In my last two posts, a handful of people felt that I was being judgmental. My official reply to that, I suppose, would be: "Wah wah wah."
Meaning this: We ALL get judged all the time. For everything. Whether people mean it or not. Do women get judged more than men? Possibly. Do female physicians get judged more than non-physicians? Actually, I doubt it. And no matter how much you protest that you do not judge others, we ALL do it.
One person commented that we "must be supportive of all women." Supportive of all women? What about a female patient who comes into our clinic pregnant and drinking vodka? Obviously we wouldn't support this decision just because she's a woman. I know that seems like an extreme example, but there are lots of crunchy internet moms who think giving your baby formula is just as bad as guzzling vodka during pregnancy. We judge any decision that we don't agree with, that we think is potentially harmful.
So after that lengthy introduction, I'd like to present some actual REAL judgments passed upon me over the last several years by family, friends, and nosy people on the internet:
You should go to medical school. You're never going to be happy if you don't.
Why are you going to medical school? You're going to be in debt forever.
You're going to sleep now? The final is tomorrow! Are you really done studying?
How are you going to do well on your exam if you don't get any sleep?
You're going to do a residency in internal medicine? You're going to be miserable and never make any money.
If you drop out of internal medicine, you'll never find a new residency.
If you do PM&R, there won't be any jobs for you when you graduate. And what IS PM&R anyway?
You shouldn't have a baby in residency! You're going to be exhausted!
You should have all your babies before residency ends because the coverage is better.
If you get an epidural, you won't be able to feel your labor and you'll end up getting a C-section.
Don't try natural labor. You're just going to end up begging for the epidural and by then, it'll be too late.
Don't give your baby a bottle too early! She'll get nipple confusion!
If you wait too long to give your baby a bottle, she'll refuse to take it.
You let your husband give your baby formula so that you could sleep? You're a terrible mother. I don't care that you had a fever of 102 and had just come back from the ER.
You have to swaddle your baby or else she'll never sleep.
Stop swaddling your baby, you monster!*
Everyone does a fellowship after residency.
If you do a fellowship, you're wasting your time.
Having a second baby will quadruple your work, so make sure you're ready for that.
If you don't have your kids two years apart, they won't be friends.
I could probably think of more, but I think you get the idea.
The point I'd like to make though is not that we should all try to be less judgmental and more supportive of each other, because let's face it, that's never ever going to happen. The one thing I've learned though is that you must try to be happy with your own choices. The judgments that really hurt me were the ones where I wasn't sure I was doing the right thing and already felt guilty about it (i.e. giving formula).
So while it would be great if we could all support each other, what I'm really trying to say is that we should try to support ourselves.
*This is my absolute favorite. I posted a video of my two month old daughter in a Miracle Blanket on youtube just for my parents and in-laws to see (because she was making sucking motions in her sleep and it was cute). I thought it was unsearchable, but somehow some nosy woman found it and started yelling at us for swaddling her.