November 21, 2009
Here's Pashley on my way home from hanging with my ladies. Even after an evening of prosecco, pizzas, and another movie at an art house theatre... the mom in me was still in action. Though it was late, it occurred to me that I should stop at the 24 hour drug store to get Dexter supplies. Vitamin D supplement, teething ring, children's tylennol (just in case)... I always forget when I'm grocery shopping and after the movie it all just came to me.
I got an Anthropologie dress on sale! It's silk and has gold buttons. Delightful.
Checking to make sure everything is tip top before heading out.
When Don saw these boots he cautiously asked, "Are those new?" Happy to report that they're just REALLY old and they haven't been taken out in quite some time.
So we went to go see An Education at the Garneau. A charming and lovely film. I'd recommend.
Prior to show, the ladies met up for some post-work drinks and food at Da Capo. I was miraculously the first one to arrive. Seriously, when I'm not dealing with consecutive diaper wettings in the middle of a change, or not chasing Dougal when he escapes and runs out the door, or waiting for Don, I am actually capable of being somewhere on time. While I was waiting I was listening to this girl at the table next to mine.
"I can't talk to her about my career because she doesn't HAVE one. She has KIDS. I mean, what kind of a person are you if the only concern of yours is having babies? And I'm supposed to feel guilty about my life because I'm doing something with it and she's NOT? And when we do meet up, she has to leave after an hour because her baby is acting up. How lame is that?"
Guys, it took so much self control not to say something to her. Not that I don't understand parts of where she's coming from. I've never identified with girls whose major desire was to have a baby and certainly I had other things I wanted to do before I had a kid. At the same time, the conclusion that I've reached about baby-talk is that there is no good time. Early. Late. During school. After school. I don't know, everybody just has to do their own thing. It's sort of stupid to assume that what works for one person or makes them happy is the same thing that will work for somebody else. I don't believe there is a perfect time. And I really feel as though there's a huge stigma perpetuated by the fear mongering trauma moms out there.
When I was pregnant I had to endure countless renditions of how being a mom is so hard. How pregnancy sucks. How child birth is the most amazing pain ever and that you just want to die. That your kids will be jerks to you and you'll never sleep again. And then there's this tiny qualifier at the end of these traumatic emissions saying that of course it's all worth it. Uh... thanks?
Want to know something personal? I got an epidural. I had some people telling me not to get one, and some people telling me to go for it. I did weigh the pros and cons and decided I wouldn't rule anything out. I take my word very seriously. If I say I'm going to do something, I Sarah Chan-do-it! It's an expression Bryce made up for me, which is supposed to encapsulate my decisiveness and commitment to accomplishing things. Anyway, promising one thing or another when you have no idea what's going on is sort of setting oneself up for disappointment. I thought it was sort of futile to go into a situation I've never had to deal with before (labour & childbirth) making all sorts of presumptions about what it was going to be like. Pain is different for different people. Labour is different for different people. It's best not to assume the very best or the very worst. It will just be whatever it is.
Anyway, to wrap up the story of Dexter's birth. My water broke but I didn't have contractions for over 24 hours. So I got induced. I went from feeling totally fine and absolutely normal to having 60 second on and 60 off contractions. In my back. There's something about having a pain in your lower spine that is oh-so-weird. Anybody who has had contractions knows that 60 seconds is a long time. Particularly when I had no build up to it. My body didn't have a chance to get accustomed to infrequent contractions and then gradually get used to it. It was nothing. Then everything. So after doing that 1 minute on and 1 minute off for around 4-5 hours I asked if they could see if I was ready for an epidural. Nurse said sure. We got the guy to come and fix me up. And it was fantastic! I could actually speak. And make jokes. And be all witty and sarcastic. The nurses loved me!
The point is every lady just has to do what is right for them. If it works and it makes you feel good, then knock yourself out. When I tell people that labour was no big deal (in an attempt not to scare off many a reasonable girl from ever procreating) I also add that I got an epidural. Then they always point accusing fingers at me saying, "See! That's why!" And I counter with a polite yes. That is indeed why. I made a choice and I don't regret it and in fact, I actually ENJOYED the labour because of the choices I made. So there. At least I'm not running around scaring everybody about the state of my lady parts and needing to turn my pain into an oral tradition. Having been on the other side of all this I can say with certainly that nobody really wants to hear about that. I mean, other that the baby, are there prizes for putting yourself in a situation where you have to unload your psychological burdens on unsuspecting young ladies? Also, even somebody has an awful labour, maybe they should say something constructive? Being a first time mom, my philosophy was that freaking myself out about labour months before it was going to happen wasn't going to make it any less painful (if that's what I was going to be in for).
So if this girl at Da Capo thinks her friend is lame. Then why is she friends with this mom she knows? If she was a good friend, she would try to be helpful when they are out for coffee and the kid is acting up. Not just pretending to be nice and then talking about this mama behind her back. I don't know... I was just sort of offended at how gloriously this girl pigeon-holed motherhood. I think it's highly unfair that parenting and mothering is not valued monetarily in our society. So since you don't get paid big bucks to do it, must mean that you have no aspirations in life? Bollocks.
Also, you have to carry the baby around for almost a year. And that results in being prey to the most inane conversations about your weight and appearance. It's highly irritating.
It just bothered me. I just sat there thinking she probably had no idea that a new mother was sitting at the next table, and that this new mother was certainly well-rounded, working, and taking care of her baby. I found it ironic that she kept talking about how lame her friend was, and she was essentially monologuing about how she herself was AWESOME in comparison. Sigh. Isn't that the thing that is really lame?
Just to add. I can think of plenty people with jobs/careers that don't make them happy.
Being interesting is what makes people interesting.
Having a baby. Not having a baby. Choosing to have it early or late or not at all... I feel has relatively little to do with somebody having substance. My verdict is that being somebody's mom doesn't mean you're not interesting. There are way too many factors to take into consideration before making such an assumption.
I'll just put it out there that trying your best to raise a good person, a good citizen, and a good member of the community? This is worthwhile. And that work is priceless. Maybe some people are busy doing that and not so busy talking shit about their supposed friends on a Friday night.
So... back to Da Capo. We ate tasty food.
The bow on Lisa's dress.
Leanne rocks giant gingham. Please note the belt. So excellent.
Elise had the prettiest collar on her shirt. I never buy shirts with stuff like that because I'd end up ruining it in the wash.
Lady friends at the concession.
So it's possible to go out and having meaningful interactions with people before and after having a baby. Just so you know. And you can be out with your friends and still have time to swing by the store on your bike to get your baby some supplies. It's not rocket science. It's just life. And it can be good. Even with a baby.
In fact, I can honestly say that having Dexter is the best thing I've ever done.