Wherein I Write a Mushy Post about Self Confidence
by Lauren Kay Weber
You guys. Sorry for the relative silence here on the blog. Josh and I had some indicators that Asher might be preparing to make his way into the world a little bit too early and we were trying to focus on keeping him cooking for a little while longer so that we wouldn’t be making a trip to the hospital (and the NICU, to boot). Plus, I’ve been really, really, ridiculously tired. And all of that, plus work (and school for Josh), meant that I was just too… empty to post.
But! Today officially marks the 36 week mark and, while there are still signs that Asher’s ready to make his way into the world, Josh and I are feeling like we can keep him in there for at least this coming week. So, we ‘re feeling more… more. More sure that our baby’s gonna be healthy and happy when he does come. More ready ourselves to bring him into this world. And definitely less anxious. (And thank goodness for that.)
Anyway, there was something that happened today that I wanted to put down in words, perhaps more for myself than for you. This morning, I went running some errands with my friend Molly. On the itinerary were trips to Target to get some allergy medicine, Sunflower market for some of my touchy-feely homeopathic maternity solutions (more on that in a future post; suffice it to say, magnesium is a pregnant lady’s best friend) and then to Rancho Markets, my absolute favorite place for cheapo depot produce. (Seriously. I bought 3 full bags of fresh fruits and veggies for $13.84. Sweet.)
I drove across town to pick up Molly, and became suddenly uber aware of the fact that we had Asher’s car seat up in the back seat. Some context: When we got our first signal that the baby was gearing up for heading out, we felt like we should probably install his car seat so that there’s one less thing to be worried about forgetting in the case of an emergency. So, at 35 weeks, we started looking like weirdos driving around with an empty car seat in the back of The Greype (pronounced like grape, our car is an unfortunate mix of grey and purple and thereby has been dubbed as such).
Anywho, we got about 5 minutes into the car ride together as we headed up to Target and I found myself continuing to feel uncomfortable. Now, it must be said that Molly isn’t some new acquaintance. She’s, like, the friend that I don’t have to explain anything to, she gets it, no judgment. So, why was I feeling this way?
At one point, I turned to her and said, “I’m just sitting here thinking about how ridiculous it is that I feel the need to apologize for the fact that there’s a car seat back there.” She immediately agreed that it was, in fact, stupid and that she gets why it’s already set up.
Okay, so why am I writing about this mundane interlude? Well, it feels like I’m beginning to learn a bigger lesson and I want to formulate some thoughts around it so that I don’t have to be smacked over the head with it before I actually make room for learning it in my life. The lesson? That I need to be just as unapologetic about my parenting as I am with the rest of the things in my life.
As an adult, I’ve never really been one to apologize for being who I am. After a childhood that included, like most of ours, some rough life experiences that taught me to apologize – and keep apologizing – for merely being, I decided pretty early on in my post-high school years that I wasn’t going to follow those rules any more. I felt liberated from that paradigm when I realized, somewhat abruptly, that I could only control myself and my actions, and that trying to control others’ reactions to me was, well, pointless. And doing this – making this decision – has to be the single biggest thing that I can point to when someone asks me, What makes you you?
But lately, it seems like a part of me has lost sight of that big a-ha I had so many years ago. I’ve felt compelled to apologize for the twists my path has taken, from how difficult a pregnancy this has been to the ways in which my body has changed to how we’re deciding to bring this baby into the world to my more limited capacities as a person – not to mention as a wife – as a result of being pregnant and whatnot. Even worse, I’ve struggled with feeling guilty in those instances that there’s nobody around to whom to apologize.
All of this came to a head this morning as I drove my car, sitting with the discomfort about the simple, unassuming car seat. I remembered reading this post on The Child Whisperer, shared by a close friend on Facebook, that said that we apologize to other adults when we have done anything offensive because we want to shield ourselves from the judgment of others. I mean, how pointless is that?!
In the end, I feel like now’s the time to learn this lesson, because there’s only going to be more opportunities as parenthood comes for others to judge and, perhaps even more frequently, for me to assume that others might be looking with judgmental eyes. So, I’ve decided that it’s time to hike those big girl boots back up and remember that I committed a long time ago to brazenly embodying myself, regardless of what the rest of the world might be thinking.
Coming attractions on the blog: my sarcastic thoughts on the five minutes of the Discovery Channel’s I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant that I saw the other day, a DIY on making Asher’s baby hammock and the completion of our birthing book.