Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Unmarried With Kids and the 2010 Judgement List

IMAGE: MORGUEFILE.COM | Unmarried With Kids
Recently I was contacted to be interviewed in a leading parenting mag about our choice to be unmarried with kids. The article ended up being a nice, objective view of both sides of the fence if you will. It got me thinking though - do people REALLY care whether or not we're married? To be honest, I figured most people didn't even know, let alone care. After reading the other side of the argument though, I'm really curious to know if people regard us differently for the choice we've made.Our families have never expressed any opinion either way - I was born out of wedlock in the early 70's so I can't imagine my parents having any kind of objection to our choice. These days however, my perception is that the right to choose marriage (or not) is yours and is no longer at the top of what I refer to as the Judgement List (cultural differences aside).

So what makes up the 2010 Judgement List? (Insert drumroll here). Yet again - parenting! And in particular motherhood and the individual choices us mothers make. Never in my life have I felt more judged, intimidated, and incompetent than when my children were first born. Roll that up with the euphoric emotions that accompany the birth of a new baby and recovery from the most physical walloping of your life and WHAM! No wonder people refer to you during that period as 'hormonal' (or was that just me?). Breast vs. bottle, disposable vs. cloth, routine vs. free-for-all, co-sleeping vs. own room, the list is endless. And even the most previously unopinionated woman will have something to say on each subject in defence of themselves or as an attack on another. Mark my words and guilty as charged. Even if I never said it - I silently judged many times (particularly when I witnessed a baby drinking COKE from its bottle - you know who you are).

So to all those mothers out there - particularly the new ones. Follow your instincts, not someone else's. Believe it or not, it's inbuilt. You know what's going to work for you - it's a tough job and you need to formulate your own plan to do it well. Take all the advice, then kick it to the curb if it doesn't suit.

That's my advice.

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