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What’s right

This is something that I’ve been thinking about for some time. Learning about different parenting styles and methods has only furthered this internal discussion though it applies to many, many other things. By asking “What’s right?” I’m not referring to what is or isn’t morally right. I’m asking “What is the best thing that I can do for me and my family?” As is often the case when searching out opinions and advice on topics people have very strong feelings about, things often get very heated very quickly. There are as many opinions as there are people in the world. It’s rare that you will find two people who will agree 100% on every single thing. I have a feeling that most of the arguing stems from two things that are basically different sides of the same coin: 1) What is right for me is not right for everyone else and 2) What is right for someone else may not be right for me.

What is right for me is not right for everyone else. Just because a particular method or action works for me or works for my family does not mean that it is a good fit for everyone else. Someone, maybe, but not everyone. For example, for the last few months I’ve been working to build better housekeeping habits. Not because I just love cleaning house but because it’s something that needs to be done and for now it’s my job to do it. I’ve discovered a lot of tips and basic coping methods that help me get things done. Do I run around telling people that they are failures unless they do things the same way? No. If the topic comes up with someone else I try to phrase my advice in terms of “This is what helped me, maybe this will work out for you, too. If it doesn’t I won’t be offended.” There is no point to trying to force my ideas or methods on someone else because I understand that not everyone is the same. They need to find their own way; all I can do is try to help and to be as understanding as possible.

What is right for someone else may not be right for me. So what happens when people fail to realize that their way is not the only right way? You end up with people trying to shove their methods and beliefs on you. They have found some thing or believe in one thing that they feel should apply to everyone and so they speak and act as if this is the only “right” way to act. They either can’t or refuse to see that just because something works for them, in their life, it doesn’t mean that I or anyone else will be happy doing the same things. This applies to everything: lifestyle, eating habits, relationships, parenting, religion, depression, the list goes on.

I think the problem boils down to a complete and utter lack of empathy. It seems impossible for most people to put themselves in another person’s position. If someone doesn’t believe or do exactly as they would have in the same situation they don’t allow for the fact that the other person has lived a life entirely different from theirs, experiencing different things and influenced by factors that an outsider couldn’t possibly wholly understand. No, the other person is simply “wrong” because they are not the same. Not only do attitudes like this show a lack of empathy but they also show an overabundance of arrogance. Why should your way be any better than theirs? Why are your experiences any more valid?

Different does not mean wrong. Different doesn’t mean the end of the world. Stop acting like it does.

Bring on spring

As I type this, more snow is falling. I don’t think we’re supposed to get more accumulation but enough with the snow already. I knew last winter was extremely mild for this area but this is ridiculous. There are a few things fueling my increasing dislike of snow.

For one, apartment management does a piss poor job at snow removal in the lot and on our sidewalk. Our car has nearly been blocked in several times due to the ridiculous mound that gets left behind the parked cars. Do they ever let us know ahead of time when they’ll be plowing so that we can move the car? Nope. The person plowing regularly ends up piling a ton of snow at the end of the sidewalk where it joins the parking lot and they don’t always make a clear path, meaning that it becomes rather treacherous. And, since they don’t salt anything but part of the sidewalk, the whole lot often turns into an ice rink.

Secondly, my feet have said ENOUGH to me wearing snow boots. I have high arches and I think one doctor said my heels are oddly twisted. Additionally there is something freaky with one of my ankles so wearing shoe inserts doesn’t help much. I pretty much live in whatever athletic shoes fit best. Because shoe companies feel like they have to keep changing the design and renaming shoes, this means that when it’s time for a new pair (like now), I pretty much try on every single 8 1/2 that I can find and then narrow it down. But snow boots? No such luck. I haven’t even been able to find a good pair of regular boots since I started having problems with my feet. The snow boots I have are better than most of those but they aren’t nearly supportive enough. As a result my left foot has been screwed up for over a week. I’ve only worn my boots once since then to take out the recycling. Remember how poorly they plow the parking lot? There was a huge sheet of ice covered with snow and surrounded by huge puddles so the boots were necessary. I’m still waiting for my foot to get better because some days it hurts before I even get out of bed.

Thirdly, something that I’ve mentioned quite a few times on twitter. One of the not so fun pregnancy issues I’ve been having for about five weeks now is Pelvic Girdle Pain. Short version: the joints in my pelvis are relaxing too much. And early. It means that things like rolling over in bed, getting in and out of a car, and any movement that takes my legs in a side to side motion are extremely painful. So when I have to walk across a very icy sidewalk and/or parking lot and my legs start sliding in all directions, even barely an inch, that hurts. Thankfully the pain has mostly let up. For now. It could come back any time, especially as this child grows and puts more pressure on my pelvis. Not really much fun at all.

Finally? I refuse to buy a maternity coat. It won’t (at least, it shouldn’t) be cold for that much longer and who knows if I will ever need it again. I’m already about to outgrow my non maternity clothes so I’d rather buy warm weather clothing. Of course, being 9 months pregnant in July is not going to be very pleasant either but I’ll deal with it. Somehow.

So enough of the snow. Give us warmer weather!


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