In hindsight, I’m not convinced that I completely understood what pregnancy meant. I mean, obviously, I knew that it came with worry and fear and cravings and doubt. I didn’t realize that I’d be concerned about whether eating lunch meat was actually okay or not, and I didn’t understand how hard and beautiful and surreal living with a newborn would be.
Through loss, both from my own and others’, I did know that being pregnant wasn’t a guarantee that I’d come home with a baby at the end of 40 weeks. I knew, the hard way, that things could go wrong. That life rarely plays out the way that it does in our dreams.
I didn’t know about mommy wars. While I was determined to breastfeed because I’d read that formula babies have more allergies, I based that opinion on what I’d read and on the fact that I have terrible allergies myself. I cannot be in a room with a cat. I am allergic to Bounce dryer sheets and rabbits and mold and so many of this world’s amazing fuzzy creatures. I thought that if there was a chance that breastfeeding may help my own little baby to not have to ask a friend whether he has a cat before going to a sleepover would be worth it.
Truth be told, for me, breastfeeding was horrible for three days and then it was perfect until my son weaned himself. I also understand that your situation may have been very different from mine.
But sure, I have opinions.
I have opinions about breastfeeding and babywearing and whether or not the “cry-it-out” method is cruel or a life saver. Whether being a working mom, a stay-at-home-mom, or something between the two is best. I know for me. And I only know for me.
I have my opinions on all of it. And they are that. My opinions. My ideals, shaped by my own life and beliefs and experiences and dreams.
My opinions differing from yours doesn’t mean anything really. Maybe, we’re both right. Or maybe we’re both wrong. Most likely, we’re both somewhere between.
We all have our own stories and values.
You have your beliefs and I have mine. While I think that we can learn from one another and that we continue human growth by putting ourselves into shoes whose sizes are unreadable because our alphabets are different, I also will always believe and promote that our shoes are more similar than different.
That we are, too.
When I was pregnant, I didn’t know about mommy wars. About judgement and cliques and fads and disagreements.
I did know a little bit about the cost of self righteousness though. I’ve suffered from that before. From both sides.
When I was pregnant, I didn’t really understand the cost of being victim to shame for a mommying choice. I didn’t understand that having an opinion came with a price.
Lying in my bed at night, replaying a conversation I had with my sister-in-law about breastfeeding, five years later.
The cost of that, for both of us.
I look at my past and see self righteousness.
Mine. Other people’s.
And while at times, the conversations and debates we’ve had have been inspiring and fun, mostly, they feel yucky and costly. That part of us pays a toll to listen to how we’re doing it wrong or doing it right which means somebody else is doing it wrong just feels, well, wrong. Costly.
There’s a cost to self righteousness. One that I’m not sure I’m willing to pay when it comes to my own opinions or yours.
Sometimes, we’re wrong and sometimes we’re right and really it doesn’t matter anyway. Having an opinion on anybody’s “doing it right” when they feel like they truly are? Is just wrong. Who are we? Who are we to say who is doing it wrong?
Because really isn’t all of this life about figuring out what we’re doing wrong and doing right and finding the between?
It comes with a cost, this okayness with our parenting and ourselves. A high cost.
This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday Post.
When I talked to this week’s sentence thinker-upper, Allie about her prompt, I had such a different post in mind. One about how Gucci watches mean less to me now than they used to, actually. But Julie of Next Life, No Kids had talked to me about this amazing movement she has on stopping the mommy wars and this idea felt better. I’m joining her in #Mommitment. A movement to stop mommy wars. To realize that we’re so so so much more alike than different.
Finish the Sentence Friday ROCKS and here you go for hosts: