And I'm a hypocrite. Let's just get that out of the way. I judge just as much as anyone else. I wish I didn't but I do. I'll be the first to admit that I watch Toddler and Tiaras when I'm feeling like a bad mom. It makes me feel better because at least I'm not that kind of mom...not that there is one kind of that mom.
|This is L.'s first birthday crown. I thought it was an appropriate photo for this post.|
I've sat down to write this post several times and so far I haven't managed to finish it. I think this is due in part to the fact that I get anxious because I know I'm a hypocrite. Once I publish this post, people will read it and then everyone will know I'm a hypocrite. Consequently, I keep editing and editing and editing. But the fact remains I'll never write this post in such a way that everyone agrees with me.
I honestly try not to be a hypocrite. I try so hard to be sincere.
I try REALLY hard to keep my thoughts to myself and to banish the negative thoughts completely. I remind myself that I don't have all the answers. I haven't walked in their shoes. I don't know the whole story. I'm not necessarily doing any better. I struggle too. We all have our bad days.
But it's always there. That pride in our personal decisions that taint conversations.
My child has never had any processed sugar.
I've never used disposable diapers.
We eat all organic.
We co-sleep with our six children.
We would never co-sleep, it's not safe.
My child started sleeping through the night when she was two months old.
We don't have a television.
We have DVD players in our car. It's the only way to travel.
My daughter has never been out of my eye sight.
We don't have the word "no" at our house.
We'd never tolerate that behavior.
Whenever I hear people say things like this, or when I read it in an article or book, I start justifying our decisions in my head.
L. didn't really have any processed sugar until she was a year old. She doesn't eat it all the time. But I want her to know balance. I don't have to make things more desirable by outlawing them. I don't want to promote extreme eating habits...everything in moderation right?
We used cloth diapers except when we were traveling and a few times when her eczema was really bad and we had to use this ointment...
I buy as much organic as I can. I try to make sure L. doesn't get any milk or cheese with growth hormones.
She only watches educational programming and no commercials.
I hate that this is my immediate response. I shouldn't have to justify our decisions to anyone. And I don't want anyone to take our decisions personally. If I do something in a different way than you it doesn't mean I think your way is wrong. It's just not right for us.
For example, I try to feed L. unprocessed food because I think it's good for her. It also makes it easier to figure out what caused the problem if she has a reaction. If you give your kids candy, I'm not going to assume you try to feed your child unhealthy food all the time. I'm not going to assume you think candy is healthy food. I'm not going to assume you only feed your children candy.
I assume you want what is best for your child.
What you think is best may be different from what I think is best.
But I'm human. I get frustrated when people act like their decisions make them better than me. If you want to have lots of kids, don't look down on me because we only want to have two. Don't tell me I'm failing to give my daughter consequences because I held her and let her cry when she threw a tantrum. Not getting what she wanted was consequence enough for a just-turned-two-year-old in my opinion.
In return I'll try not to act like I think you're carelessly endangering your child's life by turning their car seat forward facing before they're two years old. I'll assume you didn't know the guidelines had changed...and I'll probably casually mention the new guidelines just in case you hadn't heard about them.
I told you I'm a hypocrite.
I desperately want people to be supportive of one another. I want people to help each other instead of shaking their heads in disgust when someone handles a situation differently.
Who is to say my way is better than yours? All the parenting books in the world certainly don't know which way is right. I've read more than two parenting books that contradict each other. Which one is right? Are any of them right?
Of course one of them is right. Obviously the parenting book I like and use as a reference is the best one. You should read it.
But no really, it's a great book. Let me know if you want the title.