a culture of judgment.

I recently Tweeted and updated my Facebook status about my desire for an epidural when I give birth in December.

And yes, I really did laugh pretty hard at the nurse when she asked that. Not because I think that natural childbirth is worth laughing about... but because the thought of ME choosing to have a drug-free delivery is pretty funny.

I have absolutely zero desire to have a drug-free birth. There is nothing about it that is appealing to me. I've heard all the arguments, I've read all the research, I've watched "The Business of Being Born" and all of its counterparts, I've read the blogs and heard the stories.

I'm still getting an epidural.

And I'm not getting an epidural because I have some philosophical posture against drug-free births & I think having anesthesia is the best choice for everyone.

I'm getting an epidural because I know me better than anyone else, and I know it's the best choice for me, my body and my mental health. 

What was shocking about the Facebook status & tweet wasn't the outrage about the fact I'm choosing to get an epidural (there wasn't much)... it was that other women thought that my choice to have an epidural was an act of passing judgment on those who choose not to. 

Which is, as the French say, bullshit. (Just kidding. I don't know if the French use that term or not. I've only been to France once for like 3 days and I don't speak a lick of French. I digress.)

Where was I? Oh right. Bullshit.

I'm so tired & heartsick from watching women assume that everyone is out to attack them and their choices. The barrage of information, studies and opinions on everything from breast feeding to homeschooling has women - particularly mothers - on edge & on the defensive at ALL times.

If one person shares why she chose to do something one way, another has the need to immediately defend their choice to do it differently.

We live in a culture of judgment and I'm sick of it. 

We all need to be free to express our thoughts, feelings and stories without walking on eggshells. We should be rallying around each other, supporting each other in the choices we're making, rather than giving side-eyes and quiet whispers behind closed doors.

We are all different. 

Our children are all different. 

Our marriages are all different.

Instead of assuming the worst of each other, why don't we choose to assume the good? That we're all doing the best we can with what we're given? Because really, that's all any of us can do. And to have the threat of judgment looming around every conversation only makes our jobs as women, wives and mothers even harder than it already is.

So, let's cut the crap. Just because someone chooses something differently than you, doesn't mean they're passing judgment. It just means they're doing what's best for THEM. 

Let's applaud that for once.