Can we avoid judging our feelings and just accept them as they are?
Over the almost 40 years that I’ve been on this planet, I’ve absorbed the message — whether it’s about my hair, pale skin, or the size of particular body parts — that I’m too much.
When we talk about choice in the world of reproduction, we often distill it to views on abortion. We fight for the right to choose, to have agency over our bodies. Why, for some, does that exclude other choices?
I didn’t start out as a particularly easygoing person.
There’s nothing wrong with moms who decide to go for a stereotypical “mom cut.” If they like it, or if it makes their lives easier, that’s fantastic. Personally, my hair after I had children remained just as important to me as it was before I had them. My hair has always been a huge part of my identity — candy-colored, funky, and so totally me.
The last thing we need is one more thing to feel inadequate about, one more thing to feel like we’re doing “wrong” when it comes to having a baby. Image: Thinkstock.
While people asking about our plan likely have good intentions, the conversation opens you up to so much judgment about how you’re planning to give birth.... Birth plans are personal, between parents and their care provider. We all make choices for our families that we feel are best, and at the end of the day, that’s what matters.
With almost a decade of various kinds of activism under my belt, I am more than familiar with the important work that Planned Parenthood does.
It had never occurred to me to visit [a Planned Parenthood].... And yet, in a culture where the rights and healthcare needs of people assigned female at birth are constantly under attack, it’s easy, even for someone like me, to have warped ideas about exactly what one will experience.
Your children will look back on these moments as memories that make them giggle for years to come. Image: London Scout/Unsplash.
Every single day of our lives, since the moment that we bring home our beautiful child from the hospital — well, actually, well before that — we are faced with a multitude of decisions that will impact their lives. Some decisions are more serious than others. Yet the constant need to rip parents apart for the decisions they make is so unnerving to me that I simply can’t take it anymore.
Nothing felt overwhelming. Not the initial cracked nipples or sleepless nights; not the constant babywearing or lullaby-singing; not the occasional cravings or muscle aches. Through hormonal changes and physical transformations (muffin top and lopsided breasts included), there was always her constant reassuring presence. She made it all worthwhile.
The thing is, we soak in these body-judging lessons from a very young age, before we even know how damaging they are. Some of the messages are implicit, like when we see a fat girl getting made fun of on the playground (or, for many of us, when we are the fat girl getting made fun of on the playground) and learn that being fat is not just wrong, it’s a punishable offense.