Live And Let LiveMonica Bielanko
I can’t help myself. I just can’t. I need to write this and here is why: somewhere there is some twenty-something, newly pregnant for the first time, and she is reading some of these Being Pregnant blogs and thinking this is how it is. That pregnant women are a bunch of judgmental, finger-wagging, I-simply-cannot-understand-why you’d-make-that-choice broads.
I’ve written about this before here in Pregnancy Choices And The Mean Girl Syndrome and Meredith Carroll did an excellent job trying to put a face on the issue here in a post called Pregnancy: Everyone’s An Expert (Not), but I absolutely froth at the mouth when I read certain posts and not because of someone’s pregnancy or parenting choices, no, not that. You wanna have a natural birth? Super. You wanna be so loaded up on pain meds you don’t come down until next week? Swell. You think midwives are far superior to doctors? Okay. You aren’t into breastfeeding? ROCK ON WIT YO BAD SELF. It’s all the judgment that gets me down. And it’s not always blatant, it can be passive aggressive, hidden within the paragraphs of someone raving about the magnificence of their way of doing things.
I’m not here to cast aspersions on your choices, unless, you know, your kid is chained to the radiator in the basement right now. You’re probably getting enough judgment from certain friends and family members. If you are here, reading up on pregnancy, I’ve got to figure you’re a good mom with the best of intentions and that’s good enough for me. If I’ve ever inadvertently written something that made you feel badly about your choices I want you to know it wasn’t intentional. I would never want to do that because I’ve been on the other side, reading things that upset me and get into my psyche and make me feel guilty for certain decisions I’ve made when – in reality – I know that I’m doing the very best that I can.
I want to you to know that I feel obligated to you. If you are reading what I write, I am helping to shape your pregnancy experience and that is important to me! So I hope I’m writing in a way that perhaps inspires you to think in new directions yet doesn’t make you feel like your choices are somehow inferior.
Are you with me? I guess what I’m trying to say is I’m really proud to write for Babble alongside kick ass chicks like Ceridwen Morris and Meredith Carroll, to name just a few – and of course, our token fella, the inimitable John Cave Osborne and I really enjoy writing for women who are going through one of life’s ultimate experiences. But, as I’ve mentioned before, there is something about pregnancy and the birthing experience that seems to make perfectly reasonable women behave in ways they would admonish their teen daughters for acting.
I want you to visit Being Pregnant to learn new things, laugh and commiserate and yes, engage in debate every now and again when the same old hot topic issues arise, but not feel like you have to defend yourself because your pregnancy and parenting choices are under attack as a result of something I’ve written.
Being pregnant is hard enough, man. Being a new mom is even tougher. You need all the help, information and positive reinforcement you can get. So, my question to you is this: what do you like about Being Pregnant? What would you like to see more of? What bothers you? Are there any topics that haven’t been covered that you’d like to hear about?
Also, thanks for reading. It’s because you guys read that I was able to quit my job as a producer in a local newsroom and move across the country to Pennsylvania to be near my husband’s family and have much-need childcare help – it’s hard to nurse and type with one hand! So, thank you. My babies are the most important thing in the world to me and now, because of you, I get to be home with them full-time, something I’ve wanted since my daughter was born. I can never, EVER, thank you enough.