It was about this time last year when I read a post that changed my life. And I think everyone should read it.
It’s called “Quit Pointing Your Avocado at Me“, and I recommend it to everybody any chance I get.
It’s very easy to see things that aren’t there in the words other people write, the things that they say, and the avocados they feed their well-dressed children. I feel it a little bit when people are passionate about natural births, like if we’d all just relax and let nature take its course, we can birth beautifully and soulfully with some deep breaths and guided imagery. Well, I tried that, really I did, but it didn’t happen, and I’m fine with it. I even went on to have a regular birth in a sterile-smelling hospital with whatever midwife happened to be on shift, with no candles or Enya, and slept in a room with five other mothers and newborn babies and it was awesome. I had a great experience. Especially when they told me I could have an epidural, even though it was too late. So now when I see people advocating for unmedicated natural births I have to stop and take a second and not get automatically defensive and explain to them why I didn’t/couldn’t have one and how it’s not possible for everyone. I can see it’s my achilles heel and that they’re not having a go at me or other hospital mums. Well, some might be! But on the whole, they’re passionate and they want to share. I don’t need to read an attack into it.
And reading this damn avocado story helped.
Anyone who has been misunderstood and then had readers push back on their blog soon gets that link from me. Because it’s such human nature to read someone’s opinion that isn’t the same as yours, and maybe feel a bit defensive. You want to justify your choices. You want them to know there’s a reason you do what you do. Why you put your kids in day care, or why you bottle feed. You want to defend cushions. And my fellow homies copping shit need to be reminded that some people might take things the wrong way and that isn’t necessarily the their fault – we just think people are pointing their avocados at us when they aren’t. They are just going about their business and probably don’t even know we feel alienated and slightly judged.
I once went to a coffee date with a couple of other mums, one with a brand-new freshie asleep in a capsule. I had brought my brand-new freshie, who was dressed in a vintage silk dress I’d bought from Etsy, and my toddler had clean hair and was sitting on a regular chair, eating a dainty cupcake with a fork. They were both angels and I was expecting grand-scale chaos, given it was probably the first time I’d taken them both out on my own and we were in the most child-unfriendly cafe in all of the land. When I got home, I sent a text to the tired new mum with the sleeping baby and said “if you thought I have it all together – you can stop right now. My eldest has been sliding down the slide for the last five minutes in her own poo thanks to an awkwardly-placed nappy I think I put on backwards in my hurry to get out the door on time”. She texted back she had been thinking that and was dying in a mastitis-induced feverish shithouse mood that I was handling motherhood much better than she was. She thought I was pointing my daughter’s vintage dress at her. I wasn’t. I was actually spending most of my time thinking ahead of how I was going to keep a 19-month-old armed with a fork from killing anyone. And how I was going to get both of them to the car by myself.
I hope you never read here and think I am pointing anything at you, cushion or otherwise. I barely even know what day it is. I hope if you feel misunderstood for something you’ve written that you’ll find some comfort in the avocado story <insert inspirational blog post ending here>.