It seemed as though the moment I got pregnant, I started getting advice from everyone I knew. Sometimes it was legitimate, kind and useful, other times, not so much. And occasionally it hasn’t been advice as much as it has been a family member or friend telling me what I’m going to do with my child. I never really know how to reply to that because, uh, what if that’s not what I planned to do?
My grandmother asked me a few weeks ago if I would be breastfeeding the baby. I told her that yes, that was our plan and she replied, “well of course you will, you’re going to be a good mother.”
And in that moment it hit me why I was struggling to feel blessed with all the advice I was being given. It’s because it wasn’t all advice. Every time my mother in law tells me something it’s not a suggestion, it’s an “of course you’ll do” x, y or z. When friends of ours who subscribe to a particular parenting mindset suggest things, they do it with the caveat that if we consider any other method, our child will be a monster.
I realized that we’re not receiving advice as much as we’re receiving subtle parenting threats that we’re going to ruin our child unless we do things one certain way.
Now, at nearly 32 weeks pregnant, I think I’ve narrowed down the top 10 things that “good” mothers do, according to several of the parenting “experts” in my life. I also refer to this list as all the reasons why I am clearly not actually going to be a good mother.
(Before I go on, please know that I think all 10 of these things are wonderful, even if I decide not to do them.)
So, while I sit here and eat my McDonald’s and Twix, and stock up on contaminated jarred baby food and plan ways to make sure my child sleeps as far away from me as possible and never bonds with us, why don’t you share some of the “good mother advice” you were given while pregnant?