Friday, January 14, 2011

Take That Self Doubt!

I had lunch today with someone I hope becomes a new friend.  (Tiny back story: we met at a security thing.)

She and I discussed all sorts of work topics like career, philosophy, policies and because we're human (girls) talked about the pregnancy, child rearing and all sorts of other personal things.

She shared that getting pregnant for her involved medical intervention and that there were times during the long and painful (and emotional) process that she questioned if maybe her difficulty in getting pregnant wasn't a sign that she wasn't supposed to be a parent.  (That is an extremely short version of the conversation.)

I take great issue with that for a couple reasons. The first being having a baby doesn't make you a mom.  Moms & dads with kids they've adopted will tell you that.  Also, just because I haven't had my own kid yet doesn't mean I'm not a mom.  I think I've always been a mother, but just one without a child.  I know, that's super touchy feely stuff, but I've always felt very maternal.    Secondly, just because it took medical intervention (or adoption) doesn't mean it wasn't meant to be.    No one would say that those folks walking around because of medical advancements in the areas of cancer, heart health, polio, etc. aren't supposed to be here.  Let yourself off the hook a bit eh?

Granted, there needs to be balance.  We could have kept my aunt alive for a long long time with the medical treatment she was receiving, but it wasn't the human thing to do.  Like everything else, reasonable judgment has to come into play.  There's a compelling argument that maybe the Octo-mom shouldn't have more children.  In my opinion, that's more of an economic, mental health judgment call, but if putting her body through another pregnancy would be potentially life threatening I would pray that her medical team would say no, regardless of the financial benefit to them.  That's not to say that if she had the means to care for more kids that adoption or surrogacy wouldn't be appropriate.  (Ok, maybe not for THE octo-mom, but for other sane, healthy families.)

We ladies tend to let that little voice of self doubt work its way into our thought processes and eat away at us.  Reasonable thoughts like, I'm a fantastic mom to my kids, can be pushed out by that little voice.  Sometimes that little voice gets stuck in a loop on a topic that you wish you had done or handled better.  Breaking out of that can be challenging.  However, it MUST be done.

So, I say to you, little ugly voice of self doubt:  SHADDUP  you're not welcome here!

My lunch date seemed to have an Oprah, "a ha" moment when I equated the silliness of her argument to the medical advancements in other areas.  I'm pleased that my little opinion on the topic gave her an argument to push her self doubt aside.   Maybe I'm not as dumb as I look?  :)