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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Commands

So the bad part about going PRN for my job is that I am now in the office more often than I was when I was doing home-based therapy. Much less stress, because I don't have people calling me saying, "My son is holding a knife to my throat, WTF do I do?" Too bad I am always professional, because I usually really want to say, "WTF do you mean, 'WTF do I do?' Why the hell are you on the phone with me? CALL THE COPS!!!"

Anywho, being in the office more is not bad because I particularly dislike it there or any of the people that are usually at the office. It is bad because of the abundance of chocolate that is there. Specifically, Dove Dark chocolate. One of my colleagues has it on her desk, just free for the taking. I think I want to have her babies...but again, I digress. And I can usually do pretty well with avoiding it, but I have had my monthly free pass for chocolate (AKA my period) coming up, so I indulged. If you can call "indulging" being the same thing as "you have eaten enough of this chocolate that you might need to enter a 12 step program for chocolate addiction ".

I slowed down enough in my frantic shoveling in of the chocolate to notice that there were little sayings printed on the inside of the wrappers. Things like, "Enjoy a sunset!" or "Hug someone!" Just little sayings, giving you commands on how to improve your life. And of course, this got me thinking about how sometimes I feel that there are so many vague entities in my life who are giving me commands. "Look this way!" "Be this thin!" "No, be thinner!" "You need to do XYZ or you are a horrible parent!" "You need to do XYZ to be a good wife!" "Oh, and don't forget to make time for yourself...but you are horrible if you do!" Etc., Etc. These invisible forces, sometimes a creation of my own socialization/mind, sometimes overt messages, sometimes covert messages...I often feel as though I am bombarded by these commands that I can never obey. Or that if I do obey this command, I will be bombarded with commands from the invisible entity on the other side.

Perfect example...I really wanted to nurse Charlie. I nursed Alexis like I was born to do it (which some will argue I was!) It was easy with her. Charlie, not so much...but I was lucky that I knew I had 8 weeks to take off work, so I had time to work through the issues. And we did. Then I found out that I had to stop after I stopped taking my heparin because of the medicines I would take that replaced the heparin. Holy guilt.

The commands were telling me that my baby was going to be slow, unhealthy, get cancer, and die a horrible death if I did not nurse. They were also telling me that a good mom sacrifices EVERYTHING for her child. Then I had the ones on the other side...that being formula fed was not a death sentence (Elizabeth was formula fed, and she is just fine), that I had to take care of myself to take care of my baby...the war was on. Ultimately, I stopped nursing because I am pretty fond of this thing called life, and my medications have saved my life. But the commands keep coming, usually unleashed by an unwitting source...the ads for "Breast is best", a coworker who innocently assumes that I am still nursing...

So those little labels on the inside of the chocolate? Innocent, yes. However, I really wish that I had not seen them as they just remind me of all the things I "should" be doing. When did society make women HAVE to be superwomen? When will I learn to ignore the commands so I can just enjoy my PMS relief?

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