Monday, October 31, 2011

Passionate Parent

In the wise words of a marvelous friend "It takes courage to be a parent".  Indeed.it.does... especially if you are going to be the kind of mama (or papa) that marches to the beat of your own drum (or forgoes the drum and just marches).

Everyone (and their brother) will have a running commentary on your parenting practices (or what they view as a lack of practice and parenting).  Parents and non-parents alike all have five cents worth of an opinion regarding your children and your parenting.

It's like the moment you birth a child, you are open to public scrutiny.  Child too loud?  Your fault.  Child does not want random strangers speaking/touching/invading their personal space?  Your fault.  Your one year old (insert age) is not walking (insert milestone)?  Your fault.  If you dare to frolic on the garden path (i.e. don't follow the parenting norm) and your child is not exactly like their peers, yep... you guessed it, your fault!

So, here's my ranty-rant (just a quickie... I promise)

Just shut your goddamn child up
Look, 99% of us with small people have been there.  In the midst of a world class meltdown occurring in a very public place (bonus points if it's an enclosed space [such as a bus/train/plane] where you cannot readily remove your melting child from the situation).  Do you know what does not help?  Asshole's with opinions on how you should shut your child up, or the nasty glares that literally ooze with "I'm going to smother them" attitude.  What takes my mama-bear-piss-offed-ness to a whole new level, is when said intolerant twat is a non-parent.  I vividly remember a discussion with a non-parent friend of mine.  They had a front row seat for "enclosed space meltdown", and did some bitching about it (fine, we all bitch about various aspects of our day).  What really made me want to scream (in unison with the bus banshee) is when they implied that their comfort (in silence) was more important than the mother of bus banshee.  They flat out said that the mother (and her child) should have found an alternate mode of transportation, (so that their commute would not be disrupted...?) really? 

If you don't let them CIO (cry it out) they'll never become independent
This is a real beef of mine, far be it for me to decide how everyone else parent's (really to each their own) but do not mock my parenting in an attempt to justify your parenting choices.  We choose to practice our version of attachment parenting because it makes sense, for us.  I don't feel the need to belittle a parent that chooses to follow a different parenting path because I know how we parent is right for us; so if you are comfortable with CIO or Ferberizing, or whatever parenting method that you choose... do it.  But, if you're like me and applying CIO/Ferberizing to your family literally made your heart ache, don't do it.  If you're doubting the "rightness" of a particular parenting philosophy, maybe you're doubting them because they aren't right for you.  Maybe you've heard a story from a friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend who's cousin babywore/bedshared/nursed-to-sleep and their 25 year old son is a jobless deadbeat who mooches off of maw & paw between bouts of incarceration and so you CIO/Ferbrize because the babywearing/bedsharing/nursing-to-sleep must have been what caused their predicament (orrrrrrr their son is a selfish twat, for realz).

I am passionate about my parenting and sometimes I can come off strong... holier-than-thou (or so I've been told).  I don't think I'm better than anyone because of how I choose to parent.  I don't think my boys are better than your Sally/Jacob.  My children are not perfect (and neither am I... ).  My children cry, they can be clingy and ill-behaved.  I get touched out and put my boys down, walk away, readjust my sanity and come back.  I can be snippy and bitchy.  I have a quick temper (little things can make me want to lose my shit but I'm quick to come back down to earth).

At 15mos and 3yrs I don't rush them at the first sound of a cry.  I muddled through my parenting - I try to make informed decisions but I am not under the impression that my parenting is the only way to parent and that my children will be perfect.  Although, I do hope that they grow up to be well-adjusted adults. 

2 comments:

  1. The "holier-than-thou" confidence that you exhume is one of your most redeeming qualities. I love your confidence and passion about parenting.

    [I am pretty shocked about the comment about the mother who should find a different mode of transportation - what did YOU say to that????]

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  2. That's hilarious, so my negative is your positive? ;) Thanks L.

    I privately shared the whole shakedown with you... enjoy. Suffice to say my jaw literally hit the floor, I was pretty darn shocked.

    It definitely made me realize that society really does begrudge parents and children...

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