby contraptions?
If your husband drinks, he'll figure it out.
How do you get through the afternoon meltdowns?
I count down to 5pm.
Starting to get a theme?
People have opinions- even if they are not solicited, or wanted, they have them. And everyone is an expert.
A very sweet friend, "Mary," is currently about thirteen weeks pregnant and elected to do the quad screen. Mary asked my opinion on it and I told her, point blank, that everyone will have a very vehement opinion on this- as well as everything else about your pregnancy- but you have to do what is right for you. What we did was what worked for our little family. We elected to have all the testing done. Should something be less than perfect, we wanted to be able to prepare ourselves to get this kid on the ground and be ready for whatever God gives us. In our world, knowledge is power.
Mary mentioned to a co-worker that she was getting her quad screen and the co-worker jumped down her throat about a "selfish and senseless abortion." The co-worker should have kept her mouth shut. Instead of condemning another new mother for the choices she is making, maybe instead... just maybe, we embrace this time in our lives together and let other mothers know that their decisions are personal and opinions are not always appreciated. Even when an opinion is asked- handle those opinions with kid gloves. They might be asking because they are scared. They might be unsure. My money is on the fear.
I will admit that we will all do it differently and that we are all doing the best we can.
Because I had a c-section with LMC does not make me inferior to your 14 hour laboring without an epidural on an exercise ball in a birthing tub. Because I trust my doctor who told me that it was too dangerous to birth a second child without another c-section does not mean you have the right to tell me why having a c-section makes me an idiot. In the medical world, I trust my doctor first, my husband second, and myself third. Your opinion, while loud, is not something I need. I'm scared enough as it is.
I have opinions, I have big, bold opinions about you and how you are raising your child.
I think you are doing the best you can do. And I admire you for it. There are things that y'all do that I wish I could do as wonderfully. But, I fail at some and excel at others.
Help your friends be the kind of parent they want to be. Learn their language.
I have opinions and, when asked, I will carefully dole them out in measured time. They are as follows:
* Buy life insurance. I never met a widowed mother who said her husband left her too much money.
* Believe in something greater than yourself and practice it faithfully. Believe in God, the Universe, Yoga, a Lamp Post-- whatever.
* Don't shake your baby.
* Vaccinate your children. Vaccinate your children. Vaccinate your children.
* Remind babysitters that p*rn and alcohol/drugs are not allowed while babysitting. And please don't shake the baby. Don't think for one second that I have not told every single babysitter we have ever had those same rules.
* Don't be an idiot. Listen to your doctor.
The bottom line-- believe in yourself and the decisions you make. Keep your opinions level when asked and, more than likely, keep them to yourself. Pregnancy and motherhood are hard. They're scary. They're tough. And it is the thing that makes the world what it is. It makes us who we are and who our children will become. Let's spend less time breaking each other down and more time building each other up.