This post is fueled by exhaustion, preggy hormones and extreme irritation! I sometimes wonder if we as, adults and parents, will ever get to a point where we stop trying to justify our decisions by making other people feel their are wrong. Will we ever reach a point of acceptance and tolerance?
I think people often assume that I am anti-breastfeeding and natural birth and similar such things when in fact I really am not. To be honest, unless you are abusing your child in any way or putting their lives in danger, I really do not care how you parent. Parenting is really hard and is plagued by such self doubt, who am I to add to that by further judging you. What I do care about is the total dis-respect for the choices I make as a parent.
Think about it for a minute!
When asked why a parent co-sleeps have you not heard (or read) it is because they don’t want their child to feel abandoned and it strengthens the bond! What does that imply for me as a non co-sleeper? That I want to abandon my kid? Or that I don’t have a bond with them?
Why not say – co-sleeping works for OUR FAMILY! It is not always easy but we make it work! FINISHED! No-one feels like they have to justify their choice and no-one feels they are a bad parent.
And breastfeeding moms – I breastfeed because it is the BEST thing for my baby, they won’t get sick and no studies show they apparently get smarter! Oh ok – well I don’t like my baby very much so I am going to shove a bottle in his mouth and hope he at least finds a trade!
Why not say – breastfeeding was easy for us both so we carried on with it. That way the mom who physically can not do it doesn’t feel like even more of a failure!
My favourite are those anti-sleep training people! More mention of the child feeling abandoned and unloved. Because this is JUST what an exhausted first time mom whose baby never sleeps and has tried just about everything else wants to hear!
Why not, instead, offer to take the baby for an hour or a coffee date or something that will actually make the mother feel like it is not hopeless!
Or the I cook all my childs food because the stuff in the shops is poison! Yes it is but whats a little poison between family members right? The mom who works 9 hours a day really needed to hear that to make her feel like a champion mom!
Why not rather offer to make meals for that mom – you will earn your Mandela Day sticker and the satisfaction of knowing you made someones life a little easier!
It is all such bullshit (sorry Marcia)!
Make your choices! Stick to them and be proud but do not make those around feel like they love their children any less or aren’t doing the best they can!
I watched a mom on twitter yesterday, who is having a really rough time with her baba, be made to feel so crap in one tweet. I was so angry for her. She is a great mom who was reaching out for help and support but instead was made to feel like she was over reacting.
If you have a child then you know how hard some days are. Today at Moms and Tots Jack threw 2 delightfully large tantrums – he threw his juice all over the classroom, then threw himself down on the floor. 20 minutes later he threw his peanuts all over! At that point I shed a tear! You know what the others moms did – they shared stories of when their children has thrown public tantrums because the reality is even the most together mom has kids who throw a tantrum or two!
So before you want to imply that your choice is the ONLY choice – think a little. Maybe that mom just needs a hug instead (or a bottle of screw top wine)