Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Don't let them get to you

I went on a three-day silent retreat this weekend. The ridiculous picture above is the only photo I have. I was trying to take a selfie of us. And Davy is wearing a burp cloth on his head as a hat because I forgot to take a hat for him and it was cold and windy outside. I guess I'm that kind of mom.

I had to take the baby along, as you can tell. So I participated as much as I could, but was mainly taking care of him. There were good things and bad things, as with anything in life. A good thing (other than all the spiritual insight and deep prayer... ahem) was that Davy behaved very well. He slept and ate well and was the generally cheerful baby he is. A lady confided to me at dinner, "I am David's fan." "So am I, I confess," I replied.

There were four other babies at the retreat, which was kind of funny. And which also leads me to a bad thing I can't help but commenting about. How catty women are... ESPECIALLY mothers. What is wrong with us? I guess it's just our sinful nature and woundedness. It was a silent retreat but there was a lot of communication of judgment going on. And comparison of babies. All babies in this social circle must be parented the same way. They must sleep in their car seats all day and have pacifiers stuck in their mouths all day. For some reason baby carriers are taboo. I'm not sure why people deny an objective moral order but then with parenting... which should be totally subjective and personal... there is ONE WAY OF DOING IT. Anyway. Luckily, my baby is older and we already have our groove and habits going on, but my heart goes out to mothers who are constantly judged and women who are scared of being mothers because of the immense pressure and scrutiny suddenly added to your life.

There was one baby who didn't use a pacifier and he cried more than the rest, especially when he was sleepy. I saw some looks and comments about the way the mother would try to get him to sleep. But the worst was when he was crying at the dinner table and the mother finally got up and left with him. A woman mouthed "phew" to another, and actually gestured wiping sweat off her forehead. What is that? Terrible.

I want to affirm every mother out there and every mother I come into contact with in the future: you are doing a great job. You are trying your best. And you have the hardest job in the world. Enjoy it while you can. Focus on your baby and not on the "advice" given to you.

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