This Parenting Thing…

Since I was left at home to study today – only to find that I left my blasted study notes at work last night (I originally wrote this last Friday – work with me please), I treated myself to some uninterrupted blog reading.  I have been following the blog of Kayla Aimee for a while now and I spent the morning reading this post:  How heart breaking it is to read about all of the real and scary trials this tiny little baby had to face every day, and then to read it from a Mom’s perspective while she is trying to keep it all together.

What shocked me a bit is the amount of times that she had to address the tirade of emails that she was getting, which suggested to try a new possible solution or to scold her about their decision to use formula instead of breast milk (which they did out of necessity not choice).  The fact that people could really send her emails saying breast is best etc and bombarding her with messages in this line is appalling to me.  She was dealing with potentially losing her daughter (praise the Lord that didn’t happen) and people were giving her the impression that she was a bad mom for not sticking out the breast milk.  Seriously!?!  I mean, really?!?!

I also came across this blog that literally made my a crying mess!  Oh how stupid people can be.

It reminded me how easily we judge one another in almost every situation we find ourselves in, but especially in motherhood.  It has become a competitive world of how beautiful your baby room is, what toys/clothes/books/nappies/formula/wipes/cereal your kid has, what school/play groups/swimming lessons/art parties/dance classes they attend?  Do you stay at home or do they go to play school etc.  People just assume that their way is the only way…  And if you do not conform to their way – you’re doing it wrong.

And sometimes the judgement comes as part of a well intentioned comment, not intended to cause hurt or a feeling of inadequacy – but it does.  These thoughts have been playing around in my mind a lot for the last couple of weeks, but now reading this just confirmed how hurtful we can be without intending to be – even if we think we can justify why our way is the right way.

I will be the first to admit that I all too often fall into this category – if we are at the Waterfront at 9pm and there is a little 1 year old running around I’ll be like “Oh my goodness, look at that!  He should be asleep!!”.  Who am I to say that?  Maybe the parents planned a late afternoon sleep so they could enjoy a night out on their holiday?  Who knows!  The moral of the story is that we do not know the person’s situation – yet we are quick to judge.

Since I have become aware of how often I have done this in the past, I am making a conscious decision to refrain from making assumptions or forcing my opinion on people.  Unless asked by someone for advice I am trying hard to not give it to them anyway.  So there’s a thought to chew on…  How can we be more loving and accommodating to others in similar situations to our own?

These are Seth’s thoughts…

I agree Cinds. Like totes pash about this delems. I was just thinking about this earlier when I went to put Kyla back to sleep. As usual I role play a convo in my head. Some crazy bare footed woman coming up to me and being all up in my grizzel about not sleep training our kids and not letting your child be a natural animal creature, tossed out the nest to deal with the killer meerkats of life. I picture this, and I see myself tuning her one like ” According to who? “. Is ja, straight in her gafriet! Cos it’s mos according to her, and she is not now me. So in my mind she is all like speechless and stuff and I’m like “Guchoo”. 

5 thoughts on “This Parenting Thing…

  1. Can you imagine how boring life would be if each and every child wasn’t different in some way. There is the right way, which is what you and your children are comfortable with and there is the wrong way, where all your friends and advisers are happy but your family falls apart because you’re all unhappy trying to please others. Continue to do what makes you, your husband and your children happy. You’re doing a good job.

  2. no clue what Seth said…

    But I know I am guilty of it too. I think its often with good intentions, but I am realising now that provided there’s no abuse or outright sin, everyone should do what works for them. I like carrying/wearing my son, even though he’s heavy, but then I am usually alone in shops or places. I breastfeed because it saves us money, and I can, also saves me time making bottles, which I would have to do myself. So ultimately it depends on your marriage dynamic and you as a mom.

    You’re doing a fab job with your girls! keep it up! love lots

  3. THANK-you for this post. mothering is a hard enough job as it is without people always judging how and what you’re doing. With Lily I personally struggle with dinners with her. She is two and she will rarely sit still. Ive been less hard on her than some parents would as Ive felt that she has had such a crazy up and down life already thus far. Losing her dad, brothers etc, flying to another country, and restarting. I lie in bed with her to get her to sleep, it is the time when I sense she is most anxious. We have a person here who doesnt even have kids who keeps telling me ‘ A child is who the parents want them to be!’ I want to scream when she says that as a) she doesnt have her own kids and b) is it my prerogative what I do or dont do with my child. We got a LOT OF FLACK when I stopped battling with breastfeeding her at 5 days old. I entered pregnancy with a severe illness, barely managed to get her to 12 weeks in utero and then had a bleed etc. My body needed time to heal and I decided on an elective ceasarian…again getting flack for taking the easy way out. I was then bombarded with people telling me I had to breastfeed her and went against my decision to bottle feed her. I cried for 5 days solid and then cried even more because I was such a terrible mother I couldnt get breastfeeding right like so many mothers do. I also suffered severe postnatal depression which I never spoke about and had a breakdown when Lily was 14 mnths old. You never know the real circumstances of other people and the self righteous ones need to stick it where the sun shines.
    Lily rarely gets sick ( despite the fact that people said she would always get sick because she was a bottle fed baby)
    Yes I struggle with sleep and dinner time – but she sleeps eventually and she eats well and is still in the 90 percentile.
    If I have another baby I know I will be entering a pregnancy with a healthy body and would consider a VBAC and another attempt at breastfeeding.
    We all have things we would like to change in retrospect, but what we are doing at the time is what we needed to do,.
    As long and my daughter is happy and she is adjusting well and she is more happy than unhappy…then i AM DOING THE RIGHT JOB..AS ARE YOU…AND SETH..tell that Ma se Aunty in your head to shove it 😉

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