I rolled my eyes and laughed at one of the messages sitting in my inbox. The title of the email, the one that I didn't even bother opening was this:
It's OK Not To Like Pregnancy
Even that early in the morning, I cringed a little bit at the overuse of the capitalization here, about the fact that OK is not a word....I know that my grammar is atrocious, but seriously??? Whoever composed this email must get paid something to write this stuff. Do better. People like me are reading and rolling our eyes at you.
I never opened the email for a few reasons, mostly because emails like this are dumb. They come from some list I was put on when I was pregnant, filled with clickbait for nervous new parents. The emails take them to sites designed to scare the shit out of them about some aspect of parenting then convince them that their lives will be super easy if they just buy this new miracle product.
And I'm not falling for it, because I'm an old veteran parent who knows that you truly don't need any of that shit. Get off my lawn.
What the email did do for me though, is create the inspiration for this blog post. So, there's that.
I do believe that this email has conjured up in my brain the cure for most of what ails the internet. Ready for this??? I'm about to drop some profound knowledge right up in here.
It's not the internet's job to make us feel better about ourselves, about our weight, about our lives, about our parenting...about anything.
We don't need the internet's permission to feel however we feel about anything.
I don't need this email to give me permission to not love every aspect of pregnancy.
None of us need the internet's permission for anything.
It's not like I got this email and breathed a deep sigh of relief that finally everything I was feeling was justified.
It's not like I screamed out FINALLY!!!!! Ohthankgod they think this is okay!!!!!! I can get on with my life now.
As a society, we have got to stop seeking approval from strangers online about how we live our lives. We have to stop expecting people to agree with us and tell us that our choices are good ones. We have to stop living in this bizarre universe where the opinions of a bunch of people we will never meet in real life somehow get to screw with our emotions.
Feel however you feel.
Your feelings are justified, and you don't have to justify them to anyone.
What if we all stopped that? If we just stopped?
If, instead of taking the things that people say and write online personally, we just accepted that their opinions were theirs and don't affect us at all?
If, instead of trying to seek validation for what we are doing in our lives as parents, as spouses, as men or women, as whatever else we are seeking validation for...we just lived?
I bet we could all get along a whole lot better online.
Hey, it's an idea.
A pretty profound one for 5:30am, if I do say so myself.