Opting Out of Mommy Angst in Three Easy Steps

The week leading up to Mother's Day was certainly brightened for me by the news of the birth of baby Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana. I'm a proud American and whatnot, but my love of babies, fanciness, and tradition can't help but rejoice in a royal baby announcement.

I also, personally, got a kick out of the fact that Her Royal Highness Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, was in just as big a hurry to get out of the hospital as I always am.

The British Monarchy

So, I shared this article on the Facebook page:

How did Kate Middleton look this amazing 10 hours after having a baby?

and was intrigued by the resulting discussion in the comments.

  • Some moms agreed with me that hospitals are a terrible place to get some rest after having had a baby, what with all the constant taking of one's blood pressure and the wanting to know how much one peed.
  • Some moms had needed to stay in the hospital for a long time whether they liked it or not, because of c-sections, or other complications.
  • Some moms had loved every minute of their hospitals stays and lobbied for an extra day or two if they could get it, to enjoy not having to cook or clean or look after the other kiddos.
  • Some moms said that it was fine for Kate to go home, because she has "all that help."
  • Some moms agreed with me that Kate looked just lovely, and that I really need a dress a LOT like that.
  • Some moms had had the experience of looking and feeling pretty darn good right after having a baby.
  • Some moms reported feeling NOT glamorous OR comfortable after childbirth.
  • Some moms said of course Kate looked like that, because she has professionals to work on her.
  • Some moms said that obviously Kate felt horrible and gross but was being forced by the royal family to have her hair and makeup done and pose for reporters even though she should get to be relaxing in her hospital bed in stretchy pants.
  • One mom thought we shouldn't rule out the possibility that Kate's whole pregnancy had been fake.

It was like a tiny little microcosm of the "Mommy Wars." All over a picture of a baby princess.

It made me think of all the other angsty combox mommy debates: epidurals, co-sleeping, homeschooling, cooking from scratch, pinterest projects, working outside the home. Moms don't lack for things to worry about.

If I may, I'll just share my personal experience for a moment. . .

My labors have run the gamut from 50 hours of silly sputtering to an hour and a half of intense intenseness. Labor hurts, but it's been manageable for me without interventions each time. The husband and I have always been able to talk and laugh right up until the transition to pushing at which point I kinda lose it. But, hey, it's almost over by that point anyway.

Then, it IS over, aaaannnnddd . . . I have always felt pretty good. I've always been physically able to get up and walk right away, and get to the bathroom all by myself. I'd walk to the recovery room, but they never let me.

I think the longest I've ever stayed in the hospital after giving birth is fifteen hours, the shortest was six.

I do not like hospitals. I don't like being bossed around by nurses. I don't like being woken up by nurses. I feel uncomfortable there. Giving birth in a hospital is the solution that works best for our family, because reasons. But I don't want to stay there any longer than I have to.

I have never looked as cute as Kate did leaving the hospital. But I always bring "real" clothes to wear home.

And while I don't know the Duchess personally, it seems reasonable to assume that she also had a manageable time of labor and delivery, and was perfectly comfortable leaving the hospital, and is not one to let having a baby interfere with being her very fashionable self.

So here's the thing. And I hope the Duchess will forgive my impertinence, but I'm going to go ahead and speak for her too when I say that we both totally believe that your labor and delivery was the WORST and that there was NO WAY you were going anywhere for many days.

We are totally cool with that.

YOU love the hospital. You want to stay there until it's closing time and they kick you out. We are cool with that.

I will go so far as to say that we are cool with the other childbirth, sleep-system, schooling, crafting, and career-type mothering decisions you've made as well. Even if they are different than the ones we've made.

Mothering is hard. It takes a level of dedication and sacrifice my younger self wouldn't have even thought was a possibility for me. I've spent a lot of time figuring out how I do this, and there was a time when I worried if how I was doing things was the best way, or worried if people around me were doing things differently. But I really think most of that worrying and wondering was just my own insecurity. These days, I'm confident in what works for my family. And that means I don't have to spend time concerned about how other people do it. Advice and ideas? Yes. Comparisons and angst? Nope.


1. I've come to understand that people are different from one another. They are formed by different circumstances and experiences, motivated by different loves and fears, and talented in different ways.

2. I've come to realize that another person’s experience of a particular situation in no way de-legitimizes my own contrary experience.

3. I've learned to let go of the angst: These days, I . . . Evaluate my options. Make a decision. Own it. Repeat as necessary.

I'm opting out of the Mommy Wars. And I'm hoping that this blog is a place where I share what works for me, but don't de-value what works for you.

So, there ya go. Now that that's all taken care of I will wish you and yours the happiest of Mother's Days. Own it.

p.s. If this is a sad day for you because you struggle with infertility, subfertility, or miscarriages, or you have given a baby up for adoption, or you've had an abortion, or you have a difficult relationship with your mother or your children, or you've lost your mother, or you've lost a child . . . please know that lots of people are praying for your comfort and healing today.

Updated to add a little What I Wore Sunday . . .

We had breakfast at home, then went to Mass, then hit up Krispy Kreme.

Betty made me this necklace! Isn't it awesome? And speaking of Betty, her black eye (from getting hit right in the eye by a pitch last week) has a Pinterest-worthy smoky-eye thing going on.

This was yesterday, it's even deeper today.

Anyway, Happy Mother's Day all!