Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Three things to never talk about:

There are three things that I would advise any new mom NEVER to discuss in a public forum:

1) Breastfeeding

2) Sleep training/Co-sleeping

3) Returning to work/becoming a stay-at-home mom

I am continually surprised at how quickly things can get very tense when you choose to talk about one of these issues. People can get very dogmatic and/or defensive VERY quickly.

I'm not lying to you. When I called my sister to tell her I was pregnant, she asked me questions about how I was going to deal with two out of three of the above subject matters. (If you're reading this dear sister, I love you, but you totally did!) How was I supposed to answer, I was about 10 minutes pregnant!?!

So, for each of these, I have taken a "let's try one way that seems best and see" approach and then a clear decision about what was ACTUALLY best for that moment became clear - either reinforcing the original idea or in reaction to it.

Notice how I'm not actually saying what I did? How I'm not committing to talking about any of it here - even after 8 months? Well, that's how scared I am of the criticism that I encounter everywhere - mommy blogs, message boards, strangers at events, friends, family, dentists, hairdressers. Everywhere.

I made a slip today, talking about one of these issues on Facebook. (I totally forgot that when you respond to a note that everyone on the note can see it.) It wasn't bad, but I will NOT be lured into a false sense of security. I would love to talk about some of this, particularly my breastfeeding story, but I simply cannot take the chance that I will open myself up to more stress than I already have. And these things are so very personal. As personal as my relationship with my child. As intimate as my relationship with my child. And I have yet to encounter anything more personal and intimate than that - or anything that means as much to me, and that I take as seriously.

Period, end of story.

Now, if you are someone that knows about these topics in my life, then chances are I love and adore and very much trust you. If you are considering having a child and would like to know how I handled these issues, I would be happy to share my story with you - over a cup of tea, with a signed confidentiality agreement in hand.


OhanaMama said...

I totally get this.
And, as I write this, it occurs to me that I tend to offer advice when not requested... which probably makes others feel as defensive as I feel when they do the same.
I appreciate this reminder.
I hope that all three of those areas are going smoothly for you, regardless of how you get to "smooth."

craige said...

I completely understand, but I wish you did feel comfortable to share your thoughts on these subjects. I know friends who have had hard times with things like not being able to breastfeed and they get such criticism from those around them. It's unfortunate that people think someone else's blog is the place to criticize, but that's the way I guess it is. I wonder if I'd have the courage to talk about my choices in those matters. I don't know if I would! I'm just glad to see that you are still blogging. More than you can say for lazy ol' me!