I know I haven’t been very good about posting lately. There have been so many things that I’ve wanted to write about, but I just haven’t made the time to do so.
Today’s topic: personal choices.
Deciding to have or not to have children in and of itself is a personal choice. Every couple is different and whether a couple decides to have children or not, it is that couple’s choice, and it really shouldn’t matter to anyone else.
In my 26 weeks of pregnancy, there have been many times when I have been shocked at what people will say regarding personal, individual choices. Some of these I’ve touched upon before.
1) Our decision to not find out the gender: People LOVE to comment on this, and while we’ve received mostly positive responses, there have been some people who have tried to convince us otherwise. Some people even try to convince us to find out and then keep something else a secret, like the baby’s name. The reason we are not finding out the gender is NOT to give everyone else a surprise. In fact, it has nothing to do with everyone else. This is about us and even before we got married, we talked about keeping our first baby’s gender a surprise. I’m glad it will be a surprise for everyone else, but sorry, this one is for us. P.S. There are some people who are convinced that we actually know the gender but just aren’t telling anyone. This 100% couldn’t be further from the truth. We really do not know whether baby b is a boy or a girl!
2) Not sharing the names we have picked out: We do have a boy name and a girl name picked out, but we haven’t really been sharing our decisions with anyone. Again, this is not for the surprise factor, but in all honesty, we don’t want other people’s opinions. This is OUR choice and if we like the name, that’s all that should matter. In truth, the two names we have picked out have been chosen (or at least discussed) for 3+ years, and surprisingly, they are still our “front runners.” The girl name has been one we’ve honestly been talking about for at least 7 years and the boy name surfaced about 3-4 years ago. The middle names we have chosen have been more recent, but we want to keep the names to ourselves. Since David and I have talked about our “girl name” for a long time now, I remember mentioning it once to a friend about 5 years ago. David and I weren’t married and we weren’t thinking about having kids soon, but the conversation turned to baby names, and I mentioned the name we had chosen for a girl. One of my friends reacted really negatively to the name, and while it didn’t change my opinion about ever using it, it definitely did change how I felt about sharing our names. The way we see it, if someone doesn’t like the name after the baby is already here, he/she is less likely to voice his/her opinion about it.
3) Our decision to use (or try to use) cloth diapers: We have made the decision to cloth diaper (or at least we are going to try our hardest to make this happen!) We obviously have no experience in cloth diapering, but we’d like to at least try it. I have to admit that David did take some convincing, but now he’s all for it. When I mention this to people, some have quite the reaction. One person even said “Well, good luck with THAT. Let’s see how long that lasts.” I know 100% for a fact that this person did not even attempt to cloth diaper.
4) The amount of time I’m taking off work: Believe me, if I could take an entire semester off to stay at home with the baby, I would; however, it’s just not financially possible for us. I plan to take 10-11 weeks off before returning to work (depending on when the baby actually decides to make his/her appearance.) A woman at work asked me how long I was going to take off and when I told her, she began to chastise me. By the end of our conversation I felt like a terrible mother before I have even become a mother. I’m sorry if I’m not taking enough time off in your opinion, but I’m doing the best I can do.
I could keep going, but by now I’ve probably made my point: pregnancy–and many things that go along with pregnancy–requires a couple to make personal choices about a number of issues. We–like most couples–make our decisions with our family’s best interests in mind. While we are bound to make some mistakes and have some regrets, we’re doing what we feel is best for us right now. If you don’t agree, you have every right to feel that way; but please, think twice before voicing your critical and judgmental opinions.
Once words are spoken, they cannot be unspoken.