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Someone just passed judgement on me and made me angry

post #1 of 61
Thread Starter 
For background, I don't know the person well. He was a friend of a guy I knew in high school. He found me on facebook. The past couple weeks he's randomly said hello and such. So, there is no friendship really developed there.

However, today, he asked me how my day was. I told him I was decluttering the past couple days. I told him we're selling our crib and it was never used because we co sleep. He asks co sleep? I explain, family bed, we all sleep together in the same bed. Now, he has no children, is not married, and is 36 years old, but he has a sister who has children and he lives in Beaverton, Oregon, what I see as a progressive area of the US. So I say I am surprised he has never heard of co sleeping or other non mainstream parenting styles especially since he has told me he wants children and I can't imagine wanting children and having never given thought to how you would raise them. He says, he thinks sleeping with your kids will mess them up and he doesn't approve. I was shocked and insulted and I said to him, so you think I'm messing up my kids because I sleep with them at night? And he says, I won't tell you how to raise your kids, I just thinks it's wrong. So I say, well, if that's how you feel, then we can't be friends. I'm so angry. Am I even being rational? I feel like he knows nothing about parenting and how dare he judge me and essentially call me a bad parent (I haven't even seen him since I was 18 years old). :
post #2 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Purity♥Lake~ View Post
And he says, I won't tell you how to raise your kids, I just thinks it's wrong. So I say, well, if that's how you feel, then we can't be friends. I'm so angry. Am I even being rational?

I think you are overreacting a bit. Do all of your friends need to support cosleeping? Does it matter that he thinks you are wrong? When he has kids, he may very well end up with different ideas about proper parenting.

I don't share much about our sleeping arrangements unless I know someone pretty darn well.
post #3 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Purity♥Lake~ View Post
I feel like he knows nothing about parenting and how dare he judge me and essentially call me a bad parent (I haven't even seen him since I was 18 years old). :
You have not seen him since you were 18, why do you care what he thinks? If you believe without a doubt that bed sharing does not cause harm, who cares what some guy from your past believes.


ohh, your girls are beautiful.
post #4 of 61
That would make me furious to, if only because one of my super pet-peeves is people who are very opinionated about things which they know little about. However, I'd say because he was never a real friend anyway that you forget about it. It's no big deal. You got in touch with a guy you used to know but then realized he was a jerk so whatever. You don't need to have a big argument with him, you don't need to convince him that he's wrong. Some people are just like this. I say, un-friend him or whatever and just totally let it go. You know that your arrangement is happy and works for your family so who cares what some random dude that doesn't even have children thinks!
post #5 of 61
TBH, I never gave a thought to many things related to child rearing until I suddenly had one on the way. I was 35. Lots of people give parenting lots of thought ahead of time, and others cram for it like a final exam in the few months before parenthood.

I think you are over reacting a bit too. It shouldn't matter what this virtual stranger thinks, esp since he isn't a parent. But on the other hand, this could be viewed as an opportunity to enlighten him a bit. He may choose to ignore whatever you say, but it shouldn't be an adversarial thing. If I were in the situation it would have to be an agree to disagree thing. I would also have said I take offense and feel insulted and asked if that was his intent. He probably would have felt like a bit of an idiot if you had said so. Honestly, I don't think that someone who is not a parent would have an influence on me like that. He's not a parent, so what does he know?

**I don't intend that to hurt any of the wonderful mama's and papa's to be that are here, but everyone knows that what you think you know before parenthood is subject to much change after parenthood.**

And FTR, sure there are lots of progressive people here in the PNW, but you can still find plenty of less progressive people around. Unfortunately not everyone out here is completely enlightened yet.
post #6 of 61
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I know my emotional reaction to what he said was stronger than it ought to have been.

What bothered me the most was how he seemed to be putting me down personally, because I cannot separate the fact that I'm a mom from the rest of myself. When he insulted the way I parent, I took that as a personal attack on my morals/values as a person.

His opinion of parenting really doesn't matter to me. I think I was just shocked by his statement, and offended.

I'm sure I'll get over it and of course his, or anyone else's opinion, would never deter me from raising my daughters in a way I feel is best for us.
post #7 of 61
I'd be po'd for sure! And knowing me I would totally put stuff out there for him to read, LIKE THE BENEFITS OF COSLEEPING/BEDSHARING! Perhaps his opinion needs some scientific research to shed some light! Ok, sorry that's just me, I would dwell on it for awhile, give him some crap about how wrong he is, and move on!
post #8 of 61
I think it can be hard to remember that to the mainstream world...we're weird

Not that it matters, but maybe that helps with perspective. And IMO, flying off the handle only helps cement that belief...not encourage a progression towards potentially altering their viewpoint.

And, FWIW, I'd be defensive too 'off the cuff'
post #9 of 61
Thread Starter 
Oy! I just had to put him on ignore. I logged back on messenger to see if a friend was on, and there was an offline message from him.

This is how it went down:
I said (1/6/2009 4:01:22 PM): I sold the crib my mom INSISTED on buying right after Abigail was born, even though she knows we co sleep.
he wrote (1/6/2009 4:02:44 PM): co sleep?
I wrote (1/6/2009 4:02:53 PM): we all sleep in the same bed I sleep with my arms wrapped around my babies ever since they were born
he wrote (1/6/2009 4:04:29 PM): hmmm....um ok :/
I wrote (1/6/2009 4:06:20 PM): Have you never heard of co sleeping? or attachment parenting?
he wrote (1/6/2009 4:09:16 PM): I don't agree with that sort of sleeping arrangment. I think it really messes up the kids
I wrote (1/6/2009 4:09:41 PM): wow, so you're telling me I'm messing up my kids?
he wrote (1/6/2009 4:10:02 PM): its not a discussion we should have. You can raise your kids however you wish. I would just never do that
I wrote (1/6/2009 4:11:04 PM): That is really offensive and I'm insulted because I cannot separate my parenting choices from who I am.

At this point I logged off to go chase a toddler.....

when I log back on I see this offline message from him....


he wrote (1/6/2009 4:11:29 PM): I'll go ahead and delete you. Clearly you have some issues that are pretty intense. I make one comment, and you run off. Might indicate why you have issues with your husbands and others. Adios
post #10 of 61
What's the point in being offended? I would have used the opportunity to educate him about all the benefits of co-sleeping.
post #11 of 61
Good bye, good riddance. I am on your side.

Quite frankly, I dont want to hear from anyone who doesnt have kids. Other parents I can deal with, not know it alls without any ties to anyone else, ya know?!!
post #12 of 61
Thread Starter 
I wasn't really given an opportunity to educate him. He asked what it was, when I explained briefly, he said we shouldn't discuss it, then I had to chase a toddler and when I get back he has said he deleted me and then made an even more baffling and offensive comment = because apparently logging off to tend to my children means I have intense issues.
post #13 of 61
It sounds to me like he was caught off guard. He doesn't have kids of his own, and he's never heard of co-sleeping before. He just went with the 'default' idea that "babies belong in their own cribs" without giving it much thought. His sister's kids probably sleep in their own beds, or if they don't, he's not aware of it.

From reading the discussion you posted, it sounds like both of you got defensive and over-reacted. I would have responded to such a discussion with a bunch of online links about cosleeping, or if I was too busy, a promise to send him some links ASAP.

It might be too late to save this particular "virtual friendship", but you can still learn from the interaction and change how you react if something similar happens in the future. But if he hasn't deleted you yet, you might want to email him and apologize for over reacting and include some links about co-sleeping- not to change his mind or make him co-sleep with any future kids he might have, but just so he can be more open and understand that this IS a valid way to raise babies even if it's beyond his comfort level.
post #14 of 61
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnmama View Post
Do all of your friends need to support cosleeping? Does it matter that he thinks you are wrong?
No, not all my friends have the same views of parenting as I do. And that's fine with me.

What bothered me was his all encompassing statement that he thinks what I do is wrong and that what I am doing is messing up my kids. That is rude and disrespectful.

and in the long run, no, it doesn't matter if he thinks I am wrong.
post #15 of 61
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewsMother View Post
why do you care what he thinks?

ohh, your girls are beautiful.
I guess I really don't care what he thinks, but I don't like being told I'm messing up my kids.
post #16 of 61
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lizzylou View Post
What's the point in being offended?
From a logical standpoint, there is no point.
My reaction was emotional.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
I
...but you can still learn from the interaction and change how you react if something similar happens in the future.
In my head, I would like to think I could react less emotionally. But all my life I've been a very emotional person. I don't think that's good or bad, it's just the way I am. I think a large part of why I took it personally is because prior to this, he'd seem non-judgmental in general and I didn't expect that kind of a comment from him.
post #17 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Purity♥Lake~ View Post
I guess I really don't care what he thinks, but I don't like being told I'm messing up my kids.
he has never met your children, how would he know if they are or are not messed up? If this was a real life friend who saw you on a daily basis there would be a reason to feel slighted.

This young man is reacting to information that he has learned from mainstream media, mainstream parents and other sources. He made an uninformed statement and in my book he has little if no credibility on the subject so why waste precious energy.
post #18 of 61
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewsMother View Post
he has never met your children, how would he know if they are or are not messed up? If this was a real life friend who saw you on a daily basis there would be a reason to feel slighted.

This young man is reacting to information that he has learned from mainstream media, mainstream parents and other sources. He made an uninformed statement and in my book he has little if no credibility on the subject so why waste precious energy.
I know, you're right, no reason to waste precious energy.
post #19 of 61
Ok- you sound like you are past this already but I would like to echo Ruthla and say that this could be a good learning opportunity for future interactions. As soon as he said "messes up the kids" I would have changed the topic or found an excuse to leave if I was becoming defensive. Something I have been learning- try not to take anything personally and believe the best of people's intentions. Not that I always accomplish this but people mostly don't mean to offend or cause problems with their words. Think of all the times you "put your foot in your mouth"- no harm intended but felt badly about how it came across. I think your friend was stating an opinion without thinking too much about it. Then when you reacted defensively felt like he had to become defensive also. Just my 2 cents.
post #20 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Purity♥Lake~ View Post
I explain, family bed, we all sleep together in the same bed. Now, he has no children, is not married, and is 36 years old, but he has a sister who has children and he lives in Beaverton, Oregon, what I see as a progressive area of the US. So I say I am surprised he has never heard of co sleeping or other non mainstream parenting styles especially since he has told me he wants children and I can't imagine wanting children and having never given thought to how you would raise them. He says, he thinks sleeping with your kids will mess them up and he doesn't approve.
That sucks he made such a hurtful statement. It's hard when people without kids pass judgment on those who have BTDT. I had not heard of co-sleeping before I had children, but probably would not have made such a narrow statement.

FWIW, I don't consider Beaverton progressive. Portland is, but once you step outside of the city limits it's not nearly as crunchy.
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