Parenthood: No One Size Fits All
Feb 11, 2019
This is a step off my nutrition soap box onto a personal one, parenthood. What has come to slip the mind of others is that a simple statement more than most times has a story. For some this story is yet to be told. Those simple comments go deeper unknowing or caring what the rest of the story is.
Recently there was a blog posted in regards to a mother that had four children. Here is the blog.
Simple Statements aren’t always so simple
Comments were made about having so many children as if it was a splurge while shopping. This resonated on the other spectrum as a mother to an only child. I’ve had comments made to me like:
“Oh you just have the one”
“Gosh don’t you think that’s cruel to leave her an only child?”
“Oh you know what they say about only children”
OR my favorite “you are one of those business women”
What is not understood is though those statements as ridiculous as they are feel like a low blow like none other.
By having one child do I still not meet criteria to be called a mom?
What about the nights I was up when my child was sick?
Are I not in the line to drop off my child at school?
Do you see me attending those school activities just like you?
I want my daughter to see that her Mommy can have the choice to be her mommy AND be a business owner. Just as a woman can decide to stay home AND raise their children. This does not downplay stay-at-home moms at all. I own the fact that I do not have the emotional patience to stay at home all day with my child. I’m completely okay with that. And I respect the other women or fathers that can do it with grace.
Parenthood is not a check Yes or No box
We can universally agree that the decision to be a parent and how we parent is the single most terrifying decision we make. This should be solely our OWN!
The other part that I bit my tongue on is that they act as if this was my personal stance. Because what they don’t know is if I had my choice I wouldn’t just have one child. I wanted three I wanted two boys and a girl. However, my spouse, my co-parent only wants one. I don’t blame him or anger with him at all for this.
Marriages and being parents together require mutual agreement and compromise. And this wasn’t a simple decision based on selfishness. You see my husband took care of his grandfather to his last breath. Then took care of his grandmother to her last breath. In the midst of this we brought our daughter into this world after a complicated pregnancy requiring bedrest. On to delivering our daughter prematurely requiring NICU for a few days.
This whole time I had just taken a job, therefore leaving me with no benefits and using COBRA for health insurance. Absolutely no regrets but I understand his reservations about having any more serious commitments. Everyone has the right to balance and desiring a little bit of freedom.
Those that wait
What about my dear friends who try for years to have a child of their own. Only to endure comments such as:
“What are you waiting on?
“You aren’t getting any younger.”
What you miss is hearing them softly sobbing in the bathroom when they find out it didn’t work again. Can you imagine the salt that you rub in a room when they’re actively and desperately trying to have a child of their own and then you remind them how they haven’t yet?
I also think it’s not our place to provide an opinion if a woman chooses not to have children. Parenthood is not a check yes or no box.
Raising an Only Child
Then there are the superficial comments about raising an only child. As if I am neglecting and abusing my child. Somehow by raising an only child that my intention is to have the spoiled rotten child that can’t seem to function in this world. I laugh because they don’t realize that they’re speaking to an only child. Apparently,I was abused as a child too.
What I want other women to know is this doesn’t go without its toll that it takes. You see I need you to see ME. I need you to see that these compromises sometimes hurt like hell until we are healed.
I put off going to my annual for two years because the waiting room felt like a knife in my heart. Watching other pregnant women and their spouses knowing that this was not a choice we were going to be making in the future or ever. I cancelled my appointments so many times I had to jump around to different doctors.
The other part was I hated the discussions with the doctors because it would usually circle around when do you plan to have more? And it didn’t seem fair when it was brought up that it was my decision. Something I should stand firm with my husband on.
Finally, third time the charm I found a doctor that sat with me as I lost my shit and opened up. She heard me and understood. No judgments just give me the space.
So those that know me well know how much I love being a mother and love loving on each and every child. They don’t think it is weird when I insist on smelling lil baby heads and pinch their baby’s cheeks. They let me be the coolest auntie I can be!
Think before Speak
I know these comments have never been intended to cause hurt, but we have power to think twice before speaking. Besides most of us just need a pat on the back and to be told that we see you are doing the best you can.hat if parenthood is not option?
AUTHOR • ATHLETE • NUTRITION THERAPIST
ReBecca McConville, MS, RD, CSSD CEDRD
"The life-long athlete in me wants to make sure that all athletes stay at the top of their game for as long as they choose to be in their sport. This book will keep athletes on track before your season starts, in the grind of the season, at the end of your season—and be ready to go for the next one."