There are two things that strangers always assume wrongly about me:
1. I work out
2. I am a Democrat
Now I don't know which of these is more hilarious to me as I can't really imagine myself doing EITHER one. (OK, I am lying a little because I HAVE been sneaking in some yoga now that I have a zillion pounds of baby weight to lose).
Before Madeline I was pretty thin, so I guess people just assumed that, like most people who were thin, I jogged and elliptical-ed and ate right. Then, they see a day in my life and realize that they couldn't have been more wrong. In fact, prior to my pregnancy my diet consisted mostly of pizza, 1/4 pound fudge from South Bend Chocolate, and Cap'n Crunch. My exercise was occasionally taking the stairs to my second floor job, and the 3 block walk to my downtown office to avoid paying 6 bucks in parking fees - but that was because I was cheap.
Now the Democrat thing....I don't know where people get that. Maybe because I am young?Who was it that said something like "If you're not a Democrat while you're young you don't have a heart, and if you're not a Republican when you're old you don't have a brain." (Thanks to Stephanie my token Donkey friend for sharing that with me BTW) I remember having lunch with a friend of mine from the Center on Philanthropy when I worked for the BBB and we were discussing the upcoming election. When I told him I was a Republican (this of course being before my Libertarian light came on) he about fell out of his chair. It's like he couldn't reconcile it in his brain. Maybe because my job was so heavily involved in community and philanthropy? Well anyway, it was just interesting to me that he (and many others) just assumed I was a Democrat. I can't imagine that I give off that vibe.
Being a mother has brought with it stereotypes of its own. I hate to admit they were the very ones I believed before I had children of my own. One of the biggest being that Stay at Home Moms choose that particular vocation because 1) it was easier 2) they didn't have any other options. HA HA HA. Oh my ignorance...... 1)Can't think of ANY profession that's harder and 2) Um, yes they do....in fact all of the SAHMs I know are college educated, smart, beautiful women who CHOSE to give up their high paying, important, fulfilling jobs. But I hate it when i get the vibe when I tell someone I'm a SAHM and they think I'm doing so cause my gas-station job didn't pan out for me. But I guess that's karma for me!
When Steve and I found out we were pregnant with our second child we both really wanted to try for a VBAC. I had very very strong feelings about my first birth experience and wanted desperately to avoid it the second time round. I did hours upon hours of research on how to take a proactive role in my pregnancy - hiring a doula and crafting a birth plan. When one of my husband's co-workers heard that I wasn't just opting for another C-Section she was surprised. Upon hearing we were hiring a doula she asked my husband if we were going to have a homebirth.
um me? homebirth? HAHAHAHAHAHA I LOVE hospitals. I love having people bring me delicious food round the clock, I love having a nurse just a beep away if I have any questions. Also, even by ambulance the nearest hospital to me is still quite a while away. Though I have no problem with people opting to have a homebirth - it was just not the choice for me. But I thought that was interesting. She assumed because we were taking a slightly "off the beaten path" approach to having a baby that we would be giving birth to said baby in our very own bathroom. To me those things are about 2308239471987 steps apart.
Oh, and breastfeeding. To me - it's just a normal part of having a baby. No, not everyone chooses to do it, but it's not like the people who did it 30 years ago when hardly anyone did it. But when I shared that I was nursing with an acquaintance of mine she said, "Thats great! I was a third-world mother too!" Which I just assumed meant that breastfeeding was not the norm. Third world? So because I wear my baby in a sling, breastfeed, and occasionally co-sleep - I'm a granola-eating, Birkenstock wearing, recycling, composting, left leaning woman?
I guess I say all this to say .....Does everything have to be one way or the other? Can I not be a Republican who composts and makes her own baby wipes? Don't get me wrong - anyone who knows me well, will tell you I am a black and white, 0 or 100 type person - but I guess I hate being defined by one or two things that I do. I go to church - therefore I must be a crazy hypocritical religious nut, I nursed my children - therefore I must not bathe on a regular basis. (Ok so getting a shower every day is still a lofty goal but you know what I'm trying to say) I'm a Republican therefore I don't care about landfills or the less fortunate. I guess I just hoped that by 2009 we'd all be a little less stereotype- beholden and more..... potpourri.