I'm relatively new to having an audience that is not just my mother. Now there is more of you which means there are more people to like what I'm saying and more people to not like what I am saying. More people to like me and more people to not like me. And I signed up for this so, ok. But I want you to like me. And confrontation is hard. It knots up my stomach and makes me shake. Literally. I shopped for shoes at Target yesterday with shaky hands after reading a few, new comments on that last post of mine.
I'm not looking for sympathy. I signed up for it. I'll take it.
But, it made me think about how to draw the line between rightfully defending myself, not wanting to offend, and not feeling so bad if I unintentionally do. It made me think about how many things about my life could possibly offend you. How many things could make you dislike me or make you think I'm criticizing you for being not me.
(For the record, I'm not.)
It's easy to assume that because someone does things differently that you, and because they are open about those things, that there is an underlying, automatic judgement towards every other method.
Fact: I have had 5 unmedicated births. 4 at home, 1 at a birth center. But I do not judge you for your epidural or your hospital. I just might meet you there someday. I would like to try and play Uno at 8 cm. It actually sounds awesome.
Fact: There might be medicated birthers who still feel judged, and others who think I'm a fool or bad mother, and natural birthers who feel like I am a terrible representation of the clan because I just said an epidural sounds awesome.
And that's the tip of the iceberg when it comes to reasons mothers war against each other, isn't it?
Do you spank? Do you vaccinate? Do you sleep with your kids? Do you let them in the yard unsupervised? Do you let them walk to the store? Do you let them climb trees? Do you let them drink soda? Do you bathe them often enough? Do you let them eat food off of the ground? Do you yell? Do you not yell? Do you have scheduled c-sections? Do you have your babies alone in the woods in a bed of moss? Are you ruining your children? Are you ruining your children? Are you ruining your children?
The truth is, I might write some more things that really bother you. Maybe you will be angry at me for them or think I am hoisting myself up on a pedestal or claiming an authority I am unworthy to claim. My shaky hands in Target yesterday forced me to decide that if I am going to blog, I've just gotta keep doing it. I, most certainly, need to keep checking myself and being humble, but I've got to allow myself the freedom to sit down and tap out a post about breaking baby rules, or faith, or parenting, or my grout, or anything else that might make you upset. Some of you will read that paragraph and think- Cool, I totally respect that. Some of you will read it and think- Wow, further condescension and soapboxing. It's an amazing lesson in our collective diversity and in our inability to control the reactions of others.
But, if I do make you upset, my sincere advice you is stop reading this blog. Not because I don't want you here or because I don't want your opinion. Because I do. I really do. Maybe you will tell me something I really need to hear and I'll be so grateful. Maybe it will make my stomach knot up and I'll learn a lesson in healthy stress management. I ask you to click on because my genuine hope for you is that you don't to spend your time coiled up in anger about a blog post. If you were my friend in real life, I would say the same.
This is not a defense. This is simply me rooting out my intentions for this blog. And it's probably mostly for myself as I figure out who to be here, in this little blip in the giant universe that is internet. I don't want to make you mad. I don't. But I'm going to keep saying things. I'm going to keep honestly sharing our life. I'm going to keep that blog header up. And I'm not going to feel so obligated to defend it all.
My (almost crippling) fear of confrontation can make my head spin. If you tell me I shouldn't be doing what I'm doing, even if I should, I will hesitate and I will question myself and I will get shaky. And while a part of the virtue of humility is being able to gracious accept chastisement, a part of the virtue of courage is keepin' on. I hope this blog to be a lesson in both.