Church

I’ve been struggling lately, not with faith, but with the institution of church in its physical form. I’m not baptized, but I have Christian beliefs and attend a Christian church. The only religion in my life growing up was going to a Catholic secondary school where I took part in choir, took Religious Education which I excelled in and attended the mandatory school Masses.

When I got married I chose to start attending a local church, I really enjoyed the worship music they provided, especially as I see singing as my closest form of prayer. It was also a far cry from Catholic Mass that often left me feeling like an outsider, a sinner (for not being able to participate) and really left a sour taste in my mouth. Eventually I stopped going regularly, feeling lost in such a large crowd of people and not connected to the sermons I heard each Sunday.

Since having Calvin I started attending the same church (different campus) again and found it was a much better experience this time around. Calvin enjoyed daycare while I enjoyed a much smaller crowd and was able to connect better with the teachings. This campus just closed and it has directed us back to the campus I had originally attended. Calvin is loving daycare still (especially as he just moved up a group), but I’m starting to get that claustrophobic feeling again.

The music is great, the sermons are done well and people are friendly. But I’m the kind of person who wants to sit down, sing, learn and leave. That may seem like a very separatist and rude outlook, but I find some of the actions performed each week, like greeting your neighbor (of who’s name you soon forget) an arbitrary task. I also feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of people around me. I sit myself always on the end of the row just incase I need to fetch Calvin and also so that I don’t feel boxed in.

I’m trying my best to keep attending, it’s great for Calvin to get a start in church at an early age so that later on in life, he can decide for himself whether to continue on a Christian path. For myself, I need some time to reconnect, to overcome whatever these feelings are and to perhaps at some point consider taking the next step into becoming Christian through the act of baptism.

In the meantime, I’ll continue to lift up my voice and my hands to God.

Don’t Roll Your Eyes At Me

Think mommy wars begin when those babes are born? Thing again. From the moment you conceive it feels like you are being judged. Commentary on your choice of baby gear, on your nursery decorations, on your prenatal care and what I find most disturbing, on your birth plan.

Can we drop the B.S of Vaginal vs. Caesarian, Medicated vs. Natural, Hospital vs. Home and start supporting one another? As long as mother and child are healthy and happy, that’s the priority right?

Birth plans are exactly that, plans. And every woman has the right to outline what she wants to happen during labor and delivery, hopefully with the support of her loved ones and the professionals that will be guiding her through it. So here are a few things that really should be addressed.

1. Don’t spread your negative energy over an expectant mothers birth plan because it doesn’t fit your own ideology. Support her or GTFO!

2. Got a horror story about l&d? Keep it to yourself. No one needs to hear about your friend of a friend who’s doctor cut the baby during a c-section. No one.

3. Expectant mother having an elective cesarean? Don’t tell her that she isn’t experiencing “real” birth, or that she is somehow creating a detriment to herself or her child.

4. Pregnant friend taking the natural route? Think she’s going to buckle and get an epidural? Perhaps she will, perhaps she won’t. But your negativity isn’t needed.

5. Anti hospitals but your sister is checking in? Perhaps it’s best you don’t loudly discuss your theories on why hospitals and their staff run the way they do and put unnecessary fear into her mind.

6. Home births not for you? That’s okay, but you don’t need to rain on that expectant mothers parade if her ideal labor is at home, in her bed with her husband and midwife by her side.

What I’m getting at is that everyone has an opinion on birth and that’s cool. But when those opinions start encroaching on the birth plans of these mothers, you aren’t supporting her. What you’re doing it adding to the fear that women shouldn’t have to experience with child birth.

So perhaps next time an expectant mother tells you she is going to have a water birth and you have a negative opinion or horror story creep up inside your mind, how about supporting her in her decision, asking her questions about it and understanding the reasoning behind it? You never know, maybe a different view point will give you the capability to own your next birth or support someone else in your life with their birth plan.

And as the title says, don’t roll your eyes at a pregnant woman. We may be slow moving, but I assure you it doesn’t take much for us to extend a hand and stop those eyeballs from rolling around in your head.