Quote of the Day…

One of my friends had this on her facebook status:

“Those who’ve abandoned their dreams will discourage yours. Your job is to not listen.” Bill Baren

Is that not so true? Serendipitously, I had just finished reading an email from a birth-y list in which the topic was “birth circles” and talking about birth; and the woman said that she was at a gathering of moms recently when the topic (of course) turned to birth, and all the mothers were very vocal about their wonderful epidurals and “why would anybody want to go without one”; and this woman felt intimidated from even sharing her experience (which would also answer the question why some women would choose to forgo an epidural). Fortunately, one other woman was also reticent, and when asked about her experience, told her natural-birth story, which opened the door for the first woman also to tell her story.

The above quote reminded me of my sister, who is one of those “planned a natural birth, had a horrendous labor, why didn’t I go with an epidural sooner” moms, and she tends to discourage others from even trying. I understand why; but just because you tried and failed (or rather, the system failed you), it doesn’t mean that others will likewise fail. Nor does it mean that even if they try and fail, that there was no benefit in trying.

But this quote is also illustrated by the “crabs in a bucket” story. Apparently, when catching crabs you can toss ’em into a bucket and don’t even have to put a lid on, because if you get at least two crabs in, then it doesn’t matter how big the bucket is nor how many crabs you put in — if one crab tries to get out, the other crabs will grab it and drag it back down. How many women have abandoned their dreams, and whenever anyone still reaches for that same dream (tries to climb out of the bucket), will actively discourage or pull them back into the place where they are all trapped?

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3 Responses

  1. That was me! 😉 It was super awkward. How to share, without making someone else feel badly about their decisions?? What do other people do in this type of social situation (especially considering that they’re “friendly acquaintences” I’ll probably know for the next 15 years as our kids grow up together in this small town)?

    • Yeah, it can be a tough call — wanting to educate without making others feel bad. It depends on the situation. Also, I think attitude has a great deal to do with it. One situation I remember vividly is a group of ladies all trying to top each other with their “bad birth” stories (I can’t remember if there was a first-time pregnant mom in the midst or not), and I piped up cheerily and said, “Oh, that wasn’t my experience at all!” and went on to look at the positive aspects of the labor and birth. The tone of the group changed, and then all the women were trying to out-do each other with recollections of “good” things that happened during labor! But I had known all these women for years, so I knew that even if they got irritated by my “bad birth? what bad birth? you got ripped off if you had a bad birth” kind of comment, that it would not seriously damage the relationship. Besides, as I said, I did it with a positive demeanor, making doubly sure that I didn’t come down as harsh and critical of their choices — just giving my own perspective without judging theirs.

  2. So true!!! I experience this quandary constantly. 🙂

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