Tackling Unsolicited Advice and Mammogram Myths in Parenthood

July 2, 2024

So it seems when you become pregnant, everyone offers their unsolicited advice. And the funny thing is they never go for the insignificant things like what toys they recommend or their favorite clothing brands, but rather they go for the 1-2 punch of heavy personal preferences, like sleep training tips. Are you gonna breastfeed? Are you gonna bottle feed?

And my favorite and today’s topic, how many children you should be having.

Now, before we dive in today’s topic, I want to share with you a question that I was asked this week by one of my friends on social media. And as you probably have gathered by now, I’m a cesspool of knowledge.

And I swear, every week, I’m getting asked my personal opinion on something or for more information on said topic. Seriously, there are no limits. The spectrum is long and wide.

I’m like your virtual millennial Dear Abby, if you will.

Maren’s Question of the Week

And I have no problem taking the time to answer these questions. In fact, I’ve been thanked by so many for even answering their messages in the first place on social media, and that blows my mind that there are people who think so highly of themselves on the Internet that they don’t even garner a response to those who are following them and consuming their content.

Either that or these people are receiving responses, but it’s very impersonal. They can tell it’s from an assistant or worse, chat gbt is doing the talking for that account.

Take a piece of humble pie. And if you want people to trust you and eventually even purchase something from you, homie, talk to your people. Okay?

With that being said, please do not hesitate to reach out to me on Instagram. My handle is @macrowley, or you can send me an email through my website.

I really do love chatting with people and connecting with people that I have met online. So, please, there’s there’s no limit on how many questions you can ask me.

But I do understand that sometimes these questions can be a bit heavy, or people really do wanna remain anonymous because maybe their friend follows me or their mother-in-law or whatever.

I was asked a question about Mammogram Screening

So this week, the question that I was asked was, what are my thoughts on mammogram screening? And, personally, I’ve never gotten one. I am 38 years old, so I’m approaching that 40 mark where they’re gonna start pushing that. If I actually went to a gynecologist, you know, OB GYN annually, but that’s a story of another time.

I don’t do that, anymore. But what I will say is that anything that is promoted to do annually and is pushed heavily is always a major red flag for me. I’m looking at you flu shot.

Not only that, but there was a major Canadian study of 90,000 women that showed that mammograms for women under the age of 40, and, yes, even over the age of 50, do not save lives.

So how do you think that affected the radiology industry and the American Cancer Society? Like, do you think they were pleased or pissed? Of course, there were accusations that there were screw ups in this study, and it was just to save their own tails.

Because, meanwhile, even after a forensic audit was done on the study’s results, the results still prove to be accurate. It did not save lives. Mammograms are also known for their false positives.

They are extremely difficult to read due to the shape and the form of the breast tissues. It is not the same as a traditional x-ray of, say, your femur, which is pretty black and white. You know? Largest bone in your body. It’s either broke or it’s not.

The mammograms and what they’re testing for, right, those tissues of the breast, the it’s much more intricate.

The impact of over-diagnoses on mental health and healthcare

Plus, there are several instances of over-diagnoses. And you’re probably not gonna wanna hear this, but we’re all walking around with something wrong with us. Like, we have different diseases, including cancer, in our genetic code. Right?

And things will will trigger those genes to kick on, whether it’s lifestyle choices, exposure to things in the environment. And, you know, this includes cancer.

We we have these cancer genes in us. It’s just a matter of whether or when they get turned on. And these screenings sometimes can make something worse than it actually is.

And people will end up with too much treatment. And not to mention, now they’re carrying this weight of cancer, cancer, cancer. So they have this negative thought and mindset, which creates a domino effect for other things in their health.

And now they’re getting a double mastectomy, like, all of these things. And so sometimes I will say it is better to be ignorant on certain things, and I know that’s a very unpopular opinion, but it’s true.

Radiology industry and associated stakeholders

Also, knowing what I know about the medical system, which is a lot, it is predominantly driven by money. And mammogram fee is about around $8,000,000,000. It’s a $8,000,000,000 industry annually.

That money is spent annually in the United States. That’s a double red flag for me. Back in the 1970s, there was a massive campaign pioneered by president Nixon and the American Cancer Society. Money. Money. Money. To prevent cancer. And there was a group of 250, 000 women who received mammogram screening.

And then the momentum just built from there. Like, if you get enough people involved, you’re gonna convince others to join too. Boom. There’s your industry from the ground up. Radiologists, the people who make the machines, cancer charities, a lot of people have a stake in this.

And just like vaccines, many doctors get incentives for women’s compliance to get a screening. I’m just saying.

So all in all, it’s definitely a topic I think more women need to do more research on and definitely have informed consent with before subjecting themselves to a mammogram. Okay.

Now that we have touched on that, let’s get back to our podcast topic at hand, unsolicited advice when you’re a parent.

Balancing Love and Guilt with Multiple Children

Balancing Love and Guilt with Multiple Children

So today I wanna talk about the thing that no one warns you about when you go from 1 child to 2, and that is the guilt. As I sit here and record, I have about 10 weeks left of my second ...

Unsolicited Advice on Number of Children

And I’ve discussed this topic a bit in my previous episodes, including one that I did on the pros and cons of only having 1 child. But I want to dive into this a little bit deeper.

You know, I’ll never forget after I had my daughter, people were already pressuring me about when we were having our second one.

Literally, like, I hadn’t even stopped wearing adult diapers before these conversations started. And not only that, like, I just became a mom.

I didn’t know if I wanted to be a mom of 2 or 20. You know? It’s just that the thought wasn’t there. And they’d say things like, well, you know, it’s easier when they’re closer in age. And I’d be like, is it? You know, my children will be about 2 and a half years apart.

And I can’t even imagine how challenging that would be with the toddler, you know, being less, you know, younger. Like, a less of an age gap and not having the independence that my daughter has at this 2 and a half year gap.

I mean, carrying around 2 babies – exhausting. Like, tasks around the house, so much easier when you have a little one who wants to help you sort the laundry or carry the garbage bins out for the bathroom for you.

Age gap considerations between children

Maren [00:08:42]: I do understand when there is a larger age difference that that could present its own challenges in and of itself.

So for example, if you’re out of the baby stage and have to revert back to diapers and bottles and baby clothes, all of the the garb. You know, that’s hard. Right?

And and kinda remembering what what to do in a way because things change so frequently. I know friends that they they’re like, wow. Like, there’s a 7 age difference between my kids and things are so different now. So there is some truth to that.

But also, when you have that age gap, you have a child who is much older and can most definitely help you out more as a parent.

The other day, I was going over the logistics with my dad of what it’ll look like to try and put 2 littles in the car when I’m out by myself. Now most likely, this won’t happen very often. I’ll do a lot of drive through pickups at Target and Publix, but still, like, who it who who goes in the car first?

Is it the baby? Is it the toddler? Well, you can’t put the toddler in if you’re baby wearing. So you don’t wanna smush the baby. And I do baby wear when they’re real little.

So therefore, you’re putting the baby in the car seat first, and then you’re leaving your toddler in the shopping cart, which for my always on alert brain, that doesn’t seem very safe either.

But when you have the larger age gap between kids, you can get your older child in the car, and then they can start to buckle themselves into their car seat or booster.

I know for a fact that this is what one of my friends who is a mom of 3, this is what she does.

So when she goes to Costco, say, her older ones climb through the trunk and then they buckle themselves in. She obviously checks to make sure that they did it properly afterwards. But while they’re doing that, she’s getting the baby sorted into her seat.

So she that way she has all of the doors locked and they don’t have access to someone just grabbing them. So everyone’s safe. They’re not a target. I mean, it’s crazy that we even have to think that way, but I digress. Larger age gaps equate to more independence.

But regardless, people figure it out. You know? God has his plan laid out for you way before it’s even a blip on your radar. We can’t stress out over the how and the why and the when.

Now, before we continue this conversation, we’re gonna take a quick break to learn more about my free pregnancy guide that I have available to you or anyone that you may know that may need it.

Healthy + Holistic Pregnancy Guide

As a Wellness Warrior, I believe we are made flawless in His image, and I want to help you unleash the best version of yourself for His glory + your purpose.

Whether you are in the midst of pregnancy yourself or still considering expanding your family, I want to help you emerge as the strongest & healthiest version of yourself for the journey He lays before you.

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I am noticing the trend of people pushing others to have more children than they desire to.

Perhaps it is in other circles. I’m sure it is. But I definitely see it in a lot of my crunchy Christian mom world on the Internet.

And while I totally agree that the powers that be are trying to curb population growth with their own agendas, I also believe that we need to personally do what is right for our family and our situation.

I refuse to be gaslit into saving society by having more children. Like I said, God has a plan. It could be one child or it doesn’t.

The other trend I see on social media and in real life, because I’ve heard these comments in real time, is when people try to guilt others into having another child by saying things like, you’re gonna go for the girl.

If say that mom just had her second or even third son. 2 girls? Well, you have to go for the boy for the husband. To which I say, okay.

Maren [00:12:38]: Is he going to be carrying the baby for 9 months? Breastfeeding the baby for a year? No. And, you know, it’s like, did it ever occur to these people that a family is perfectly fine with having all boys or having all girls?

A healthy baby with a safe delivery for the mom is all anyone can really ask for.

Real Life Challenges and Insensitivities

Who are we to tell others how many children to have, and that only having one particular gender isn’t okay. Like, you have to complete the circle. Make sure you have one of each. Like, we’re, you know, marching down Noah’s Ark.

Do these folks have any idea of what the dynamic in the home is like? So who’s carrying the heaviest load when it comes to the children? If I will get you 10, it’s the mother. But, like, how about her mental health? What would adding another child do to her? Let’s talk financially.

While I agree kids don’t need a whole lot when it comes to toys and clothes, Child care is an issue that every family faces. As is getting your kids involved with activities, whether it’s sports, music, and the fine arts, etcetera, like, it all adds up.

Not only that, but these comments are totally insensitive to those of us, I’m including myself in this message, that have had traumatic birth experiences.

Physical and psychological impacts of childbirth

Some women physically cannot have another child because of what they went through in the labor and delivery process. And there are others who are choosing not to because of what that life or death experience did to their psyche.

I also know people who have experienced childhood loss. You know, they give birth to their child, and a couple weeks later, the child passes away.

Or they give birth to the child and and their situation was fine, but the the child had to go through intensive treatments and was in the hospital for months on end.

As I’m sure you can imagine, this leaves a permanent scar on your heart. And just this past week, I was discussing this topic with my midwife. And if you don’t know this, with my first born, I developed HELLP syndrome, which I do plan on dedicating an entire podcast episode to discussing and giving all the things

When I got pregnant this time, one of the first fears was that the HELLP syndrome would rear its ugly head again. Thankfully, I have been able to keep it at bay so far through adjustments to my supplement routine, as well as things that I’ve added on to my nutrition.

But to act as if this hasn’t been stressful for the last 9 months would be a blatant lie.

When my platelets unexpectedly dropped this past week, I talked with my midwife about how this baby, regardless if it’s a boy or a girl, would be my last. It’s one thing to experience something like HELLP the first time and not know what it is, how it affects your health or the baby. You don’t know what you don’t know.

You’re just in it and making these decisions, sometimes impulsively. Right? But once you do know, it’s a totally different ballgame, especially when you have someone who is already earth side that depends on you. Now take those feelings and double it with 2 children.

Like, is it really worth the risk of going for that 3rd? For me, personally, no. It’s not. Also, what many women don’t realize is that many gestational issues that come up during pregnancy, whether it’s gestational diabetes, help syndrome, or preeclampsia, which affect your blood pressure and your blood health and your liver health, you may have never experienced prior to being pregnant.

But once you became pregnant, and your body went through it, and was exposed to these things, it can show up later in life.

Coping with Unsolicited Advice on Motherhood and Childbirth

I wish I could sit here and tell you that there was a way I could protect us all from these people who have zero filter, but alas, I don’t know if there is.

My goal instead these people because they have no shame when they ask the questions. These people because they have no shame when they ask the questions. Instead, vent about it to me or another close friend who can relate.

And most importantly, know that it doesn’t matter what society is telling you that, you know, you should do this. You know, this is what you need to be doing. You have to follow God’s plan. He is the all knowing one and and rest on that.

If you didn’t know, I do have 30 minute motherhood mentorship calls that I offer to help you talk through your questions, your research findings, your birth preferences, and more. Give you added support on topics like we’ve discussed today.

And this is your time, and we will customize the conversation to best fit your needs.

Maren with daughter giving kisses

Motherhood Mentorship Call

Sometimes We Just Need To Talk It Out

I’ll help you talk through your questions, your research findings, your birth preferences and more. This is your time, and we will customize the conversation to best fit your needs.

If you wanna get more of this type of content, make sure you follow me on Instagram at @macrowley. And if you love this episode, let me know by tagging me on IG or even leaving a podcast review. See you next week.

Maren Crowley

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In each episode we’re seeking truth and getting real – helping you discover your strength and voice to make the best, informed choices on YOUR terms in accordance to HIS will.

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