Thursday, 3 January 2013

Too much choice, too much advice...

OK, I am officially in the last trimester of my first pregnancy. And I can feel it. The bump is suddenly in a way. It was a moderate bump but now it is stopping me from walking around corners without bumping into them, being fast, turning in bed without noticing, sitting and dressing or undressing without a thought. Whatever move I make the bump reminds me of its existence.

Baby's moves feel different, too and they are actually visible now, which makes husband very happy.
With the last trimester and Christmas behind us we can start to get ready. Getting ready time was a project placed in my head - I could see it in the future, happily ordering and getting only necessary stuff. But the reality is that once I started my research I am bombarded with too many products, too much information and too much choice. Who said that choice is good? I need nappies (washable, I am not giving my baby 500 years worth of landfill mountain as a gift for the environment) - give me nappies that work, not 50 websites claiming they are the best and confusing comments and forums where nobody has a clear opinion. Same with a sling, a cot, a car seat, basically with anything.

My friends are keen to donate stuff they don't need which I am grateful for, but I am stuffed with a massive bag filled with pink clothes and I don't know the sex of my baby (newborns are colour blind anyway, surely my eventual son will not be damaged if he will spend some time in a pink onesie) and I already have 2 Moses baskets. I will soon run out of space without putting together sensible amount of things I will really need and use. Apparently I will not find out WHAT I actually need and will use until the baby is here anyway, so maybe I should go back to simply enjoying myself and hope for the best.

With donated items came the advice. Yes, my friends already had all the children they will ever want and besides de-cluttering they also feel the need to tell me what to do. They feel they really know how parenting works and husband and I are clueless. Somehow the fact that while they popped their dear babies ones and twos while husband and I were struggling to conceive seems to make them believe we have no idea. The fact is that husband and I had plenty of time to observe their parenting and make up our own idea about how we want to function as a family in the future. But because we didn't do any parenting yet, our dear friends assume we want to listen to their advice and stories and follow them to the letter.

At the same time I noticed that while I am very occupied with the pregnancy/birth/newborn, those parts became very blurry to my friends and they keep telling me how to deal with older kids and work-life balance. So thank you but no thank you. We are not on the same boat really.

What I do think after absorbing the baby talk (and thanks to the now very visible bump there is clearly more to come) is that every woman starts her motherhood with an ideal image of ideal mother version of herself who is blessed with an ideal baby, than this image disappears as the real motherhood starts and once she finds the ground she starts explaining herself in order to make herself to feel better. I don't think there is an ideal mother or ideal baby anywhere in the world but I think that we should just try our best - as with everything in life. I would just love to be able to do my best without being constantly judged by others and I am a little bit afraid of the competitiveness that comes with parenting. I can hear the comments my friends make about those not present and I am pretty sure the same happens regarding me when I am not around.
So my friends don't like reusable nappies or natural births but I do and instead of accepting it they keep trying to put me off. Not very helpful.

 My yoga teacher mentioned how I should observe myself in a non-judgmental way and be open while I practice but I am trying to take this advice to my everyday life. I don't want to judge my friends and their parenting or choice of baby clothes, whatever they do is clearly good for them and that is what matters. I just hope they will do the same to me and allow me to go thorough my own motherhood my own way - whether it is different from theirs or not.

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