Sunday, February 16, 2014

Magical Unicorns and Superpowers

I have a confession to make: sometimes I find myself feeling an intense amount of jealousy towards moms who had an easier delivery than I did. I know it's silly...irrational, even. You're here, you're healthy, and the end certainly justified the means. These feelings aren't so overwhelming that they impact my life, per se; they just cause me to make this face whenever I hear that some woman somewhere delivered in a more preferable manner than I did:

I didn't have a birth plan, and on some level I think I always knew it'd end with a C-section. That wasn't the problem. The C-section left me with a tough recovery that delayed our bonding, which left me with a very heavy amount of guilt. I mentally self-flagellated incessantly over the fact that I could not accomplish the one thing my body had been designed to do. After doing some reflecting, I think this sense of failure is what fueled my obsession with perfecting breastfeeding. I should have been able to push you out, and I should be able to feed you.

I'm going to teach you a very valuable lesson that is applicable to so many situations in life: "should" is a four-letter word.

Sure, there are certain expectations in life. You should go to school. You should be a good person. You should eat your vegetables. But most shoulds are figments of your imagination and, if you turn out to be anything like your mommy, the most rigid expectations will be the ones you set for yourself. This desire for perfection can lead one to strive toward something unattainable. This will inevitably cause disappointment in yourself or fear of disappointing others, which at times can be absolutely crippling.

{via Disney Wikia}

I was thinking about this jealousy today and this feeling that I "should" have been able to have a more desirable delivery. This led to a really inspiring conversation with some of my mom friends, and I gained some really great perspective that I wanted to share with you. The result of this conversation was that from the outside, everyone looks like they have a magical unicorn baby.

{via Spirit Halloween}

Or maybe they had a magical unicorn pregnancy. Or a magical unicorn delivery. But the truth is that nothing is ever as perfect as it seems to be. Even when things are great, they are also flawed. And every time I'm envious over someone's delivery, that same mom may be envious of my relatively easy pregnancy.

Throughout every phase of pregnancy and parenting, there are difficult aspects and fantastic aspects. For each trying moment, each baby also has a superpower.

{via Devermore}

Some babies sleep through the night almost immediately. Some babies are natural eaters who don't need any help breastfeeding. And oh my goodness the beautiful thick locks on some babies' heads! But, in my horribly biased opinion, you have the greatest superpower of them all: resilience.

We had trouble bonding at first because your mommy does not respond well to anesthesia or narcotics, but now we love each other more than I ever could have possibly imagined. You had trouble gaining weight at first, and now you have the cutest little tummy I've ever seen. Breastfeeding was a frustrating and inefficient process initially, and now you are an absolute champion eater. You love tummy time more than most babies I've seen, and I really think it's because you want the opportunity to work hard at yet another challenge. How very Gryffindor of you! (Which is funny, because neither of your parents would have been sorted into Gryffindor.)

You are not a magical unicorn. I did not have a magical unicorn pregnancy, and I certainly did not have a magical unicorn delivery. But I wouldn't trade an ounce of your superpower for an infinitely better delivery. All of our imperfections together have made us perfect for each other, and I'm incredibly grateful for that.

So for those moms out there who think they should be able to breastfeed, says who? Pumping is a commendable labor of love, and science has created some pretty fabulous formula. If you're eight years old and still not riding a bike even though you feel like you should, says who? You'll get there in your own time, if you want to, that is. If you feel like you should go out with your friends when all you really want to do that day is curl up with a book, then you get your read on! It's our individuality that makes all of us special, and our shoulds that make us boring.

And sometimes, our quirks themselves can, in fact, be our superpowers.

1 comment:

  1. You know, "should" is a four letter word I hate but now I do think that's one of the things that makes me not boring, haha! Hurray for our different experiences, our differences and our superpowers. Hurray for the recognition of this <3