Monday, February 23, 2015

The Mom Club

The Mom Club. n. A club in which all women who mother a child is automatically initiated into whether she wants to or not. Membership often entails unwanted advice and personal details of which you could live without. Dues are paid daily, weekly or monthly, depending on how often you choose to leave your house.

I knew I was becoming a mom for 9 months. For 39 weeks I prepared, planned, researched. I knew everything I needed to know about labor and bringing baby home! What I wish someone had told me was that the day I brought my bundle of joy home from the hospital that I was also a permanent member of the Mom Club.

Staying at home with P was great. Everything was peaceful. Quiet, for the most part. Family and friends were helpful and encouraging of whatever choices we decided to make for our daughter. But taking P into public was a whole different ball game. I think I became a member of the Club somewhere around 20 weeks pregnant. My belly was becoming much larger at this point and it seemed like wherever me and Hubs went, people asked us how far along I was and if we knew what we were having yet. Oh yes, it's a girl and we're due in December. People's eyes lit up and their mouths opened with a flood of words. Current moms and dads alike babbled on and on to us about their experiences as parents, pregnancy, labor, breastfeeding, potty training...information overload!

When I was 37 weeks pregnant, a woman talked to me for an hour about how her daughter was born with severe reflux. Her daughter screamed day and night, they tried everything from her change of diet (as she was breastfeeding) to even trying different formulas. They tried medicines and homeopathic remedies, but their daughter continued to vomit constantly until she was 5. Her daughter was now 11 and still had problems, but they were finally under control and she hoped I didn't have this same experience. Oh don't worry, this didn't scare me at all....

At 22 weeks, I was given grotesque details about a home birth from someone I knew for approximately 4 minutes. They smiled as they described the labor and placenta....oh dear.

Throughout my entire pregnancy I was given random advice from strangers no matter where I went. I thought it would end there, but no such luck. Now that P was here, we received advice from women everywhere! Methods they tried with their own kids, what worked, what didn't, how difficult their children were as babies and how difficult they got when they were, was there anything positive about being a parent? One lady (waiting in line behind me at a pharmacy) told me the first few years of her children's lives were a blur and she couldn't recall one single detail because of how exhausted she had been. One lady, who I'm assuming was an honorary member of the club, kept comparing the similarities I would experience with my baby that she currently has with her terrier. I couldn't stop the advice. I was a magnet for all mothers everywhere. I  was approached in public bathrooms, store check out lines, the doctor's name it, I've probably been given advice there before.

At the end of the day, the choices I make for my daughter are mine. I understand other members of the Club have the best intentions, but I wish the meetings were optional.

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