Their hearts are in the right place… even if their mouths aren’t…

Whenever a How Baby strip gets a little viral bump and travels out of the usual little bubble of where I personally put it, something strange happens: the comments sections in those places get really weird. Here in this curated little corner of the internet, I can pretend that new parents are generally empathetic to each other, knowing we’re all just trying to do our best. There’s very few snide comments, backhanded compliments, or thinly-veiled posturing like anyone’s got it together. You’ve all got marvelous heads on your shoulders, honestly.

Outside, though, wow. Things get real fierce out there, huh? And even though there are always voices that preach empathy, changing the narrative takes time. Instead of blanket acceptance with no qualifiers, people are still saying things like ‘well, I’m a proud breastfeeding momma, but fed is best!’ And do you feel the difference? Because I do. If it really didn’t matter, there’d be no reason to hang your identity on this or that choice.

It’s so easy to think of one choice as better than another. We’re all walking chasms of self-doubt and ego damage, after all, and it can be so alluring to believe that there even are correct choices to make. If there are, then they must be attainable. And if they’re attainable, then perhaps if you perform the right steps, push the right buttons, you’ll finally feel good. And it’s a trap. The second you ascribe yourself an identity based on a choice, you subconsciously choose to raise up one over the other, because everyone feels that need to be right. No matter how much you speak tolerance from that point on, it’s going to be coming from a place where you think you’re right, and that assumption leaks out the side of your mouth around your words and stinks up the place.

Anyway. Comments sections. Always a bit of a trip.