I’ve noticed a trend among mothers lately that is both ugly and disturbing. I see it mostly on the internet on sites like Facebook and the popular Mom site, Cafemom. Mothers in my generation seem to make hot button issues out of everything from breastfeeding to carseats and everything in between. The worst part is that these mothers can’t just have their own opinions, but they must share it with everyone who doesn’t ask and lord it over them as though everyone who doesn’t do something their way is WRONG.
I am not talking about respectful debates here, people. These women get mean and downright nasty and tell other moms that they are horrible mothers and should have their children taken away. Some of the reasons women feel other mothers should have their children taken away include: formula feeding, co-sleeping, not co-sleeping, front-facing the carseat too soon (and I mean by their opinion, not the law’s), being a stay-at-home mom, being a working mom, kids being in daycare, kids being homeschooled, etc. The list goes on and on and I hope you noticed the contradictions. No matter what you are doing as a parent, someone is going to tell you that you are doing it wrong.
My opinion on this is that these women must feel extremely insecure in their own parenting methods. Why else would you need to justify to the point of putting others down? Can’t we try to justify something by saying “This is what works for MY family, but maybe it wouldn’t work for yours.” Every family is different, and so is every child. Even within one household, what worked for one child may not work for their sibling. I think everyone needs to mind their own business so long as the children of their so-called friends are safe, happy and healthy. Women should be comrades in motherhood, not enemies. Your way is not always better. It’s just what works for you.
Recently I saw something posted about how letting your child cry it out lowers their IQ and makes them insecure. People were commmenting on how parents who did that were selfish and should have never had kids if they wanted time to themselves in the evening. It made me so angry initially. If you go back in my archives to some of the first posts you will see that we used a variation of the Ferber method with Leah. We did not abandon her to cry all night, but simply went in every so often to reassure her that we were there, while also stressing that she needed to sleep. This arose because the girl simply refused to sleep. We used to cuddle her to sleep every night as a baby, but it was no longer working. She wasn’t cutting into our “time to ourselves”, she was cutting into our time to sleep!
It was a tough two weeks or so, but you know what? It worked. My daughter now not only goes to bed without a problem, but she is a very secure and smart little girl. At three, she is signing her name, knows the alphabet to read and write it, and is in the beginning stages of learning to read.
If co-sleeping works for you-great! I have no problem with that. So please don’t bash me for my choice. I am glad to have a well-centered daughter who is independant enough to sleep on her own…but she still sometimes wakes up early and comes in to cuddle with me. It works wonderfully for my family, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Ladies, if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Not everyone is going to agree with you all the time, but we have to learn to disagree respectfully. One thing is for certain, we should all be setting a better example for our little ones!