When men gather round and start talking shop, you can bet it’s not about pregnancy and childbirth. But when women have a moment to talk to one another, whether it’s on facebook or actually face to face, that’s often the subject. And I’m not complaining. This is as it should be. We talk about what we are doing, and young moms are having kids, so that’s the biggest topic on their minds.
When the men talk about whether it’s better to drive a Ford or a Chevy, I’m betting that it would be pretty rare for any of the men to get their feelings hurt. But when women are talking about how much weight to gain or whether to use cloth diapers, feelings can be right out there on the line, being crushed by every toe that steps on them.
So here are a couple of cautions for us all. If you are a young mom looking for input on any issue under the huge heading of mothering or childbearing, be wise. Be prepared to receive lots of advice and opinions that you may or may not agree with. Some may even be positively fruity. Don’t take it personally. Don’t take offense. And on the flip side, if you are offering advice and opinions, whether solicited or not, don’t be imperialistic. Be wise. Give one another room. If Susie doesn’t take your advice, don’t end the friendship over it.
Women are sensitive creatures and we know not what we are made of. We ask for input and then feel criticized when we get it. We put our picture out there on the world-wide-web, and then we are offended when people make insensitive comments. So there are two things to learn here. Maybe you shouldn’t publish too much information on facebook. Be discreet. Hold back. Don’t disclose all your news. Maybe don’t put up that picture.You’re just asking for lots and lots of feedback and opinions. Are you sure you’re up for that?
And don’t be too quick to offer your opinion. You may be the ninety-ninth person to offer a criticism. Be considerate. Be kind. Hold back. Mothers can take their mothering skills too far by trying to mother all the new mothers. Mothers can wag their fingers and their tongues at one another. Life is too short to wreck friendships over diapers and formula and how much weight to gain or not gain in pregnancy.