As parents we naturally worry about our decisions, but we also have to worry if our own Mother's, Mother-in-laws, friends, the media or some chick in line at Tim Hortons is going to make us feel guilty for doing things OUR own way. Parenting becomes like a war zone and whispers are weapons:
Ouch! Oh, and everyone's favourite:
Sometimes it's done aggressively. But sometimes the shame is dished out passive aggressivly, which to me is even more irritating. If you're going to shame me, shame me with some balls! I've been judged for my own parenting decisions and, okay before I had kids I was guilty of doing the same (ew, yeah, I was that person). But today, as a Mom I parent the way I want. Not everyone approves of my choices for my kids and sometimes other people's reactions DO make me question myself. That hurts my feelings and makes me want to punch people (I never actually have).
I encourage you to parent the way you want to, too. Even if that's different than how I do it. That's why when I saw these viral photos of Mom's accepting each other's differences in parenting choices I was so impressed by their camaraderie and wanted to share them with you.
My kids sleep in my bed. You would be surprised how many people look at me in horror when I say that. You know what though? It's irrelevant to me where anyone else's babies sleep, so why should anyone care about where mine sleep? The only time another child's sleeping arrangements should matter to strangers is when they have NO WHERE to sleep at all. Still, people joke about it all the time, "what are you going to do when your 15 year old still wants to sleep in your bed?" Here's my answer (feel free to use this one too): "I will thank Jesus, Buddha, Allah and every other God out there that my teenager is cuddled up next to me and not gallivanting in the streets."
I breastfed both of my kids. Here's what I've had to navigate through:
I'll stop. You get it. But I won't change my feelings on breastfeeding and I won't ask you to change yours either.
Choosing your own parenting style is my only suggestion. Don't worry about Mrs. Always Right who is off criticizing other parents. By doing so, she's actively teaching her own kids it's okay to judge others, to disrespect different cultures, practices and beliefs. Basically, their kids are being taught 'The Fundamentals of Asshole-ism' - and I'll save my thoughts on that for another blog post 😉
By understanding, accepting and embracing our differences our kids are learning to be tolerant, good people with big hearts.