Saturday, February 25, 2012

When your life is no longer your own...

I tried to put the baby down for a nap because I knew she was tired. She had other things in mind- like playing. I tried reasoning to her and explaining that we all have to do things we don't want to do. For instance, I have to go to work 40+ hours a week. I'd rather not have to- I could enjoy being at home those 40+ hours each week. I could read, and hang out with the baby, and have arts and crafts time, and cook gourmet meals, and actually make it to the gym each day. But I don't have that luxury if I want to be able to afford a home.

Sadly, reasoning doesn't work on a 4 month old, and she is now playing in her exersaucer while I sit in the chair blogging and wishing I had showered while I had the chance...

I've been thinking lately about the different types of social contracts you enter into once you become pregnant. Like the one about having random people ask you things that you wouldn't in your right mind feel comfortable answering if you weren't pregnant. Questions like "How much weight have you gained?" Or "You look huge- when are you due?" Not to mention the even more random people touching your belly. But what's odder still is how it doesn't seem to phase you as much as you'd think.

Of course, once you have the baby, a whole new set of social contracts begins. Like the contract that makes you just not care anymore about modesty or have any sort of shame in regards to the body. I remember my first "boobs out" moment in the hospital while I was trying to nurse and decided it would just be easier to do it with everyone in the room than try and shoo many, many people out of a hospital room that had never before seen me topless, and really had no reason to see me topless. I didn't even bother getting out of the hosiptal gown for the first couple of days, because every time I got comfortable a nurse or doctor would come in and need to examine some part of me- again for the viewing pleasure of all of my visitors.

But the most exciting social contract of all starts when you begin to venture out of the home with your new baby. This is the contract that states that no matter how well you do things, you're doing them wrong and someone else can show you the right way! Everyone has dealt with this, and everyone that has had a baby is also guilty of this! Admit it- you've had a moment where you felt like you were helping a new mom with a tough situation, but to the new mom, you were being overly critical. I know I'm even guilty of this, and I've only been a mom for 4 months! When these moments happen, it's best to try and remember that most of the time, it comes from a person's desire to see you have it easier than they did. And depending on the type of day you have had, you'll either bite their heads off, or thank them and walk off putting their advice back out the other ear. Every once in a while, you do actually get a helpful gem of knowledge.

I know that there are many more stages for me to enter yet. I have yet to enter the school stage in life where I encounter moms that are way more controlling than I am, and have a sense of accomplishment rooted in their child's social and academic performance. I'm sure once I enter that social contract of parenthood, I'll make many friends, some enemies, and learn even more about life and how fun it can be!

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