Decisions. Research. Opinions. Judgments.
It is the doctor or midwife’s priority to focus on “healthy mother, healthy baby. It is the doulas priority to focus on “healthy bond, healthy mind”.
The woman’s priorities are all of the above.
So how the hell does she decide what’s best for her, her baby, her bond and her mind?
Constant fetal monitoring during labor? Induction? Eye ointment? Vitamin K? Episiotomy? Epidural? Water birth? The list goes on and on.
It’s one after another as each woman works towards deciding what is best for her and her family.
But this is only the beginning…
Next will come feeding. How to feed? When to feed? What to feed? Where to feed?
Next comes… Diapering.
Cloth diapers? Disposable diapers? Elimination communication?
Attachment parenting? Scheduled parenting? Sleep coaching? Pacifiers? Co-sleeping? Baby wearing?
This stuff never gets easier. Every stage of parenting brings the same thing.
You are faced with a decision
You do some research
You ask for opinions from others
You are judged for the decisions you make….
I am the matriarch of my family. It is not an easy position to hold but one that I have learned to embrace. I decide what is right for us. Sometimes I am right and sometimes I am wrong. When I am wrong, I work to make it right.
My children are now adults, but it wasn’t so long ago that I, as their mother, was regularly faced with decisions that needed to be made for them.
Could they go to a friend’s house?
Would I allow them to go to sleep away camp?
Could they walk to the store alone?
Could they go to the mall with friends?
Would I give them the Gardisil vaccine?
Could they go to the concert?
How old did they need to be to wear make up?
Could they date a boy or girl?
Could they date a boy or girl who drove?
It seemed never ending and the pressure of those decisions nearly killed me. I didn’t want to disappoint them but I wanted to keep them safe.
So…. I went back to what I knew.
Only now, the judgment that I worried about was from them, my children.
I worried that they would judge me. That they would feel cheated by me if I said no. That they would feel punished by me if I didn’t allow them to do something they wanted to do. I struggled with these decisions and here is why…
Because I knew they answers and I knew they might not like them!
My gut screamed at me, things like…
THAT’S NOT SAFE!
THEY COULD GET HURT!
THAT IS NOT IN THEIR BEST INTEREST!
The answers to every decision I ever had to make was always right in front of me but I struggled because I wanted them to be “right.”
But “right” for who?
I wasn’t focusing on what was right for us in those instances. I was focused outward. I was focused on what others would do. What others would think and what others would say.
But it wasn’t about them. It was about me. It was about MY mind and MY bond. It had nothing to do with others and everything to do with what I wanted and what made me feel safe. It was about how MY children would grow and thrive. About what would keep them safe and give ME peace of mind.
It was about ME as a woman. It was about ME as a wife and it was about ME as a mother. When I made decisions based on those things…
I was ALWAYS right.
Be right! Go to your gut! Trust it! Act on it!
And repeat after me… I AM ENOUGH.