Wednesday, November 12, 2008

justification

i get that becoming a parent invites, rightly or wrongly, a whole lot of opinions from other people. i've talked to pregnant friends who have felt so frustrated by the fact that everyone seems to have some kind of wisdom to impart to expectant mothers, and that it can all get a bit much. the 'pregant belly as public property' thing is a whole other rant that i'm sure i'll get into (maybe when i have one of my own!) but i'll leave that aside for now in favour of discussing personal headspace over personal bodyspace.

i can see two sides to this.

i can understand the cultural importance of sharing wisdom. when its done lovingly and productively, the sharing of experience is, i'm sure, a very useful and possibly even vital part of some kind of unofficial cultural induction to the role of 'mother' (though how that role is interpreted will naturally vary dramatically).

i can also see that it must be incredibly patronizing, and exhausting to have to filter through this constant stream of advice, opinion, and sometimes judgement, and try to find a way to do the pregnancy, birth and parenting thing in a way that works for the individual/couple themselves.

but all this is jumping the gun on what i actually wanted to say in this post.
i haven't even started inseminating yet, and i'm already being offered opinions on my readiness, the wisdom of having a baby 'at this stage in my life', et cetera.

this got me wondering. do straight couples experience this to the same degree? given that, as a lesbian couple, we have to plan our pregnancy so deliberately, do people feel they have more right to ask those kinds of questions? it actually makes me really cross on two levels. the first is the implication that this is something we're doing 'for lols' and we haven't considered the timing carefully because we are too silly/naive/thoughtless to do so. the second is that i have friends who are my age and significantly younger, married, and in heterosexual relationships and everyone seems simply to accept that that's what happens next - they don't have to justify it, they just do it, and people are happy for them.

i'm no quite sure where this ends up. but its definitely something to think about.

s and i would both be interested to hear other people's experiences and thoughts on this one...

1 comment:

  1. As someone who's more on the receiving end of 'when are you having a baby' followed by 'why not yet - you're old enough' when I reply 'not just yet', I can't say I've experienced the 'are you sure you're ready' kind of questions - however I personally think that any kind of question that either implies you aren't ready to have children or questions why you aren't having one yet is completely unacceptable.

    I'm sick of being made to feel like I should be having a child right this second when we're only two years into the mortgage and married six months. I don't think the majority of women jump into having a child without thinking - You are planning to have one and obviously you've thought about it so no one has any business questioning your decision. You don't need to justify your life.

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