I’m in training for what I believe should be an Olympic event — you have the hammer throw, the shot put, and the expectation chuck. I’ve decided that I’m DONE with the expectations and (mostly self-inflicted) pressure to bend to others’ will.
For example, I’ve been very quiet (on the ol’ Internets and in real life) concerning a decision Scott and I made regarding LilRunr’s nutrition. I’ve been worried about what other people would think or being judged because we’ve been feeding our baby formula. Even now, I cringe to say that openly on the Internet because I’m so used to EXPECTING the condemnation of breastfeeding supporters everywhere. “You monster! Do you want your baby to get sick? How selfish are you? You don’t deserve to have a child!” The imagined tirades aren’t very pleasant, and so I’ve kept quiet because of ALL my friends and acquaintances, I’m the only one I know who’s made that choice.
Then, I met a friend and co-worker for lunch. Her hubby brought the kids, and partway through our meeting he apologetically brought over their (adorable!) 6-week-old. “She’s hungry,” he explained. My friend turned to me with a nervous expression and asked, “do you mind if I feed her?” I was floored. Do I MIND? Why would I mind? Then I realized that this beautiful, devoted mother of three was concerned about what I would think about her nursing in public. As I was afraid that she might judge me for how I fed LilRunr, she was concerned about my reaction. When really, as a mother and (I think) decent person, my main concern is that a hungry baby gets fed. Although you might EXPECT that based on my decision, I think that nursing is gross and unseemly and unsanitary and SOOO old-fashioned, that’s simply not the case. I think it’s a wonderful thing and admire those with the commitment to breastfeed despite any obstacles or discomfort. I will, of course, be extremely awkward if you nurse in front of me, because my brain is saying “don’t look at her boobs, don’t look at her boobs” but somehow all my eyes pick up on are “boobs” and they go, “look at boobs! Got it! Hey, there’s boobs right here!” and begin to travel of their own volition…oh boy, this just got weird. Does that only happen to me? Sigh. The awkwardness is really my problem. No one else’s. And really, I’m socially awkward in any number of situations.
So, I no longer care what people may be thinking or expecting of me. I just want to raise my boy and enjoy every second of it instead of worrying about what people think because — and here’s my epiphany — odds are that they’re more worried about how I might be judging THEM than focusing a critical eye on my own parenting style. Wow. That’s a relief, and I’d like to stop the cycle of endlessly expecting criticism.
This also means that I’m going to turn a deaf ear to the phone calls from a certain grandmother who says, “I just talked to so-and-so and her granddaughter is ready to crawl at 7 months. LilRunr is almost there and he isn’t even up on his hands and knees yet.” It’s funny how we have kids and talk a big game about cherishing them as individuals…and then spend an inordinate amount of time comparing them to other kids. I don’t care how LilRunr stacks up in the whole “developmental milestone” game. His childhood isn’t a race, and I’m going to do my best to let him develop in his own way. He’s doing just fine and he lights up my whole day even if he ISN’T talking in full sentences or interested in crawling just yet. He is, however, moving BACKWARDS on his activity center/walker thing. It’s hilarious. I’m all, “dude, you know you’re supposed to want to move forward, right?” and he’s responds with, “kiiiiihhhhh goooo mmmmmmmma” which I think means, “mom, it just goes in a circle so it’s not like it really matters which direction I travel in.” Ah, I see. Point taken.
AND I’m going to be blogging, even if it’s not in a timely fashion (Alumni Race recap from July or from two weeks ago? Yeeeeaaaahhhh…) or logical order. I’ve let my lengthy break keep me from posting, and I’m done with that. No one really cares if there’s order in the chaos, Megan. It’s not like you have a bajillion hits a day and people really expect great things from this little blog. Get over yourself and just live.
“Get over yourself and just live.”
Expectations chucked. 🙂