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It's My Choice and That's Ok

I'm always amazed at how the phrase "It's your choice" can come off so sinister sometimes.

It's no wonder that as women, we can sometimes feel the need to exert our "rational" or "logical" side and downplay our emotional, intuitive and gut-believing side.

We've heard this phrase "It's your choice" as an exasperated way to say "Well, I gave you my opinion and you're still choosing a different path."

It looks something like this:

As a person who values counseling and help, I sought out therapists with the express intent to navigate through new motherhood. I was amazed by how many of them told me I needed to leave my son with someone in order to be present during our sessions. Let me say this first: I fully understand the clinical implications of distraction and how the work is to focus on oneself. My distinction here is that I was seeking help in my role as a new mother of this Sweet Boy. When I would reiterate the need for help in interacting with him or the like, I was still met with many responses that said "If you want to see me, you'll have to make the choice."

When I heard those words, I heard them so abrasively, regardless of the kindness of the delivery tone. I want to give a major nod to the role of hormones and how everything feels like it is being yelled through a megaphone with a foghorn blasting your other ear.

We are told a way of doing something, then when we express a desire to do it differently, we are met with "Well, it's your choice" aka "Oooook, suit yourself." We hear well-intended women say "Oh, I made my situation work by doing this thing that aligns with my values and not yours...Oh, you don't want to do that thing I just mentioned?...Ok, It's your choice." We hear these things and feel the need to defend ourselves as rational beings, not simply given to our desires and wants. Yet we are left being known as someone who is simply unwilling, irrationally staunch and difficult.

"OOOk, it's your choice..."

We hear this when we are told we can either participate in an activity and leave our baby with someone else, or opt out of participating. Work is a great example of this. We toil over the work vs baby choice we are forced to make. A woman tells us how she "made it work" and we can't see how that is an option for us. "Well, it's your choice" with the undertones of "You are helpless."

It IS my choice and that's ok.

We hear this when a member of our medical care team offers a route of treatment that doesn't quite sit right with us, with no other options. "OOOk, it's your choice..." We toil over these decisions because we don't want to be labeled as a difficult mom, or worse, we fear our baby will be penalized, however that looks, because of our actions.

It IS my choice and that's ok.

We hear this when we want to volunteer our time and be part of something, but for whatever reason, legitimate or not, we are told we can only be of help a certain way, with no regard to our needs or wants. "OOOk, it's your choice..."

It IS my choice and that's ok.

We hear this when some well-intended person wants to rid us of our problems, meaning they labeled us and will now proceed to fix us. Maybe they labeled us as a person who is a victim of our circumstance when we said "I can't do that. I need to be home to put my baby to sleep." "OOOk, it's your choice..."

It IS my choice and that's ok.

To all of us that have heard this diminutive washing of the hands, I offer this: We need to be strong in the fact that it IS our choice to be doing things how we want with our families and kids, barring hurtful or illegal activity, of course. (I felt I should put this in, know...interwebs.)

We need to be strong in the decisions we make, however we make them. Some of us decide based on how something feels to us in our gut and THAT'S GREAT. Some of us decide based on tons and tons of research and make a decision when we feel comfortable presenting the research we've done and THAT'S GREAT.

It needs to be ok that we made a decision or came to a conclusion in a different manner than someone else. The only way it will be ok is if we start telling the world "It IS my choice and that's ok." We can all affect change and bring peace to motherhood. Being clear that it IS our choice and that it IS ok is a great start.


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#peaceinmotherhood #peace

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