Lots of things have made me angry lately: a father’s case against breastfeeding, a mother dismissing (in an admittedly funny way) any notion that she or anybody else could get through a natural labor and delivery, and feeling like maybe I was being told to stay home with my daughter all day for her own good. My gut reaction is to write an impassioned tirade in response, and while I’ve stopped and started writing several times, I’ve never finished. And there’s a good reason.
I think we’d all be much better parents (and a billion times happier people) if we could stop being defensive about the choices we’ve made and just feel good about them. In a conversation with a friend we discussed how we sometimes feel like we can’t be proud of the fact that we’re still exclusively breastfeeding because it feels like it makes mamas who’ve made different choices feel bad or guilty. But nursing, just like everything else about being a parent, is super hard work. I want my friend to feel like she’s She-Ra (because she is) and I want the same for my friends whose heartbreaking struggles with nursing those early weeks lead them in a different direction. Because I’ve been there. And because we’re all devoted to our children. How we choose to birth or feed or clothe them (or diaper or sleep train or teach) doesn’t change that.
It’s hard not to assume I’m being judged, not to lay in bed at night and think of witty retorts for when someone (seems to) side-eye me for wearing my daughter. And not just because I ought to be sleeping. Because it really doesn’t matter. If I can and do accept another mom for who she is and how she parents, I’m going to make a better assumption: that she’s doing the same for me.
So tell me something you’re doing that you deserve to feel good about. Because I’m sure it’s not one but a hundred things.