Friday, March 29, 2013

Motherhood is a cult

Yep, that's right, it's a cult. From the moment you utter the words "I'm pregnant." Or heck maybe even "I'm late." You start your inductions into the cult of motherhood. As a gal who was in a sorority and is now the local president of an association, I'm totally comfortable with cult-like tenancies, but for others I imagine it's a bit much. Rest assure, it's all coming from a good place, and you might find yourself appreciating the network you have if you can sift through the bs. During some of my "darkest motherhood moments" thus far it was fellow moms who helped talk me off the ledge (and really, I haven't had it bad). It was their honest thoughts and compassion that made me realize I'm not alone in this journey.

In looking back on my past year+ it's been a roller coaster. Once announced I was "with child" it was constant advice, opinions, thoughts, etc.  Mom's literally come crawling out of the woodwork. People you haven't talked to in years are like "OMG you're pregnant! You have to register for ________ it's a life saver." or "pssss....breastfeeding is so wonderful, of course you're doing it, right?" or "Hey, are you seriously going to go back to work??"

Sounds annoying (and sure some of it was), but to be honest a lot of it was SUPER helpful. Maybe I'm smart enough to filter out the comments from those I might not agree with, but it's honestly nice to know what opinions are out there. There are millions of sounding boards. I'm sure some people feel annoyed or as though people are crossing a privacy boundary, but for me it was a nice bout of confidence to have a huge support system. Being a mom is hard. It's REALLY freaking hard at times (thank you mom, you are lovely and I appreciate you that much more now having walked in your shoes), and as a confident and very independent person it's uncharted territory to question every decision, but when it comes to motherhood I have. You literally worry that every choice you are making is impacting your little person...starting at conception (I mean even I only had 2 glasses of wine my entire pregnancy...oh great, now there are lame-o mom's out there the judgers, he's 100% fine and probably smarter than your nervous nelly child who will never break a rule, so there). Judgement aside, I found it really nice to have people to bounce ideas off of; hey, I work in a collaborative field. Mom's are passionate and more than willing to give you more than what you asked for (plus it saves you time researching things, that others have already done the homework for). Sure, I don't agree with what all mom's have to offer, but it is nice to know what others think regardless if you agree. And believe me, they are happy to share.

Let's be honest, motherhood is a lot of pressure. "Where is your child being schooled? Eat this; don't eat this.  Is that cheese pasteurized? Are you sure you can have lunch meat? Is that formula? Are you sure they are ready for solids? You're going to leave him overnight? I could never do that.   Look at the baby, look at the baby." Yep, pretty sure people are judging me. And to that I say... BITE ME. Do what is right for you my mama friends.  And if you need a sounding board who isn't going to judge you for having freaking feta on a salad when you're pregnant, then I'm your girl!

Use what advice you might need and disregard the rest, just know that once you are a mom you will be hearing it non-stop. If you a type A person, like me, it is REALLY a lot of pressure to know there are so many opinions flying your way. And I really don't think that having a baby should include judgmental stress, which is why I have tried to be very "namaste" and therefore have been dub'd "bo-ho mom" by my family as my attitude is very "sure eat some mud...he's going to be fine."Thankfully I like who I've become as a mom. I'm quite comfortable that I'm not a helicopter parent, I'll leave the uber over protective piece to others.  I've accepted the fact that my child is going to get bumps and bruises along the way and that's good, because how else do we learn?  Helicopter moms are surely judging me now, and I'm judging them for being over protective (does that make me a hypocrite?). *Namaste.* Don't worry though, I'm positive I will be that mom waiting up for the kids to come home during the high school years; so my type A will surface again for sure.

I guess we just have to remember that all mom's even those we don't agree with come from a good place....after all this might be the hardest job out there, so you can't fault another person's passion. At the end of the day, we're all just trying to do the best job we can at a job that doesn't come with a book of policies and procedures, a 401K plan, or heck even paycheck. So cheers to all mom's out there...the helicopters and the bohemians!

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