Ego check-I've always liked making and enforcing rules.
And maybe.... just sometimes.... bending the ones that exist..
I have come to believe there are some essential rights that all mothers deserve and I subtly foster these and fiercely protect them with every mom I encounter.
1. You get to become a mother when, how and with whom you decide. No exceptions.
2. And if you find yourself pregnant in a situation that you never anticipated, you deserve to be supported in exploring all of your options.
And there are always options. ALWAYS.
3. Not every person is born with a natural desire to be a parent, and that's perfectly fine. We, as collective humanity, need adults who can be alert, without mommy brain, running things when others can't.
4. Find healthcare that jives with your beliefs. Not all practitioners are created equal. Shop around. This person gets to accompany you in a major transition in your life, you better be able to have an honest conversation with them and not feel pressured into anything beyond your comfort zone.
5. Your pregnancy is incredibly unique. Whether its your first, or fifteenth. And there is not a right way to do anything. So get off Pinterest, Facebook, even the phone with your best friend if she's not making you feel like you're doing the best you can. Stop comparing yourself and your baby to other people's experiences. You have everything you are supposed to in order to become the right parent to this individual child.
6. It's not going to go how you plan. I'm so, so sorry. It just isn't. Your pregnancy. Your birth plan. Your baby photos. Your sleep schedule. Your emotional health. Your relationships. But that doesn't mean it won't be incredibly beautiful, fulfilling, and perfect in the way that it's supposed to be. I can promise you that you have what it takes to do it all, just make sure you laugh along the way.
7. There is nobody else in the world who could do this job better than you. Eventually, you will start to believe what your baby already knows-you are the expert.