People who strut around selectively questioning your decisions, despite having no real expertise or knowledge about the subject.
Implying that if you don’t do things their way “you’ll be sorry”.
My personal pet peeve (for obvious reason) is that special brand of What-ifer who wants to know “What if something happened to your baby during your home birth? Would you be able to live with yourself?”
What kind of twisted person would say that to someone, knowing it curses them with the specter of lifelong guilt and self-doubt?
Not only is it unconscionably rude, but it also promotes the blatantly false idea that your reasonable choices carry a the requirement of accepting that any bad outcome is “all your fault”.
But that’s never true when you’re making a reasonable choice!
Have you ever heard anyone say “What if something happened to your baby during your hospital birth, would you be able to live with yourself?”
Probably not, because most people agree that having your baby in the hospital is a reasonable choice. So, even though we all know that bad things can happen to mothers and babies during hospital births, we accept that it wouldn’t be “all your fault.”
We all know that sometimes bad things happen despite making reasonable choices.
Consider the people who got on Flight 370. They made a very reasonable decision to get on an airplane.
They accepted a very low risks (the chance of crashing) for a very high reward (the chance of getting to where you’re going)… then something bad happened anyway.
Should we imply that they were at fault because they decided to get on the airplane? Because they chose that specific airline? Because they decided to fly instead of taking a boat?
Of course not. We know they made a reasonable decision, and we’re sorry that a bad thing happened to them anyway.
Dont’ get me wrong… I am not saying you shouldn’t ask the hard “what if” questions for yourself!
I’m 100% FOR researching your decisions.
(There is a very good reason that many highly educated people, and several whole countries, who have researched the issue believe homebirth is a great choice. Research always brings me more clients, never less.)
But What-ifers aren’t advocating research. They aren’t even really asking a question.
They are intentionally cursing you to self doubt.
They’re manipulating you by planting a suggestion that “if you make this decision that I don’t want you to make, and something bad happens, it will be all your fault and you will feel guilty and sad forever”… and by planting that suggestion, they can make it true for some people. Like a curse.
The best response to a “what if” question from your unfriendly neighborhood What-ifer is to let them know – with a big ol’ genuine smile – that you appreciate their concern, but that you have reviewed the available research and believe that your decision is a reasonable one.
And that you would be happy to review any additional research they’ve come across.
Shuts them up every time.