17 November 2011

Joining the club

Before I had a baby, I felt that a number of friends with new family additions had forgotten me. It seemed that when their small person arrived, their friends got let behind. I was angry, miffed, concerned and generally lost as to the reason. When I had a baby, it wasn't long before I understood the reason for the disappearance of my once friends. It seemed that this tiny person occupied so much time, that there was little, if any time left for the previous social activities that had dominated my life. It wasn't a reflection on my friends but rather a sign of the times. I had joined a club where free time is measured in minutes rather than hours, indulgences are limited to things I once deemed to be necessities and topics of discussion shift to baby development, feeding and sleeping.

This got me thinking about the concept of joining a club. I bought a new wallet a few months back. It's a lovely colour and style but somewhat insufficient. I have so many club cards that I can hardly close the wallet. There are cards for clothing stores, coffee shops, sellers of kids stuff and fitness groups. Despite a recent cull, the number of cards are out of control. The cards tell a story of the things I like, the places I go, the things I do and places I belong. I feel a degree of commitment to these providers as evidenced by my need to carry their cards around everywhere I go. I believe that these providers peddle goods and services I want, need and believe to be the best for me. When I had a baby and joined the parental club, there were a lot of invisible club cards I started carrying without even knowing it. These cards were for certain brands, practices, beliefs and alliances that I believed to be the best and right for me and my child. In taking this stand on my club membership alliances, I joined the debate as to what is best and right.

I recently read this article that struck a chord for me.....

As women we forget that everyone has a right to make choices as to the clubs they join, based on what is right for them and their families. There are no right and wrong answers but rather the best choice for individuals. We need to stop pressuring other women to join one club over the other or comment that the choice a woman has made was wrong. Whether it is the brand of pram, breastfeeding over bottles, whether to offer a dummy or not, co sleeping or baby sleeping in their own beds, baths over showers or when to start solids, every mother has a reason for the choices she makes. Normally this is based on what is right for her child, her family, her relationship, their homes, her activities and so many other factors. So let's stop bagging each other for the clubs we belong to and realise we are all a part of the same club - Parenthood!

1 comment:

  1. Love this post!! I think it is spot on. Each parent and child is different and will do things their own way, and it is wonderful to see diversity in all of those experiences. Criticising a parent's choices is so narrow minded and unkind. Smart and insightful people see the value in doing things one's own way. And showing tolerance and support for those that do it differently!