I’ve been part of many clubs. Pre-Oliver, I was a devout member of:
– “women struggling with fertility” club
– “I will have another drink (or 2) because I can” club
– “I am a kick-ass runner” club
– “I’m only on Facebook so that I can look at people’s profiles who I am not even friends with” club
– “I’m a kick-ass runner” club
Now, post-Oliver, I have cancelled my membership to 3 of those 5 clubs (guess which ones??) but entered a new one that I am very proud of:
– “the new mom glow is so much better than the pregnancy glow” club
This new mantra of “I’m the mom, hear me roar” is fantastic and a great feeling; however, I am quickly learning that not all clubs associated with motherhood are so empowering and cheerful.
I taught a pre-natal swim class throughout my pregnancy and met some wonderful women that were all expecting children around the same time as me. While pregnant, we chatted weekly about the aches, cravings and surprises of pregnancy while bouncing ever so gracefully in a warm pool. In the aftermath of pregnancy, we now exchange late-night emails about the unexpected surprises of motherhood. And from these emails, I’m learning about the other “clubs” in motherhood.
To name a few:
– the “only my sweatpants fit me” club
– the “it’s lonely at 4am and I am limited by the games I can play on my iPhone while also feeding my baby” club
– the “my husband is awfully cranky and I’m not sure why because he got 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep and that makes me resentful” club
I have been fortunate to avoid one club all together. Oliver is a wonderful eater and we have had wonderful success breastfeeding. For other’s; however, it is not as simple and many of my are now member’s of a new club.
– the “I have to supplement my baby’s feedings with formula because I am not producing enough milk” club (or the other, less-popular club of “I have chosen to formula-feed my baby and that is none of your business”)
From the sounds of it, these are lonely clubs, in which the members feel shame, embarrassment and failure. Hearing my friends impressions of these clubs, it reminds me of my old stomping grounds in the “infertile” club. In a society where women are afraid to admit their shortcomings, embarrassed to show failure and no where to go for support, it hurts me to know that there are women struggling, thinking they are in it alone. How one feeds their child is a very personal decision, and regardless of what route is chosen, women should not be judged by anyone, especially other women.
I’ll jump off my soapbox in a minute, but not before saying this:
STOP JUDGING AND LEAVE YOUR OPINIONS TO YOURSELF!