Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Making choices

Actual conversation with a friend a few days ago.

She: So did you know Y is also pregnant?
Me: No I didn't! Wow, this is awesome! When is she due?
She: Oh six months from now! And she's quitting her job next month.
Me: Quitting or taking medical leave or something?
She: No, quitting! She is going to stay at home and be a full time mom.
Me: Wow!
She: I know! How can she just give up her career like that? I asked her about it and she tells me that she was never interested in it anyway.
Me: ....
She: Why did she go to grad school at all if she didn't want to work?
Me: (defensive now) Hey, at least she knows what she wants, instead of being confused on a daily basis and trying to juggle everything.
She: Oh, is that how you feel? Are you going to quit working too because you're pregnant?
Me: No... I will be taking a break though. I've not decided yet how long the break will be.
She: See, a break is different from quitting your job.

But is it? What if Y changes her mind a couple of years from now and decides to work? Would my friend think better of her? To me it seems like our lives should be about what we want and what makes us happy - using the tools that we have available at our disposal such as our education, our finances, our state of health etc. And we each try to use our judgement (good or bad) to make choices towards getting what we want. So why are we so critical about others' choices? Because of our need to validate our own choices?

Here is a blog I really like and find myself reading a lot.
Its a blog about her adventures in motherhood. I am currently lagging behind about a year and reading posts from early 2006 as I've been trying to catch up on all her posts from the very beginning. Here is why I like her blog.

1.) She is a good writer and her posts are engaging

2.) She loves her child and seems to relish the teeniest things about being a mother. When someone enjoys something so much, it is pretty infectious. I am starting to fall in love with her child!

3.) She seems totally at peace with her choices - be it her career or her style of parenting. At the time of my reading, she is a reporter with a good job - intentionally working part time (3 days a week) so she can spend more time with her daughter. Not once over the past year and a half worth of posts I've read so far, does she seem to be in angst about her career or her motherhood. No self doubt. No endless questioning about the future that prevents her from enjoying the present.

4.) She actually has done many of the things I want to do when my baby is born - such as cosleeping, attachment parenting, breastfeeding. So I am getting a sense of what worked and didn't work for her as I read her posts.

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