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What's the one issue you've had to defend the most about your parenting style?

Poll Results: Which aspect of your parenting did/do you have to defend yourself against the most?

  • 16% (65)
    Vaxing/Non Vaxing
  • 11% (43)
  • 19% (77)
  • 9% (35)
    Food choices
  • 4% (18)
    Number of children
  • 8% (31)
    Education Choices
  • 3% (13)
    Television/lack of television
  • 1% (6)
    Choice of toys
  • 8% (34)
    General lifestyle
  • 16% (64)
    Other, please state.
386 Total Votes  
post #1 of 157
Thread Starter 
For me, extended breastfeeding was probably the one I had to defend myself the most about. People didn't really care about the co-sleeping, but when I was breastfeeding my dd at 15 months, even the lady at the health food store gave me flack about it! I have to say, the lack of support for extended breastfeeding was a major factor in her weaning/being weaned at 2 years. Next to that, would probably be our decision to have only one child. Nobody I know seems to get it through their thick head that Yes, we've thought about it and No we don't want another one, and Yes she is enough for us. What about you mamas? I'm sure a lot will be regional but I'm curious.
post #2 of 157
I voted other. The biggest issue for us has been having family comprehend that we do not want dd to have a flood of presents and everytime we see them they don't have to buy her things. The grandparents have had a really hard time understanding this. And just in general its hard to get people to respect the type of gifts we find acceptable. The fact that we try hard to limit our spending, not b/c we are poor, but b/c we don't want to live or raise our kids in a consumeristic way (if that makes sense). My dad's gf can't understand that if we want a didymos why don't we just buy one? Well b/c we already have 4 other baby carriers and if I really one a didy then I will trade one of those for a used one.

A close second, probably a tie eve, would be me and dp not being married. FIL actually went as far as to buy a ring for dp to give me one xmas. I found it by accident when we were visitng and I knew exactly what it was for (and I was mad). Later he called dp into another roomand told him he could have it for me and dp lost it. Fortunately dp's parents have let it go for the last 9 months or so. My dad finally got it through his head this summer too and has dropped it.
post #3 of 157
I guess I'd say BF. My son nursed until he was almost 3.5. Needless to say, I endured a few non-supportive comments during those years! Luckily I have some friends and relatives that nursed their children as long or longer, so just knowing that made me more confident in my own decision and gave me the strength to ignore the comments.

I also catch some flak for having an only child and for giving my child choices when people think I should be bossing him around.
post #4 of 157
For us it was defending our choice to homebirth to my mil. She works in the medical field and was appauled that we would make such a "selfish" choice. We had some rough conversations when I was pregnant with ds1. But we hashed it out and sent her some information and she left it alone. Didn't say a word about it when I was pregnant with ds2.
I nursed ds1 until he was 2 and no one ever said a word. They knew that was my goal. When I got pregnant I was still nursing him and dh's aunt told me "Well you are going to have to stop that now huh?" I answered "No, as long as my supply holds up there is no reasons I should have to stop."
And that was it.
Food was a teeney issue with mil because she wanted to give ds1 sugary things when he was still pretty young - ice cream, lemonade (food is her way to show love). But she would always ask me and when I said "no" she respected that.
post #5 of 157
It's difficult to say which one has been the biggest issue.

But these are the ones I can think of:
1. not circumcising DS. Actually, I never had to defend myself on this one, because I completely refused to discuss it. Whenever my mom, or MIL, or DH's nosy RN aunt, would start in on it, I'd just give them a stony eyed stare and DARE them to pursue the issue with a mama nursing twins while recovering from a c-section while suffering from a flared-up autoimmune illness. Here's me: ::::::: So they mostly would bring it up, and then quickly drop it and go gossip about me outside of earshot, which was fine with me. But it's probably the one that got the most people on my case.

2. Not letting DS CIO. My girls were pretty easygoing and slept well, but DS was a high-need baby, and we wore ourselves out being responsive to him, night and day, and people thought we were crazy. We reaped the results of our efforts-- he's a happy, sunny, little guy who's totally secure in our love of him, and he wouldn't have been that way if he'd been treated the way people wanted us to treat him. It wasn't breastfeeding, or cosleeping, or babywearing, specifically. It was our general level of willingness to meet what other people thought of as DS's "ridiculous" level of need, and therefore included all of those and more.
post #6 of 157
Probably it would be breastfeeding, though not the actual breastfeeding of an infant. It would be the extended breastfeeding, delaying solids, not letting grandma give her a bottle, and refusal to be away from my breastfeeding baby. People just don't understand why I won't go away for a weekend when I have a six month old. : They really don't get why I'm nursing a 2 1/2 year old. Thankfully my husband and mom are completely supportive, but the other people around me, not so much.
post #7 of 157
nothing for us has been really controversial. We just don't bring a lot of our practices up because it's not something we think about bringing up. If anything selecting and delaying vaxes has been something that my mom and MIL have "asked" about but didn't get too detailed about their opinions.
post #8 of 157
I said food choices, but its a toss up between that and non-vax

We're vegetarian(well I'm vegan, and ds and dh only eat eggs), and my inlaws have been hard on us for it. It's been difficult watching ds get food snuck to him,that makes him sick...done in the thought that its "good for him"(ds gets majorly sick on dairy!)

The vax thing has calmed down, after my great uncle who got polio as a kid(was unable towalk for 5 years of his childhood), said that if he had a child he wouldn't get them vaxed...my mil stopped when i finally just said, listen this was a mutual decission between me and YOUR son,Im sick of the mother getting the bitching...she never brought it up again....i think time helps too
post #9 of 157
For us it was/is the no-vax issue. I am an RN and when I was working, everyone told me I was "committing child abuse" by not vaccinating. I have kept our decision on this issue private in some circumstances just to avoid having to explain myself for the millionth time. I have a lot of enlightened friends and family members, but there are just some people (like my mom whom I do NOT get along with anyways) that I choose not to share this with.

I did CLW with my son, who stopped nursing suddenly at 17 months (I was 4 months pregnant). I tried for a couple of weeks to get him to nurse but he was pretty indignant - refused to latch on one day and that was that. Nobody gave me any flack for the breastfeeding, but I know if I had the opportunity to tandem nursed as I had originally planned, the comments would have started. Who knows? Maybe DS will show an interest in BF again when his little sis arrives?! One can hope...
post #10 of 157
Other here, not letting DS CIO even now at 23 months is the biggest, actually more or less only issue we get any comments on. Not that we haven't been tempted on occasion, but it isn't something we are willing to do and since both sets of parents did it they tend to comment on it if we mention that the child is being a pain about going to bed.
post #11 of 157
I had a really hard time picking which issue I have to defend the most, so I put down co-sleeping because that seems to be the one that gets the most eyebrows raised this week. I'm sure that I'll have more to contend with over not vaxing the babes and extended breastfeeding. I weaned dd at one year due to the idea that after a year it was "just for comfort & my selfishness". I know better this time around and plan on CLW.
post #12 of 157
For me I can say co-sleeping without a doubt. People just don't see the positives of what we chose to do. No sleepless nights, happy DD etc. I am starting to hear it about my choice to homebirth this next baby. My cousin is a nurse in a pediatric ICU ward, so all she sees are horribly ill children. She wasn't thrilled about the fact that I had DD in a hospital with no NICU. Oh well, it's my choice, not hers.
post #13 of 157
I'd say circumcision. My mom pestered me until my oldest was almost 3. My boys have food issues and that's been a hard one because so many people think they can just give the boys something and it will be ok.

Mostly we don't spend a ton of time talking about our choices and most people don't ask.
post #14 of 157
For us it was a 3 way tie so I picked other. 1: Not circ'ing. "You're going to have to get it done some day." 2: Baby led solids. "How's he going to learn how to eat?" 3: General lifestyle. (We use mostly vinegar to clean with, we're a non-toxic house.) "I just don't feel like it's clean if I don't smell bleach."
post #15 of 157
Co-sleeping for sure. The people I know tend to be good about not criticizing other people's parenting choices to their faces, but I have seen some anxious or blank faces when it comes up!

Either that or it's the one thing I feel most defensive about and project my anxiety onto them.
post #16 of 157
I think for me it was that I don't let DS CIO. I'm lucky people don't say too much, but I do hear comments.

Of course, they don't know that we are delaying vax so I am sure that will be number one if they find out.
post #17 of 157
I voted "other." The biggest issue I have to defend is WOH - and that WOHPs are just as attached as SAHPs.
post #18 of 157
VBAC, not really parenting but its the choice I have to defend the most.

Followed by, cloth diapers. Seriously, why to people care what my kids pee on?
post #19 of 157
I voted no tv.

My kids were weaned between 15 months and 2 years so never had to "defend" extended nursing. I had nothing but support for nursing from anyone, ever.

I've gotten a little flack for having 4 kids, but on balance people have been very kind, encouraging and supportive of our decision to have a mid-sized brood. We'll see what happens when #5 starts becoming obvious!

For whatever reason people really would get hot and bothered over our no tv decision. "Moderation," we'd hear or "how will they ever relate to other kids?" or "How will they learn the ABCs". (the last one is my favorite). Anyway, I learned long ago to not mention it.
post #20 of 157
other - not using CIO followed closely by discipline choices
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