Start In The Present

4 Mar

Dear passionate mothers, pregnant women, well-meaning family members and friends full of stories. Now that you’ve found out that Bob and I are expecting a child I’m sure that you will be very excited for us and would love to share with us your stories and values around pregnancy, birth and parenting. I’m asking you (with love) to please reconsider! Ask yourself whether you feel compelled to share these stories for our benefit or for your own.

We are thankful for your friendship and support however we find that hearing multitudes of stories and opinions from all over the place is less than helpful. Sure, you might have lots of children, lots of experience or done lots of research but please remember that everyone’s journey is different and valid and that the last thing we need is to have our journey compared to another’s.

I know that many of you feel passionately about your chosen parenting/birthing approaches and we need to tell you honestly now that even though we might agree with your choices and philosophies and may potentially apply them, it’s unlikely that we will ever give ourselves a definitive label so please don’t be disappointed if we don’t join your club (especially if it’s very heavily ‘anti this’ or ‘pro that’).

Our approach is one that will be more intuitive than planned. We like to live each moment at a time, reassessing and learning as we go along rather than sticking to a rigid set of rules (whether or not those rules have been proven to be best/right/good). We’re happy to throw the rules out the window if they don’t work for us and we ask for your respect in our choice to do so.

We are not at all saying that we do not want your continued support throughout the rest of the pregnancy and beyond but please be mindful of the fact that what has worked for you may not work for us, what you found to be negative – we may find to be positive (and vice versa), approaches that you disapprove of may well be something we adopt. We ask you purely to remain open and positive as we do and to respect our choices even if you do not agree with them.

We’re certainly not claiming to have all the answers either, so expect that we will be asking you for advice around particular issues that we are facing – we certainly appreciate your expertise and assistance (but please, only when we request it).

Please do not take this request personally. We’re not doing this because we have had a bad experience with anyone, it’s more that we’ve observed others expecting their first child in the past and have seen how unhelpful the stories and opinions of others can be and would like to prevent this from getting in the way of our experience. The last thing we need when going into labour is to have flashes of stories from everyone elses birth flashing through our minds and getting in the way.

We ask you this lightheartedly and lovingly and certainly don’t want you to feel uncomfortable talking to us about how we’re going with it all. If you’re unsure about how to approach the topic with us then your best bet is to start in the present, that’s where we are.

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