This probably won't be super friendly, but maybe it will be. I'm kinda feeling the rage today.
However, I have a kid, so no one gets offended by me anymore. I can probably say whatever I want. PLUS, now that the kid is here I can comment on stuff, and no one can say "You will feel differently when you have kids." Also, not to be a total bitch, but a lot of the big stuff I believed before having kids, the stuff that was supposed to go away when a surgeon SLICED OPEN MY UTERUS, I just believe it even more now. Take that, mofos. Seriously, I think some people believed I would become a Republican Conservative Family Values Limbaugh once I had a baby.
I will still be your friend if you are a Republican Conservative Limbaugh. I will also cancel out your vote every year. Take that into consideration. Also, I probably won't be your friend because, get this for bitchy, I have an honest-to-goodness friend quota. I do. I have a set number of people I will be friends with at any given time, because otherwise I start to feel overwhelmed and depressed. Don't worry, the number is big, and I frequently grandfather people in, but if you are a Republican Conservative Values Limbaugh, you better also make damn good cake. *
Since I obviously have a lot of feelings about my C-section, let us talk about this for a moment. The next person who tells me they wish they could have a c-section because it would be so much easier, or the next person who gives me the judge face because I didn't get to have my hippie rainbow-filled-natural-birth-of-joy, will incur my wrath in a really mean way. Did you read the part about getting my uterus sliced open? And taken out of my body and then put back in and stapled shut? No. I did not push the kid out my vagina. But I didn't take the easy way out, and I would have punched a puppy if it meant having a different experience, so leave me alone. Especially, especially, ESPECIADAMNALLY, if you tell me that the reason I had to have a C-section is because my husband's Priesthood Blessing didn't work. Does the Priesthood expire or something? Like milk? Oh, I'm sorry, one day past the due date, no blessing for you. Please, people, there is only so much ish a lactating girl can take.
In other news, I officially do not understand Fashion Blogs. Fashion Blogs are weird. I'm not talking about people who write about their lives and occasionally post an outfit post. That is a little weird, but I'm a voyeur, and if people want to write/post about that, fine. But the blogs where it is just pictures of what they wore, and where they bought it? I don't get it. Why are you wearing those heels at the beach? What is the occasion? I NEED SOME NARRATIVE. I also do not get the comments that go on and on about how inspirational a fashion blog is. At best, a fashion blog is entertaining, but certainly not inspirational. Gandhi is inspirational, the ability to buy clothes at J.Crew is not.
I had to stop talking about Fashion Blogs because I think it would be weird to have stronger feelings about Fashion Blogs than my Birth Story.
Hmmm. What else, a post feels empty without any mention of my Mormon Issues, but I'm not feeling it. Dear Ensign, don't take the wings off angels in paintings and make them wear Caranessa Garment Tops. (See what I am talking about HERE.) It makes us look creepy and weird and desperate, and yes, Imma say it: cultish. That is basically all, though. My friend Sarah asked me to write a post about what I like about Mormonism. I think that is a great idea (Sarah is one of my friends who frequently tempers my madness,) but I don't want to do it in the same post where I hate on fashion blogs. Instead, I will do a one for one deal. One thing I don't like: the Church being weird about Modesty. One thing I do like: Primary Programs. The kids are always funny and enthusiastic (anyone who has ever heard "Jesus wants me for s sunBEAM" knows what I am talking about,) and it is as close to a gospel choir as Mormons get. So Primary Programs for the win!
Lastly, if you want to see a freakishly cute picture of my baby, her chin, and her friend Andrew, please go HERE.
I feel better now, thanks.
*Sigh. Now I have to backtrack so I don't sound like an awful human being. I want to be your friend if you are awesome, because you can never have enough awesome. Basically, I bring up the quota whenever someone tells me I need to be friends with someone for some socially appropriate reason I don't get, or I realize the other person isn't into it either. See? The Friend Quota is just a mercy killing thing. Not legal in Utah, but totally legal in friendships.
People make all sorts of assumptions about you when you reproduce. I don't think it is deliberate, but for some reason, in our culture, a baby isn't a baby anymore, it is a statement. A statement that the mother may or may not actually make. I guess it isn't surprising. In a time where a woman's reproductive rights are being attacked, (Step a way from my uterus, said Stephanie, to basically every Republican ever,) I guess it makes sense that our spawn is enlisted in the battle as well.
Who knew my cute wiggly worm means I suddenly hate my job, or the fact that I took a Hypnobabies class means I hate nurses? It doesn't, but apparently having a kid means you don't have opinions anymore, so other people get to make them for you. And then tell you alllll about it.
I remember taking Clara to the fabric store a few weeks after she was born. I stood at the cutting table, baby strapped to my chest waiting for the nice lady to cut my fabric.
Lady: So don't you just hate Obama now?
Me: (Startled) Excuse me?
Lady: Obama? One of his people said that SAHMs don't work?! Can you believe it? And Obama signed off on it! After that Romney woman raised five babies! Doesn't that just make you so mad?
Me: Oh. well. Everybody works, including the President. I'm sure we are all just doing the best we can. (Yes. I actually said this, I thought it was a surprisingly coherent answer for someone who just had a human being sliced out of her.)
Lady: You know that staying at home is much harder than working, right?
Me: Well, like I said, everybody works. (I'm tired now, and just want to pay for my fabric and go home.)
Fabric lady isn't the only one ready to tell me how I should feel about motherhood. Well meaning people tell me that "I must be so much happier now that I don't have to work," or, "Can you imagine leaving that little angel?" (It is none of your business, but yes, I can imagine leaving her. I can imagine leaving her on May 25th, because that is when my maternity leave ends.)
Other people hear her squeal in her car seat, roll their eyes, and say "You will be so nuts at the end of six weeks, you will beg to go back to work."
The scariest question is the breast-feeding one. Strangers ask you if you are nursing (Really? You are going to ask me about my boobs? When was the last time you had sex? Oh. I'm sorry, I thought we were playing Ask-Inappropriate Questions. My bad.)
If you say yes, I am breast-feeding, you might get a look of approval. Or you might get a lecture: "There is nothing wrong with formula!"
You say no, and a swarm of La Leche League members appear, with SWAT-team level stealth abilities, and armed with statistics about brain development and eye-sight. "Yes, formula is fine. You know who else used formula? Ted Bundy's mom. Also, Hitler's."*
Here's the thing: The War on Terrorism and the Mommy Wars are basically the same thing. See, I made a chart to show you. (Don't judge me. I get to do whatever I want when my baby is sleeping. Showering was an option, so was making this chart.)
War on Terrorism
1. Started and perpetuated based on bad information: The other side hates us and has WMDs. We must bomb them before they bomb us.
2. If you say you oppose this war, you love terrorists and hate America.
3. Even when we realize it is pointless and expensive, we must continue fighting to save face.
4. Unscrupulous politicians will use this war to advance political agendas.
5. People who are different than us (Muslims) are all terrorists.
6. Nobody wins
1. Started and perpetuated based on bad information: The other side hates us and doesn’t value our life choices. We must attack them before they attack us.
2. If you don’t take a side in this war, you hate women, mothers, and babies.
3. Even when we realize it is pointless and makes being a mother harder, we must continue fighting to save face.
4. Unscrupulous politicians will use this war to advance political agendas.
5. People who parent differently than us (stay at home, or work,) are all terrorists.
6. Nobody wins
Now I'm a liberal who (mostly) likes Obama, so my next statements about Terrorism might be a little biased. But from my understanding, I think lots of people realized that bombing the heck out of Afghanistan and Iraq wasn't working. Terrorism is a problem, but we had to end the war and look for better solutions. The average citizen of Iraq/Afghanistan wasn't the problem, but they were the ones suffering the most.
The way our country treats mothers is a problem, (our approach to maternity leave, ahem,) but the mothers vs. mothers fighting isn't working, so we need to end the Mommy wars and look for better solutions. (Longer maternity leave, paternity leave, flexible work schedules, someone-make-me-president-already-because-I-GOT-this.) The average mom isn't the problem here, but when our decision to have a child becomes part of someone else's agenda, we suffer the most.
You know what does help a new mom? The people who offer support regardless of which side you are on on the working/baby-wearing/breastfeeding/co-sleeping debate. My friends who let me walk with them to pick up their kids from school so I can talk to grown-ups and get some exercise, even though I probably slow them down. The friends who give me tips of breast-feeding, but also tell me to keep a can of formula handy. (It isn't weird when a friend asks about your boobs, in case you are wondering.) Those people help.
Another thing that helps? Watching Bones. I've always liked Bones, (in the battle between the Deschanel sisters, Emily will always win,) but I especially liked it when Bones was pregnant at the same time as me. I felt tired after a day of teaching? Get it together, Child Bride, Bones is solving a murder. I showed a movie on my last day of work (two days before Clara was born.) Bones went into labor during a prison brawl.
Then I watched the episode where Bones goes back to work. She comes home and doesn't want to put the baby to bed because she missed her so much. Booth asks her if she thinks she went back to work too soon, and asks her if she wants to take more time off.
Bones: No. I want Christine to know that what I do is important. Just because something is difficult doesn't mean I shouldn't do it.
Booth: Says something supportive, but I forget the exact quote because I'm finally okay admitting that I see Booth as his own kick-ass character, and not just another incarnation of Angel. Sorry for the distraction.
The point is, that Bones is right. While she decided to go back to work, her statement isn't another bomb in the Mommy War, it is a statement that works for everyone. You go back to work? Great, what you do is important. But Bones' statement would still be true if she had decided to quit her job and stay home. I want Christine to know that what I do is important. Just because something is difficult doesn't mean I shouldn't do it.
Being told how I feel about Clara, and motherhood, and working sucks. Parenting is difficult enough without people telling me how I feel about it. Fortunately, just because something is difficult, doesn't mean I shouldn't do it.
* I bet you are dying to know how I feed my baby now. Hint: I frequently flash old guys on accident.