Deep down inside, I must be. I don’t know how else to explain my persistent tendency to resist conforming to societal “norms”.
Rebellious certainly does not describe my teenage or even college years, but something must have happened. I can’t really put my finger on when it started. At some point, I just stopped wanting to fit in. I started asking more questions and purposely doing things differently than everyone. The only thing is, it wasn’t really ever in an effort to be different, but to stay true to myself.
That answers my question right there. Yoga started it all.
Basically, what I mean is: if anyone tells me they are doing something a certain way, there’s only one way to do something, or I just have to do it this way, I start looking at my options. Not in all situations, but many. Especially when it comes to birth and parenting.
I just refuse to think there’s only one way to parent.
It clicked the other day as I was thinking about some of the conversations I’ve had since my first pregnancy. Just a few examples are:
- Comment: Who finds out the sex for their first? My response: I plan to find out the sex actually. I know it’s kind of against tradition, but I’d just really love to know and I feel like the real surprise will be what he/she looks like. Their Response: Oh. Well, I know I won’t find out the sex for my first. ::snort::
- Comment: You have to get an epidural. It’s the only way to go. My Response: Oh, really? I’ve heard their great, but I’m actually planning a birth center birth so that won’t be an option for me. Their Response: Wow… ::eyeroll:: Well, you’re brave (with a tone of – you’re insane). I hope everything works out for you (fake smile).
- Comment: You have got to start sleep training your six week old before they start manipulating you. My Response: Oh, thanks, but we’re bed sharing right now, so I’m going to hold off a little while on the crib transition, but what book did you use. Their Response: (a look of horror while they name the book, followed by an awkward silence until someone changes the subject or breaks away)
- Comment: Stock up on diapers at Costco. You’ll be amazed at how fast you run through them. My Response: Oh, I’m sure. I know they go through a lot. Thanks for the heads up. I’m cloth diapering, so guess I’ll really have to keep up with laundry. Their Response: Oh. Wow. I wouldn’t want to do that. (awkward silence)
It may seem like I’m exaggerating. I’m not. At least not intentionally. Yes, it’s definitely possible that I interpreted body language and inflections that weren’t really there and maybe they even took my responses as judgements on them. In any case, these exchanges only make me want to stick to my guns even more.
What I can’t decide is: does my insistence on being true to myself somehow come off as judgement on others who are being true to themselves? Because, that’s not how I feel. Not at all. I think it’s important to stick to the things you feel convicted about and that is different for every person. My friends come in all flavors and I appreciate each of them for their differences. I hope they feel the same about me.