“Oh my, what did I -”
“It’s BIG GIRL PANTS!”
I need you to put on your big girl pants.
I don’t know if I can stomach going to one more page or blog or article about parenting and reading,
“Hey Guys, I am not trying to offend anyone when I post about <<<SENSITIVE TOPIC>>>. I know many moms have had to <<<SENSITIVE TOPIC>>>, and I am in no way trying to judge you, but I feel that I need to discuss <<<SENSITIVE TOPIC>>> for all the families and babies out there.”
Here’s a timeline of events in my life:
BORN————>HAD CHILDREN————>QUESTIONED MY PARENTING CHOICES————–>LEARNED BETTER————–>DECIDED TO SHARE WITH OTHER PARENTS
Do you notice what’s not in that timeline? “MAKE OTHER PARENTS FEEL GUILTY.” Nope, didn’t put it because it’s never been a goal of mine. I’ve hit my children; I used to yell; there have been weeks when at least one meal per day has been eaten outside the home; OMG y’all, there were times when every meal we ate in a day could be fast food; I’ve used disposables; both my babies were born in a hospital with me on my back; I wore Ryleigh in a forward-facing carrier when she was an infant; I fed Ryleigh formula; I weaned her from nursing before she was 6 weeks old; I sent her to daycare sick; she used to get all scheduled immunizations – the list could go on and on.
When I first started to hear about what other parents were doing and what could be for my children and my family, the last thought I’d have was, “Hey! Don’t tell about the benefits of breastfeeding because that makes me guilty for formula feeding! And don’t even try to talk about spanking because I know you’re just saying you’re better than me! Some nerve, punk!” I didn’t take the shared information as a personal attack, unless someone began a post with, “From the wall: (personal attack):”.
When I (and I think many other page admins) post to my Facebook wall or write a post about a certain hot topic, my goal is never to make anyone feel badly. I think that if anyone does feel badly I actually have very little to do with it; that it’s likely an inner issue that is being ignored by the offended party, and maybe my post has caused hurt feelings to surface. That isnot what I want, because I know how it feels. I know what it’s like to open up to Facebook and the first story you see is screaming about how wrong a decision you’ve made was – a decision that has long been set and done with, and there’s nothing you can do about it now. I know that feeling of not being in control and feeling like there’s not way to change it, because it’s in the past. I have been in the chair, reading comments from other moms who never did ‘such and such’ and feeling like the odd mom out. But I never felt judged. Or, maybe I did, but not in the same way as most moms I hear from.
I felt like they’d judged me as a mom who needed a bit more information, and in that they were right. I was a mom who needed to know what my options were, what the ramifications of following certain options are, and what I could do about what I’d already done. I needed to know that there were other moms who didn’t always do everything right, and that there was hope for me that I could change. And the more I started learning the more I understood where the problem lies – in my opinion, it is not with the many moms and dads who are following mainstream parenting principles and practices, it is primarily and (right now) most importantly what’s influencing the mainstream. Our government and society in general. We can’t change what’s allowed unless we change what people know about it. That’s why I post what I do. That’s why I write about what I write about. I am not trying to make you feel badly, I want us all to come to the knowledge that in many respects, we’ve been duped.
I think that is the first step to change: we all need to get on the same page about what we’re willing to accept as ‘normal’ and ‘acceptable’ for our children and our families. Once we’re there, it won’t be hard to see that formula should not be so easily available, that circumcision should not be a routine procedure, that hitting a child is not in the best interest of the child or the parents, or many of the other simple ideas our society has largely departed from. We’re not there yet, I understand. So for now my goal is to continue to share information so that other parents can read and learn for themselves. I don’t expect to convince anyone overnight, heck I really don’t even expect to convince anyone of anything, but that doesn’t mean I won’t try.
If we could all agree that we don’t need so many of the ‘tools’ that are presented to us, or that line the shelves of stores around the world, I bet it’d be a lot harder for doctors to get away with unnecessary birth interventions so often, or to hand a new mom a bag filled with formula, or for a parent to hit their child. My goal is unity, I do not want to divide moms into groups. We need each others’ voices and support. If you read something, on my page or anywhere, and you feel “judged” or offended, really ask yourself why you feel the way you do. Has the author or poster written anything that you should feel judged? If not, maybe that feeling is gentle nudge from yourself, trying to tell you something.
All my posts are gentle nudges, and I invite you to nudge me back. Come right out and ask me what my intentions are. I am not going to stop posting or talking about what’s important to me, and I really don’t want to have to include a disclaimer before each post. I love everyone. I think parents need education over judgement. So, let’s educate each other. And by the way, when someone says they feel judged by me, I feel judged as being a judge-er. I don’t judge so please don’t imply it. =)