Expecting our Little Brother in November!

pregnancy calendar

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Pressure is On!!

Okay . . .

Firstly may I apologize for any stupid things I might have said about parenting before I was a parent. I certainly don't think one needs to have BEEN THERE to know about it--that is, I'm sure there are excellent male midwives and OBs who will never be pregnant, excellent lactation consultants who have never breastfed a baby, and plenty of excellent researchers who have added to the suggested to-do and not-to-do list in terms of parents decisions . . . but one thing I didn't understand until getting to this place with a child (and I'm sure this is only the beginning) is the pressure that you feel as a Mother.

I really think most of it is sourced internally. That is, I think people are the most defensive and sensitive when THEY don't have confidence in their own decisions (or when they aren't doing what they would ideally like to)--therefore, any wayward comment about said decisions/actions can cause internal turmoil . . .

So while I think there can be over-bearing Mothers and Mother-in-Laws (and we've all heard some stories), I think a lot of the discomfort and scrutiny a lot of new Moms feel is ultimately the result of their OWN feelings . . . but it's easy not to see that in the moment, and be defensive because you love your baby, and how DARE someone suggest that you aren't doing right in just how you caring for him! So you get upset/defensive right away, even though said commenter might have just asked you if he might be hungry or something relatively innocent . . .

But it's more than that, because I can tell you, sitting a room yesterday surrounded by my Mother (Great housewife and raiser of four college grads and all-around great kids--not to brag), my Mother-in-law (with a Master's Degree in Family Counseling), my one Grandmother (mother of five and organizational/cleaning expert extraordinaire), and my other Grandmother (who is like THE 50's housewife/Martha Stewart/Cooker, Baker, Painter, Crafter, etc) . . . well honestly it's a lot to live up to. I respect all these women immensely as both wives and mothers . . . so the pressure is on but I do know it is mostly coming from myself.

But with this said, when I heard other Moms talk about Mommy-judging, Mommy-guilt, and other aspects of the social/emotional space of motherhood, I seriously did NOT realize how intense it would be. Both giving and getting--I really want to call myself back into this mental space anytime I find myself giving parenting or breastfeeding advice and remember that as good as my intentions might be, the Mom I'm talking to is FEELING THE BURN just like I was yesterday, and try to be REALLY REALLY sensitive to that.

And let's review here: My baby is perfect. He basically never cries, he is beautiful and obviously super healthy, he has never had anything more than a slight cold/congestion (which a little breast milk in the ears has cleared up within a day the three times it's happened). You might be wondering what possibly could have gotten scrutinized yesterday? Hahaha.

Keep in mind between the four aforementioned women, we run the gamete between my Mom, who like me is super cued into when his noises turn slightly whiny and who begins wondering immediately (aloud) if he needs a fresh diaper, a snack, or what, and my grandmother, who asked me why I was feeding him though he was whining and it had been 3 hours since he last ate, because he wasn't crying.

So basically, damned if you do, damned if you don't, right?

(On an unrelated note, I wrote this like two days ago and there were so many other thoughts in my head and I wasn't sure it was done--but honestly I have a lot of old post beginnings that have never been published, so I'm going to try to be less critical and just go with whatever I've got. So here it is.)


Marilyn said...

yeah you should always just write whatever you feel like writing!

I obviously can't "understand" because I am not a mother - but I can at least see how it would be difficult to be getting advice/suggestions/criticisms/judgements from ALL sides. That is tough! But try to remember that when you are the person trying to give advice/suggestions, because generally speaking, every single mother tends to think what they are doing is the "right thing". And it's easy to get defensive.

Also, lately, I have to keep reminding myself that just because someone is giving me suggestions or asking me questions, that doesn't mean they are judging. OFtentimes mom and dad or the grandmas really are just curious about my life and my thoughts...so I keep reminding myself to not get upset and feel like I am being interrogated.

justadrienne said...

Well, the issue of deciding what to or not to write about here in the blog (or how to write about certain things), is sort of a whole separate (though also weighing) issue . . . I was talking about the in-person stuff more specifically (and mostly my own feelings). But yeah you are right, it's hard sometimes to remember not to be defensive!

Ella said...

I totally agree and understand what you're saying - there IS a lot of pressure that we put on ourselves as moms. It's crazy. Sometimes it feels like a never-ending internal battle!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...