Saturday, October 25, 2008


To many, parenting or life choices like co-sleeping, extended breastfeeding, cloth diapering, natural birth, a diet free of what many call staples, a simplistic approach to holidays and birthdays, a school-free child, a child vaccinated less then usually recommended- the list is endless- is just crazy. To some it's harmful, to some simply a little off or misguided.

I've learned (eventually) to choose battles when questioned. Whipping out facts has a place, for sure. Sometimes. A wise mother suggested to me once, "It's what we feel is best for our family" as a peaceful, simple response to "...but WHY?!". i've used it many times- often through gritted teeth.

Something in us longs to please, to feel accepted. After making a big, very un-mainstream decision recently , my husband and I sat staring at our pros/cons list. The one con was pissing off family. This mattered so much I pitted it against the whole list of pros. How ridiculous when what is best in our opinion should always have the most weight, and it did, but my reluctance surprised me. To be laughed at, to have eyes rolled, to feel DIFFERENT. This bothers me more than I care to admit. Being in the minority on the vaccine debate among friends, informing people I don't eat meat bothers me more than I care to admit.

How proud we should feel for keeping our choices OURS. How high we should feel knowing we're an important drop in the bucket of change. These feelings conflict with desire for acceptance and understanding and bubble inside, along with a loathingly admitted tendency to judge people *I* think have made silly or stupid choices.

How toxic this is for our children!

May they, and may we, grow to treat all others- regardless of views, beliefs or preferences-with consideration and above all, with respect.

1 comment:

Mom said...

It's hard to be on the other side...I've said before in numerous places, how grateful I am that my parents generally support the parenting choices we've made-my Mom's response to a conversation about vaccinations was "I'm sure you've done your research. It's so much more than when you were little."

But I've decided that I don't need my mother's approval to make parenting choices; she dismisses the way I handle my daughter's naps (or lack of)-"You'll never be able to do that with a second one" where "that" refers to the lack of a nap schedule (she naps when she feels like it, and prefers to nap in my lap.) I don't need approval, I need to parent in a way that feels right to me...I'm simply doing what almost every other parent out there is doing...trying to be the best parent to my child. And you know what...she'll probably still find her reasons to feel that I'm impossible when she grows up.