Tuesday, October 9, 2012

call me pollyanna

...but not to my face. i dont always accept this feature of my extraordinarily multifaceted personality.

i dont like labels, in fact, i'm growing to disdain them. i really hated them in high school....and all school before that. it was always in your face...in your head every night when you went to sleep. you must strive to be a part of the popular group...and when you werent...you were shunned.

i started high school somewhere in the 'normal' group...and became so disheartened, so angry with cliques, that i went to the fray and became a "goth" girl. scary, i know. i had this great friend, though, who never changed and never tried to change me. i am forever thankful to her for keeping me on the straight and narrow as much as she possibly could. (and when she couldnt, she took me to my aunt Brenda, who most definitely could)

i went through many phases, as most teenagers do, and i believe i am a stronger person for it. however, i dont believe it was all necessary. i sometimes wish i had another go at college to study anthropology. maybe i'd get a better feel for why we, as humans, must separate all humans into subclasses.

i thought, since i escaped high school, somewhere in between the normal kids and the popular ones (yes, the goth phase didnt last), that i had also escaped the grouping and re classing of people.

i was wrong. work is just like high school, only you get paid (though, not nearly enough) to show up and deal with other humans and see how everyone separates into cliques. then i was pregnant with baby #2 and my husband and i discusses out finances and we found out that it would be better for me to stay at home. i was elated! no more cliques! no more high school-ish drama!

i found websites that offered advice and support to stay at home moms. (i know. a group.) i thought i could find knowledge on how to help Lily prepare to be a big sister and say goodbye to her only child 'status'. i wanted support for after the baby was born. you could post questions and get multiple answers from many, many moms. at first, i was amazed...then i became...sad.

under every mom's comment was a barrage of letters and numbers. sometimes it just told who they were, how long they were married, and how many children they had. the letters, though, were a new language for me. there were labels for what kind of mom you were.

i couldnt grasp it. i still cant. it makes me angry. basically, it's like a disclaimer at the bottom of your advice so that if you're not part of "that" group, then you can write off her advice as ridiculous because she's a fruitloop.

i found out that there arent initials for what i am.
i neither "ebf" (exclusively breast feed or extended breast feeding, i.e. breastfeeding your toddler, not just as a baby), "ep" (exclusively pump), nor "eff" (exclusively formula feed). there's also "nv" (non vaccinating), "af" (anti formula), "nc" (non circumcising), "oo" (organic only)...and if youre vegan, well then, you are the next best thing since sliced bread.

if you are an ebf,nv,af,nc,oo vegan, then your words are basically from the lips of God...and also known as a "crunchy" mom.

again, i didnt fit in.

why do we need to put more labels on ourselves?? arent we all moms who love our kids to pieces and want to give them (our own version of) the best?

so i unjoined all the sites. they arent supportive. 9 times out of 10 they are passive aggressive, and once in a blue moon, they are downright hostile.

just because we dont see eye to eye on the hot button issues doesnt mean we cant carry on a civilized conversation...but in these groups..apparently not mirroring other parenting styles is exactly all you need to shun someone from your "group". i was iced out of one group because i suggested she supplement with formula using a supplemental feeding device. (basically, you still "breastfeed" but there's a tube attached so they are fed formula until you "milk supply" can fill up your baby)
this was sacrilege. what i shouldve suggested was donor milk. yup. someone who has tons of breast milk that they dont need, so you take that and use another mom's milk to feed your baby. (personally, i find this weird. for the record, i also find blood transfusions weird, too)

anyways, i was shunned from the group due to my faux pas...and it was enough of a push to make me walk away from "groups" all together.

maybe that's why i'm not social. it's wrong, i know, but i dont want to be lumped into one group or another. i just want to be me. a mom, a wife, a friend. quirky, and heading towards strange, but me. i shouldnt have to lay my life bare to start up a conversation. i will absolutely share it with you if you ask, but i dont think i should be judged for it, nor would i judge you.

i'm kind of excited to be home schooling Lily (and Amelia and Cain when the time comes). not only are we adding Bible lessons to every day's work but i'm going to add in some anthropology and hope with every ounce of my being that when my kids venture out into the world they are strong, independent thinkers who will squash any clique that ever tries to put a label on them.

i still have hope that things will get better. but i'm trying to be realistic. i'm starting small. one step at a time...and what better thing to do than to rest all your hope and heart on your children?