Being big-bellied makes me sensitive.
or perhaps the word is (hyper) aware.
How I feel the subtle nuisanced ways that folk try to convince women that if we can’t do it all, we aren’t valuable. And that we should want to do it ALL. And we should want to have it ALL.
ALL being defined by some intangible, yet evident mob like force that has a clever PR person, maybe has written books, hosts a popular podcast or blog
Or sits like a poorly selected jury- just waiting- to convict us of not trying enough or being enough of a woman if we:
Can have children or not
Choose to have kids or not
If we do then the propagators of ALL begin to furiously gather evidence to determine our
“ MOTHER ENUFF-ness” based off whether or not we:
Work and hustle until the very minute our birthing time comes
Take time off or scale back on work before our birthing day
Admit to having aches and pains, new ones daily or not
Get big anywhere other than our bellies
Gain less than 25 pounds
Gain more than 40 pounds
Voice how powerful we feel in our “growing a human state”
Voice how vulnerable we feel in our “growing a human state”
The answer to any question is “I don’t know”
Show up like… we know it all
Trust the process/ doubt the process
Have “natural” birth/ Schedule a C-section for emergent or personal reasons
Take our big-bellied selves out and dance like no one is watching/ Become homebodies because we feel like everyone is watching
Answer the phone/ don’t answer the phone
Want/ need to stay at home after baby comes
Want to/ or need to go back to work immediately after baby comes
Don’t return to a “snatched” up waist and face and hair… like yesterday
Look “too good” to have just popped one out like… today.
Cosleep/ don’t cosleep
Don’t ask for help/ do ask for help
Hire help/ can’t afford to hire help
Use pampers/ Use clothe diapers
Eat frozen foods for weeks on end
Conjure up gourmet meals (somehow) daily
Work out before the 6-week “wait” period is up
Don’t work out…or even consider it for …um…16 months post birth
Don’t turn on the “out of office” messenger
Forget to return the email while we are on “leave”
From what I am gathering what defines ALL-ness “out there” goes on and on and is quite contradicting. Womenfolk, this “jury” ain’t our peers anyway. (if they are, they’ve internalized some madness)
In here and today I “middle finger mudra” ALL in the name of bowing to some.
I will clean some. I will make some messes.
I will laugh some. I will cry some.
I will respond to some emails.
I will decide to let go of some work.
I will hold on to some work.
I will rest some.
I will disappoint someone
I will inspire someone.