Monday, April 29, 2013

Mommy Mondays: Mommy Wars

Long before I even thought about having a child, I read Kim's post about "mommy wars."  At the time, it didn't phase me.  I wasn't one of those who offered unsolicited advice about other people's children.  I admittedly knew nothing about babies, children, or raising them. 

And then, of course, I got pregnant.  And became the target of some of this unsolicited advice.  Some of the "just you waits" on my thoughts on how I would raise my child.    (Which, funnily enough have never come to pass.  Maybe I'm still supposed to be waiting?  Although at this point, a lot of those "just you waits" wouldn't be applicable.) 

Everyone has an opinion on what's okay during pregnancy.  But my philosophy involves those who are living in glass houses.  I didn't drink during pregnancy, and I veered away from deli meat.  But I didn't think it was appropriate to chastise others who did, because I ate raw eggs and unpasteurized cheese. 

Once you have a kid, the mommy wars escalate even further.  Because everything you're doing - it's wrong.  And I've mentioned before, that I've been the target of numerous criticisms.  From our lack of sleep training to my extended breastfeeding.  And I admittedly take part in behaviors that tend to lead to attacks on others.  I'm sure those of you who did sleep train have likewise been attacked by non-sleep trainers, and many breastfeeders are notorious for their aggressive stance.  And I certainly have a preference for the way I did it.  Because let's face it - I took the easy way out and I'm a lazy mom!

And though I've been attacked, I tend not to be one of the attackers.  I don't like to feed into the mommy wars.  Thatbaby and Little L&O are a little over 2 months apart in age.  We didn't sleep train, L&O did.  We started with BLW, they started with purees.  And now, both kids are the same troubling toddlers with respect to food.  And they both sleep through the night.  I was breastfed, Thatbrother was on formula.  And we're both geniuses. 

As long as the safety of your child isn't at stake, your parenting styles are really personal.  Which is why I tend to save my vitriol for safety issues like putting carseats in shopping carts, carseats, and vaccinations.    And at the same time, I like to provide my support for those making similar choices to me - recognizing that someone, somewhere will probably tell you about how you're harming your child.   How rocking your child to sleep will cause them to never be able to fall asleep on their own.  How by not using a leash you're being unrealistic of your child's ability to follow directions.   But really, someone is always going to tell you you're doing it wrong.  Whether it's related to child rearing, work, or pretty much anything else you do.  So be confident in your decisions, because chances are - they're going to work out fine.

3 comments:

  1. I've seen this time and again that people are so ready and willing to offer "advice" about child-rearing...when really it's never even asked for! I think probably many of these specifics don't matter in the end and really just human nature and having good (in general) parents will make the kid turn out okay.

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  2. Gotta love the mommy wars. I try to stay out of it and keep my opinions to myself. Though, I find myself giving (unsolicited) advice to friends about egonomically friendly babywearing. Then I feel guilty about it.

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  3. It's so hard. On one hand, I really like getting advice and hearing other people's experiences. And I really do think its possible to give good, constructive, non-judgey, non-holier-than-thou, non-mommy-war advice. But the key is finding the right people to talk to, and learning how to tune others out when necessary. For what it's worth, I love your Mommy Mondays and copy you all.the.time.

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