Catherine: Creating a new family
As a midwife I am privileged to watch so much magic. Creating a new family separate from, but born of two families of origin, is part of the magic Catherine with her gorgeous 36 week belly, sits opposite me. She and her 2 year old are going to John's family in Little Rock for Thanksgiving. She asks me for my advice: "My mother is appalled that I am planning this trip. She is a labor and delivery nurse and she says that there is no way that any of the obstetricians that she knows would sanction such a trip at 36 weeks". Great danger is implied. I am asked, as an alternative authority figure, to weigh in on this topic.
I do not want to set myself up as an opposing authority figure. It's Catherine's business where she goes for Thanksgiving! I will walk her through possibilities: "Well if you go it will be an uncomfortable journey so you had better plan for some extra time for breaks. It's not very likely that you will go into labor, is it? And if you do you will have to go to the hospital in Little Rock, right? But if that uncomfortable journey and that very small risk is OK with you, you go to Little Rock for Thanksgiving. If not, you don't." These decisions do not need an authority figure. They are an opportunity for a woman to take control of her life and to communicate as an adult with her mother about her wishes.
And don't you think that there was probably an ulterior motive behind Catherine's mother's concern? Did she want the family with her for the holiday?