This is apparently a thing. What a luxury item.
Infertility teaches you so much about your level of compassion. Its unique pain tends to unify those of us who have experienced it to the point where we can’t imagine judging someone doing what they need to do to get by.
But yes, this is apparently something that people have time to do.
It was surprisingly a culture shock for me, I’ll admit. With infertility, when you search for information or advice, most of what you receive is in a friendly manner. We each want the other to find their way to parenthood, however they can, so we don’t have time to yell at each other about the semantics. So when I first saw a digital argument about whether or not it was “okay” to allow your 4 week old to sleep in their crib so that a mom could SLEEP, I was lost.
This poor mama was raked over the coals by countless other parents who felt that by getting enough sleep for herself, she was somehow neglecting her child and the fact that “parenting is a 24 hour job”.
I’m confused. If I’m drastically sleep-deprived, filthy, and malnourished, what kind of parent am I then? When my poor infant is languishing in my limp arms as I pass out, who is going to care for him THEN? You? Self-righteous and judgy, “parenting is my only job” person? Are YOU going to come in like Mary Poppins and take over? If not, shut up.
Not to mention, every single parent is learning as they go along. Whether it’s your first child or your fourth, each one is different and there are some parts that you’re going to have to learn as you go. I can’t add the insurmountable guilt I place ON MYSELF, mind you, to your ridiculous expectations that you’ve decided to project onto my home also. Many of us are struggling with getting to know these small people who are learning how to be people, while also dealing with partners, family members, and other daily stresses. We don’t need the additional weight of someone else’s judgement.
My mantra while pregnant, during labor, and now into my journey as a parent has been honed and cultivated over the many years of dealing with infertility, and that is: “Go with the flow”. Going easy with myself was key, and going easy on my child and partner is vital, so that we can each be our best selves. With that in mind, I can’t imagine putting undue stress or pressure on another parent.
I worked too hard to get here, to let someone else’s opinions influence my parenting.
I’m doing a good job. And so are you, whoever you are.