By the power vested in me by… well, no one, I’m giving you permission.
A friend called me, concerned. She had breastfed for a year, and didn’t feel like stopping but thought that somehow she should. “Can I keep breastfeeding?” she asked, unsure of herself. “Of course you can!” was my response.
Speaking with the receptionist at my dentist’s office, she worried aloud about her daughter, a new mom, who was barely keeping hide and hair together, sad, working full time, commuting too far, pumping and nursing around the clock, with a grumpy baby who didn’t sleep. (Okay, maybe my dentist’s front office staff is prone to oversharing, but I don’t mind, the ladies are lovely.) “Has anyone told her she can stop pumping or nursing?” The receptionist was caught off guard by my suggestion, probably figuring that her daughter already knew that. But I wasn’t worried about whether she knew that, rather, I wondered if anyone had ever told her so, out loud.
So let me say it outloud, er, in writing. You have permission. Sometimes you just need to hear someone else say it.
These are breastfeeding examples, but there are so many more.
Motherhood, strike that, parenthood is really just improv. You do the best you can, as you go, guided by instincts, friends, family, doctors, books, and the internet. It’s no wonder that so many of us second guess our choices and decisions. I do it all the time.
So here’s the thing. Odds are very good that you’re doing it right.
We don’t tell each other that enough.
So stop second guessing.
Do you want to stop breastfeeding? Stop breastfeeding.
Do you want to keep breastfeeding? Keep breastfeeding.
Do you want to name your child “North”? Go ahead.
Do you want to circumcise/not circumcise your son? Do it.
But you get my point.