featured post: Permission to Love the Imperfections

Birth Without Fear is one of my very favorite blogs to read. They support all types of birth experiences and help women who are working through their fears and healing from traumatic experiences. They routinely feature posts by their readers, and one they posted last week really spoke to me.

Permission to Love the Imperfections

This post was written from the perspective of a woman (Elizabeth) who loved her birth experience so much that she became a doula and tried to help other women have the “awesome” experience that she did. However, she realized over the course of several years that even though she was parenting and working in the way she felt she was supposed to in order to be an “awesome mom” and “awesome doula,” she felt like she was drowning.

I slowly began to realize that my awesome mom status had very little to do with what I did. I started realizing that I wasn’t really taking care of me, of my marriage, and that caring for my children in a way that made me sacrifice my well being wouldn’t work out well in the long run.

That takes a lot of guts to admit that what one is doing isn’t working.

I won’t say it happened overnight, but I started to shift my thinking. I started to give myself permission to leave my clingy toddler for 30 minutes so I could exercise. I allowed my husband and I to hire a baby sitter for two hours so we had time for our marriage. I allowed myself the ability to enjoy a birth that was full of interventions. I happily congratulated moms who planned a C-section. I stopped trying to convince my doula clients to switch care providers. What I soon realized was that it was never about how something was done. It was always about how you feel about something.

So simple – and yet SO true.

We were all born with the ability to choose right and wrong. We were also born with the capacity to decide what is right and what is wrong. You can argue that there are biological or religious truths. You can say that we were created to be a certain way or do a certain thing. The fact remains that there will always be someone on the other end saying you are wrong. Ultimately, it is only your truth. And it is perfectly ok! It is just fine to look at your beliefs and hold strong convictions about them and design your life around them and then live that way. It is not ok to force others, belittle others, judge others, or push others into doing the same. And it is also ok to look at your own life and decide that maybe something isn’t working.

Please head over to Birth Without Fear and read the post in its entirety – it’s a great one! Then come back here and join in the discussion…

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Do you give yourself “permission to love the imperfections?”

Do you find yourself judging how others live their lives? How do you work on living your own truth instead of trying to get others onto your page?

What did you think of Elizabeth’s post as a whole? Do you agree or disagree with its premise?

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Josey is mommy to Stella (born Dec.2011) after a two year TTC journey and a tentative Dx of lean PCOS and anovulation. Blessed to get a BFP with a Clomid + Menopur protocol IUI done at CCRM. Currently naturally pregnant with #2! Loves to travel and speak French, drink beer in the sun with her husband and friends, and enjoy all of the outdoor activities that life in Colorado has to offer.

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Comments

  1. I love this post, and I’m sure you know why! I have always wondered why people care how others do things like parent, give birth, and conduct their marriages. What she admits to doing as a doula are all the things I suspected, and experienced myself, were happening with the recent enthusiasm for all natural births. Good for her for realizing, and more importantly openly admitting, that it’s about how the family FEELS about their birth and not HOW that birth unfolds. BRAVO! Now, of we could all just do that, the mom world would be a much better place!

    I used to be very judgmental. VERY. But with age and experience comes realization and understanding that none of my own opinions matter for anyone but my own family. All I care about when it comes to my own beliefs and choices is that others respect them as mine. Meaning that if we’ve chosen to feed our kids a natural, gluten free diet (for example) and you know that, please don’t give them a cracker just to see how they or I may react (Mom and Dad!!). If I’ve chosen the safest way to deliver my kids (safest way for ME), please don’t try to convince me to do it the way you would choose to do it. Please don’t judge my husband for doing something (like having me handle the finances) that you can’t fathom. We all choose and do what works for us and our situations. I would never deny someone else’ kid their cracker, or speak negatively of their natural birth, or roll my eyes at a wife who has no transparency into the family finances. You do your thing, and I’ll do mine!

    Long story short, I LOVE this post for everything she says and admits! But you knew that already!

  2. When I read this post the other day, it really got to me. REALLY. For many reasons I’m not comfortable discussing, but suffice it to say I saw my past, current, and future self in it.

  3. Great post. I too feel that with age and experience I have become much less judgemental. I can respect now that what works for me and my family, might not works for someone else. And that I don’t have enough time and energy to waste thinking/worrying about how someone else does something (ie feed their kids). Because I’m not on socia media, I find it helps me live my own truth without putting my choices out there for feedback or comparison to others- instead mine and my family’s happiness is how the success of our choices is measured. I try to remind myself it would be a pretty boring world if we all did things the same way.

  4. Yep, it’s a great post. I have decided to make an effort to be the best me that’s possible and to quit fiddling about what others are up to. It is a challenge since we have so many chances to nose into everyone’s lives more than we used to, and yet maybe it’s just different chances to nose into others’ lives. My great aunt and grandma had competitions all the time trying to visibly one up each other at parenting so it’s nothing new.

    I think the most important part is to love ourselves and to fearlessly let ourselves make mistakes and love ourselves despite the mistakes. The mistakes are what make us human and it’s important, in my view, to demonstrate humanity for our children. How we cope and what we can do to fix things or not is key to model for kids. I screw up pretty often and I have to take responsibility and demonstrate how I handle my mistakes and go about loving myself despite my mistakes and giving myself permission to do what works so we can survive. Sometimes my plan turns out to be awful and a new one is just fine.

  5. i too love bwf! i fiound it in facebook first, but love reading all of the supportive posts.

    i’ve been out of the loop for a while, my little fox was also born dec 2011, but was thrilled to just read that josey is expecting! holy moly! congratulations mama!

    love to all, Foxy

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