As women, we are expected to "know" things or be born with certain instincts, or at least I feel like people assume we are. Take for instance going into labor: How are we supposed to "know" when it's time? We're just supposed to, right? Every contraction I have, real or false, is followed by my husband's asking, "What's going on?" "I don't know!" I scream back.
I don't know, and it is confusing. What they tell you is that every pregnancy, every labor is different, but fake contractions are supposed to feel like a tightening, and real contractions are painful. Okay, well, if everything is always different, how can some things remain constant? I didn't really have any painful contractions with my first labor so I have no prior knowledge to go on this time around if labor starts with contractions and not my water breaking.
I still feel stupid, however, for not just "knowing". There are other things that women are expected just to know... how to cook, how to know exactly which cry of her baby means what, stuff like that. I did not know how to cook until a few years ago, and that was a huge learning process. Knowing about babies' cries are a complete mystery to me, and I'm not the only one who has said that she can't differentiate, but she feels as though she's supposed to know. I mean, if every child is different, then how are we supposed to know what their cries mean?!
Why do people assume that all women are born with the Super Mom/Martha Stewart gene? It doesn't exist. Unless your mother was a chef and a nanny and was able somehow to teach you everything she ever learned, you are probably as clueless as the rest of us are, but you're too scared to sound like the only one who doesn't know anything.
And don't get me started on breastfeeding. That's a whole learning curve that I won't be participating in again. That's not something that comes naturally! I mean, if there is a whole field of nurses or lactation consultants dedicated to breastfeeding, doesn't that say that it isn't an instinctively easy thing to conquer?
All I'm saying is just stop assuming that we know what we're doing. If we look to be struggling, we probably are. Don't feed us lines like, "You'll just know" because we don't always "just know". So now I wait... to instinctively KNOW when the time is upon me for this baby to be coming... waiting.... waiting... wait, what was that?! I DON'T KNOW!!!
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