Thursday, September 21, 2006

Venting

The other night at our birthing class our doula put out a bunch of cards with baby products on them. We had to divide these cards up into different categories. We had to find one item that would be absolutely necessary if the baby was born tomorrow, 5 items that we think we need, 8 items that would be nice to have, and something like 10 that were luxury items. We all put the car seat down as the one item that was absolutely necessary. As for all of the other categories, I have no idea what went into them now. I believe that crib sheets and a stroller ended up in the luxury item category. I stopped helping place things because I quickly realized that every time I thought there was something I'd need I was told that I don't. I learned that I'm a materialistic bitch because all you need when you have a baby is an endless supply of dish towels and an empty dresser drawer. I'm not fucking kidding! It's completely acceptable for you to put your child to sleep every night in your dresser drawer. I also learned that I don't need a nursing bra because I can continue using my regular bra and just pull it under my boob whenever I need to feed my baby. Yes, I realize that doing that works as well but I learned a long time ago that simply sleeping in my bra would stretch it out, but I guess pulling the entire thing under my boob won't? Yes, actually, it will! And when it does get stretched out I'll have to buy another bra, and when I do why can't I just go ahead and buy a nursing bra? Simply because my doula and the other couple in our birthing class think that I shouldn't? Please, I mean, I already saved money by NOT buying a crib! The doula also said that if you live close enough to the hospital you wouldn't need the car seat. She actually asked us how close we were to the hospital. I'm giving birth in JANUARY in CONNECTICUT! Even if I did live next door to the hospital I wouldn't be carrying my baby, that is only wrapped in a dish towel, home in my arms during a snow storm. That's probably because I'm materialistic and I just really want to waste my money on a travel system. Luckily I live far enough from the hospital that it seems acceptable for me to say that I'll need a car seat. Perhaps I could save the money and MacGyver-up some sort of car seat type thing made out of dish towels, a pot, and an old shoe. Nah, that's probably not necessary. Simply throwing my infant on the back seat and throwing the seat belt around it should be good enough. The other couple made a joke about their friends who just had a baby girl. They said that they laugh about how they have a whole nursery set up for the baby and all the baby has needed so far are diapers. Their friends sound like really horrible parents. I feel like I should call child services to let them know that these people have a fully loaded nursery for their child. I'm not sure how this little exercise has helped me prepare for my labor but I do know that it made me feel like a total asshole.

I guess this is where it begins. People say that once you become a mother other mothers begin judging you and compare you to themselves, as if they are better than you. It's not just the doula or the other couple in our birthing class, it seems to be everyone around me. It's my sister, my friends, my in-laws, people at work, pretty much any stranger that realizes I'm pregnant. One person says I need to register for this or that, another tells me that those things didn't work for them and that they know better than the last person you spoke to. When choosing something that I simply like it's laughable because no one would ever need this or that, I'm so materialistic. Maybe wanting the most beautiful crib in the world that will convert into a toddler bed and then into a twin size bed is silly, or the dresser that I want to buy instead of a changing table so that it will also grow with my child is unnecessary because there is a closet in the room, and maybe I shouldn't worry about buying my daughter that matching bookcase for her room so that we can place all of the children's books that I've registered for in there, I mean, Howie and I could just keep them in our bookcase right between Hannibal and An Affair to Remember. It's possible that a dish towel could be a burp cloth, a diaper, bedding, and a receiving blanket, but I'd prefer to have diapers as diapers, cute unnecessary burp clothes that say things like "Love Bug" or "Little Pumpkin" for my own entertainment while I'm up at all hours feeding, pretty sheets that fit nicely around my baby's mattress, and receiving blankets with adorable little animals printed on them. I realize it's for me, because my newborn won't care if she's crapping on my shirt or in a diaper, but I will. She won't care if I throw her clothes on the floor or in a pretty pink hamper, but it makes it easier for me to have all of her dirty clothes in the mesh bag that detaches from the hamper. It pisses me off that people feel the need to voice their opinions and laugh at me for the way I would like to decorate my baby's room or care for my daughter. Believe me, when I feel like I don't know what I'm doing I'll ask for help, but unless I've asked I'd really appreciate it if everyone would just keep your assvice to yourself. I am, after all, the one who tried for two years to conceive this child, I'm the one who stuck myself with numerous needles during every cycle for the past year (most of the time with Howie's help), I'm the one that had track marks on my right arm from having my vein tapped over and over and over again, I am the one that would endlessly vomit and feel that my world was spinning around me after popping my Metformin, I waited through a number of 2 week waits and cried when the results were negative, and after becoming pregnant I was the one that put up with the nausea, gave up caffeine, have stretch marks all over my growing belly, tolerating some intense acid reflux that no amount of Tums can resolve, back aches, removing the awful new, dark, ugly facial and body hair that is growing like a weed all over me, and I will eventually give birth without drugs (as long as there aren't any emergencies at the end) all without complaining because my little baby girl is worth every single bit of it but excuse me for being a little bit selfish now that I'm finally going to be a mother. I wasn't sure that I'd ever get to decorate a nursery or walk into Babies 'R' Us to register for all kinds of baby things. Now that I can you better believe that I'm going to have fun with it and if all those asshats that would rather put their kid in a drawer than a crib want me to say it, fine, I'll say it! YES, IT'S ALL FOR ME! I AM SELFISH AND MATERIALISTIC.

I'm sure that once my daughter is born the next issue will be that either I'm a bad mother for working or that I'm contributing to the set back of the feminist movement by being at home with my child. It should be the best of both worlds, working from home, but I'm sure it's still somehow the wrong thing for me to do. It would be difficult to go into the office when the office is in VA, and it would be difficult to pay for daycare because it is insanely expensive. Will I be teaching my daughter that women are lower than men because I'm working from home, I doubt that because I don't believe that and neither does my husband. Will my daughter be behind because she isn't in daycare and therefore not socializing with other children? I doubt it because I do plan on joining Mommy and Me groups so that the both of us can get out of the house now and then. What if I'm wrong? What if I'm damaging my child? I don't think that I'm such a fumbling moron that my child is going to end up in lock up by the age of 15 because I worked from home. Who the hell knows what to do anymore? The thing is none of us know what is exactly right, we're all doing the best that we can and trying to teach our children the values that we feel are the most important for them to learn. Why do we have to judge each other? Because we're so insecure about what we're doing and finding that someone else is doing something different makes us question ourselves, so instead we decide to just make the other woman feel like she's doing something wrong with her child. It's stupid, why are you so worried that you're wrong because they do things differently? It doesn't mean that you're wrong or that they're wrong, it just means that there are different types of people in this world which I hope isn't such a huge shocker for you. Just raise your child to be the kind of person you'd like them to be and if you don't like the way that I'm raising my child then I guess we just won't be putting our children into the same play group. Quite honestly, if you're upset with me for putting my child to sleep in a crib, covering her butt with a diaper, and breastfeeding her in public then I don't care to know you. What you should be more concerned about are the people who starve their children to death, or beat their children, or molest their children and their children's friends.

Thanks for letting me vent. I feel better now.

4 comments:

Brenda said...

Oh Amykins! I can only imagine how damn ANNOYING that must have been for you! I loved reading this post bc it made me feel like I was with you and I love feeling your passion through your words. Such BS if these losers don't want to have fun and make their nursery cute, I'm totally with you on cutifying your baby girl's bedroom! You've always been so good at decorating, I can't wait to see the nursery!! You are NOT materialistic, more like REALISTIC! And safety first bc if you didn't put your child in a car seat - that would be illegal and child neglect... did any of them think of that?!?!? And how safe is it to put your child in a wooden drawer that has the potential to fall out/break?!?! These people are insane, we aren't living in the depression era! Why make do with what you have when you can afford to get nicer, safer, easier things?

And you are right about how everyone is walking around like they know best about how to do this or that with your child. Just smile and nod and do what you want bc you know what values you want to instill in your child and by working from home you will have the best of both worlds and def NOT be giving some kind of gender misunderstanding to your child (remember my mom was a stay at home and I don't think women are any less than men or shouldn't have careers). Your daughter will be greatful to have had you around during the formative years and you will be SO much happier being around to shape your own child and spend time with her. You'll be a fantastic mom and I CANNOT wait to live near you again so I can witness your motherhood (and hopefully someday have my own so we can have our babies grow up like we did, hehe). I love you and miss you.

xoxoxoox

electriclady said...

Damn straight. I can't believe the doula said a car seat wasn't necessary. Aren't you not even allowed to leave the hospital without one?

It's true that babies don't NEED anything more than a dresser drawer and some swaddling, but we technically don't NEED clothes and cars and shampoo either, but they sure make life a lot nicer, don't they?

soralis said...

What I don't get is why half the population has all the answers and is so judgemental... aren't we all different and don't we all have our own needs!

Anyway go be materialistic and enjoy girl... don't let anyone tell you how to be or what to get!

Take care

Sarah said...

I know EXACTLY how you feel in regards to buying all this stuff and I have to laugh. We are buying for ourselves because of course the kids are not going to notice that the bed linens are a perfect match to the accents on the freshly painted wall! My husband is talking about how we can fabricate mattresses buy cutting out a piece of foam to fit the cribs. Now I can understand not going for some of the more expensive car seats because you simply like the colour better, but come on. It isn't like we are destitute. We can afford to buy propper mattresses for the kids. Why does he feel that we have scrimp and save maybe $50 instead of just buying a propper mattress. It makes me crazy.

We bought really good cribs, but they were from an auction, so we got a great deal on them, except that they were unfinished. I plan on painting them white. He says, why paint them, let's leave them unfinished. BECAUSE I DREAM OF A WHITE NURSERY...THAT'S WHY!!!! In the end, I think that he will probably humour me because he doesn't want to stress me out with fighting about it. Maybe that is just how it goes! I don't think that the free advice from everyone ever ends, nor does the judging about your parenting skills. Somehow we have to put some special glasses on to help filter out what might actually benefit us and what is just people's stupid opinions. Good luck.