Wednesday, May 25, 2011


So I plan to write a series of posts on my particular adaptation of attached parenting but there's something that's been bothering me since I joined this big internet co-momma-munity... It seems like every time I start to read a blog or a post on a message board, I notice people coming from all directions to bash every little decision that doesn't correspond to how they would do things. Breastfeeding, cloth diapering, cry it out, babywearing, baby led weaning... you name it, someone should be doing it but isn't, someone shouldn't be doing it but is, someone isn't doing it enough/is doing it too much, someone thinks you should do it a certain way etc. etc. etc... ad nauseam.
It's sad really.
Now mind you, there are some parenting practices that I am wholeheartedly against. There are even some that I think are morally wrong, totally irresponsible or just plain over the top and strange. While I may voice my opinion on these things (who are we kidding, I do and will inevitably continue to voice my opinion about everything) there is one thing that I absolutely will not do, and one thing that I find completely disgusting and counterproductive: I will never publicly call someone out on their decisions for their family and insult their choices and I would never dare to call someone else a bad person or parent for doing what they think is best for their family. Now obviously, there are some offenses that would be an exception to this rule but I think they are the universal don'ts (beating your children, starving your kids, et al) and they never seem to be the topics of these debates anyway.
What I think everyone fails to realize sometimes is that no one ever says to themselves 'Gee that sounds like the worst idea ever, I'm going to try it just for kicks!'
Every decision that a parent makes is a life changing one...
I'd like to think that most if not all parents understand this and act accordingly. Which is why even the most cockamamy parenting style comes with tons of 'research' to back it up and a mom who's memorized it to quote to any naysayers at will. Seriously. Google any parenting style you can think of... they are all supported by someone and come with loads of testimonial.
Everyone believes that they are doing their best. Everyone makes the most of their situation. Everyone loves their babies and wants them to be happy and healthy and smart and strong. Who are we to say that isn't enough? How dare we assume we'd do it better... and what's worse, how dare anyone have the audacity to tell someone that they are doing it wrong!
Sometimes I think that if I were raised differently, or had different beliefs or were I not the type of person who obsessively researched things, my own parenting style might be very different. Who knows? Maybe my baby parenting style which is working very well will have to adapt to a different toddler parenting style? The bottom line is, that at every step of the way, I am researching and learning and deciding what is best for me. I accept the fact that other mothers do the same, even if their curriculum is different from mine. The fact that we were all raised differently and have different beliefs and ways of doing things is what makes being human so incredible. The fact that we can observe others and choose what is right for ourselves rather than blindly following is what separates us from animals. What's more, it's how we've evolved. Without individuality there would be no innovation or invention. If we take independent thought out of the process we may as well go back to cave dwelling... and I for one like my modern conveniences.


APMama said...

I enjoyed this. I often find it a struggle between what I should and shouldn't say. I am much more outspoken in my blog than in real life, but the internet allows for that. I do agree that parents love their children, but sometimes I think it's also good for parents to be shown there are other options. Some parents don't put any though into certain things and just do what society tells them is the right way to raise their child without ever questioning why or if it is a good thing Anyway, I think you make a good point, we need to assume every parent wants what is best for their child and give them the respect that deserves, even when we seriously disagree.

MsAngelStarr said...

Thanks. It's funny, I am very outspoken about everything... perhaps even more so in real life. The problem I think is that some people, while they may even have sound advice present their opinions as absolute fact and the delivery is so condescending that it often falls on deaf ears. I totally agree that some parents don't do enough research but I think there is only so much advice someone can handle when the person giving it is basically saying just that they are doing such an important and personal thing wrong. I just wish people were more supportive and less my-way-is-the-only-way. If there were only one correct protocol, we would all follow it and not ask any questions, this is not the case. There are some absolutes that you can write one universal handbook for like deep sea diving, small engine repair, growing orchids or making a souffle, but parenting is not one of them.

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