Thursday, October 13, 2011

Let's give each other a break....

This post today inspired by this article:

Disclaimer: just because I wrote this post does not mean I don't struggle with being judgmental...I wrote this for myself as much as anyone!

Eight years ago I was at a playgroup with a bunch of women and the conversation inevitably turned to childbirth as it is prone to do in that circumstance. I was talking a bit about my two births and how my epidural doesn't work once the baby drops into the birth canal, so I basically do a natural delivery blah blah blah.

About 5 minutes later I noticed that a woman who I didn't know very well had come and sat close to me...and was getting closer and closer and eventually was WAY in my personal space. All of a sudden she leaned over to me and literally whispered in my ear, "You are such a great candidate for a home birth, I would love to talk with you about it sometime." I was SHOCKED I tell ya...I didn't know her at all. So I said, "Why do you think I am a candidate?" (never had ever remotely considered it). She stated her reasons and how the hospital is a terrible environment for a mother/baby and interferes with their bonding etc....Then I broke her the bad news...I had to have c-sections from now on due to some surgery. Oh boy, then she ranted and raved about how my doctor did unnecessary surgery (which it was absolutely necessary) and how doctors are just greedy and are all about the bottom line and profit....

I think perhaps my jaw dropped open because I know my doctor geniunely cares about me and my well being and is a good, honest person. I guess the thing that shocked me the most is her narrow mindedness, she was absolutely convinced her way was the ONLY way to do things and that doctors and hospitals were evil and greedy.

Her choice of how and where to birth her children is up to her, I wasn't trying to talk her out of birthing at home and stating all the risks (although I wanted to because she was driving me crazy), and I would have appreciated the same respect from her in not stating my choice and doctor was wrong and invalid. We must give each other a break and not be so up in arms about others choices:

Here are some other "hot topics" that come from my own experience and for which I have felt judged at some point or another:

Breastfeeding is the absolute best option for a baby..... until they can't latch on due to being tongue tied, or until they are a preemie and can't latch on and have a severe milk allergy, and then thank goodness for formula and bottles. (BF my oldest 3...it wasn't possible with my youngest 2 and it was VERY hard for me!)

Having children and big families....is super sensitive especially if you can't have as many children as you would like to and then it is painful to hear the command to multiply and replenish the earth. Our family size is between husband/wife/Lord and nobody else. (and you may not think I ever struggled with fertility having 5 children, but we did struggle getting 2 of our children here)

Home school vs Sending your child to school.....thank goodness for the choices we have out there today. I nearly did an online home school option with my #3 this year if the school wasn't going to cooperate with him repeating kindergarten.

My point in this whole thing is....we need to back off on the value judgements/criticism etc of each other and give one another the benefit of the doubt....one of my favorite quotes by one of my inspirations:

“Why can't we resist the urge to second-guess and evaluate each other?...Sometimes I wonder if the final judgment will be a breeze compared with what we've put each other through here on earth.” Sheri L. Dew

6 comments:

luntaz said...

Great post. I've been subject to judgmental behavior. And after reading this post, I realize that I do a fair amount of judging myself. I've been judging friends who send their kids to a charter school. I don't dwell on it and it doesn't affect my daily life, lol, but I do find it ridiculous that they don't think the public school is good enough for their kids when it seems good enough for mine. Your blog made me reevaluate that assessment and I am no longer going to give them a hard time about it. Thanks Cheryl!

Cheryl said...

Oh Danielle, I am not above judgemental behavior, I wrote this because I need to remember it as much as anyone!

Rachael said...

Some times I think people judge or come off having strong opinions because its something they feel inferior to or somehow it make themselves feel better about the choices they make. My two examples of this...1-I believe in natural childbirth...you would believe how many people told me how crazy I was to have Alexis with no pain medications (in the hospital). I even had a "friend" tell me "Oh...your water didn't break until you were 10 cm...no wonder you could do it naturally," I think it was her way of feeling better about herself for her decision.
The second one was with Somerset. Someone I know knocked it and said how they are fine with their school and they love all the teachers at their school and had such a negative attitude about it...they definitely weren't going to do the "new charter school." Guess where they are now? Yep...Somerset..and loving it.
I am not saying I have never had a strong opinion about something...shoot I've probably offended someone with my opinion. I definitely think this is something we can all work on!
(Hopefully my comment made sense)
Oh...one more thing-I use to be all...Breastfeeding is the best and only way to go. But then I lived, learned and grew up and realize its not for everyone...and what I mean by learn is I have learned that people have difficulty doing it...it is tough and with Oliver REFUSING to take a bottle...I was a bit jealous of those who weren't breastfeeding! :)
Hopefully my comment didn't come of judgmental at all! I enjoy this blog of yours!!! :)

Tricia and Aaron said...

Amen Sister...AMEN!

Sarah said...

I think some people have a strong need to be heard, without always realizing that need can hurt.

Kath said...

Judging scares me. I'm glad it's not my job!