I’m still not interested in blogging about my pregnancy, but I will say this, as it’s apropos to today’s point: the thing that has surprised me most about pregnancy is that it makes everyone in the world feel like they should get to tell me what to do with my body, and how to feel about it.
Everyone I know reads books about parenting and pregnancy when they’re beginning. I read the very beginnings of several books before throwing them all away in disgust. Because those books? They can’t be satisfied with presenting the wide variety of choices and options in a non-judgmental way. Instead, they all want to tell you what to do. And not just that, but scare you into believing that if you don’t choose their particular favorite choice, everyone is going to die.
I am not exaggerating.
I don’t like talking to most people about these topics, either. Because everyone has an opinion, and no one is willing to admit what I see to be the obvious truth: there are many, many options available in this life. And while a few of them are obviously preferable and safer, most of them are of equal value. Most choices you can make are just fine.
I’m grateful for a wide variety of fine choices. Not just related to parenthood, but all the many choices I have in my life.
I’m grateful that I can choose to talk about my experiences, or not.
I can choose to have my baby in a hospital, or at home.
I can choose pain killers, or not.
I can choose to breastfeed, or not.
I can choose to eat and sleep and work on whatever schedule I want, or no schedule at all.
To go back to work one day, one month, or one year after having my child.
To write one book next year, or three.
I can choose to self-publish, or work with a small publisher, or a big publisher.
To blog every day, or never.
To self-promote until I collapse, or to do no promotion at all.
Hell, I can choose to never write another book again if I don’t want to.
I can choose to go back to teaching. Or something else entirely.
I can choose to work, or not to work.
And everything in between.
I can choose anything I want.
Choice is no guarantee of result, of course. If I choose the impossible, I’ll fail. But I can choose failure, too. I am allowed.
Every choice has consequences. But the consequences are often not as dire as people want you to believe. I’m grateful for the freedom to choose, and to ignore everyone who wants to reduce my choices to the small collection of options they feel are the acceptable ones.
And instead of deciding that my choices are the right choices for everyone else, I can choose to allow others to live in the same, open world that I do. I can understand that not all people need to make the same choices. I can choose instead to celebrate choice.
Isn’t it wonderful?