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What's the one issue you've had to defend the most about your parenting style? - Page 4

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

 
  • 16% (65)
    Vaxing/Non Vaxing
  • 11% (43)
    Breastfeeding
  • 19% (77)
    Co-sleeping
  • 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 #61 of 157
Co-sleeping gets a lot of raised eyebrows.

But I think delaying solids will be the one that I have to defend myself over. You really *have* to start solids by 6 months, that's the general consensus.

Just a few days ago, one of my best friends - who's a doctor - said that they'd learned in med school that between 4 & 6 months, it's easiest for babies to learn to eat from a spoon. So, she said, I should really get started soon, and keep at it! She meant this really as good, helpful advice, she's a great friend and actually pretty openminded. But it's etched so deep in people's minds that you have to start solids by 6 months...

(I actually did give dd some mooshed carrot the day before she turned 6 months, last saturday, and tried a bit the past week, but I just don't think she's very interested in solids yet, so I'll probably leave it for another few weeks).

I think people really think I'm harming my dd by not feeding her a whole meal of solid food.

I also plan on extended bf'ing. And that will also, I'm sure, attract criticism.


However, I voted "general lifestyle". I recently decided to stay home a few more months with dd instead of going to work (well, seeing as job openings are pretty few and far between nowadays, it wasn't really a difficult "decision" ), and I notice all my friends seem to think this is a wrong choice : that coupled with the fact dd doesnt eat solids or drink from a bottle, and still co-sleeps, must seem somehow "wrong" to them or something.... like I'm holding her back, maybe? I've been getting a lot of "helpful" advice recently, I can tell you! (funny that people without kids seem to know everything about getting babes to eat solids )

Ah well, I don't really care what they think, dd is such a happy, smiley little girl
post #62 of 157
I have a weird situation, no children of my own, but one foster daughter (who is now one year) so we missed several of these that I hope to do with my own child.
Here are the issues:
Vaccination-She is for the most part vaccinated not what I wanted though, I wouldn't do my own, but I know I'd catch so much heck for that, but I don't plan on sharing with anyone about that.
Co-sleeping-We do co-sleep with her, no big problem from family
Cloth diapering-we cloth diaper, no problem with that either.
Food-we're pretty selective about what food she eats, no real problem with that, but it can sometimes be an issue...
CIO/spank-we don't do no problem from family there, they are ok with that.

Breastfeeding-obviously we formula feed fd, but I do want to breastfeed and extended breastfeed my own child, which I think will lead to the most problems with the family, besides the vaccination issue, which I just don't plan on sharing with anyone. No one really does this in my family, or if they do it's very hush-hush.

Oh, and any son won't be circumsized, which won't go over well at all. But I just won't make discussing it an option.

Oh, and homeschooling won't go over well either...
post #63 of 157
Breastfeeding, unfortunately, and perhaps unexpectedly, as breastfeeding in general is very supported here.
I had low milk-supply, and DD was a slow gainer. Almost everyone around me thought I should just give her some formula, or maybe change over to exclusive formula feeding right away ("It's just as good", "Can't she have a little formula?", "You do know that they only really need breastmilk for the first 6 weeks, after that it doesn't matter", "Most mums don't have enough milk for their 3-month-olds", "Just give her a bottle!", "You realise you have to stop being stupid, and feed her formula now!").

DD's fine, by the way. She's 1 now, and still small, but that's just how she is (takes after her father). We still breastfeed, a lot (although she had donated milk through an SNS until she was almost 7 months). Now I'm getting a lot of comments from my mother, who thinks I've breastfed long enough (she breastfed me, exclusively for 2-3 months, then I had porridge, but was still breastfed morning and night until about 10 months), and that DD needs a lot more solids at this age than she's getting (self-feeding). She wants me to cut down on feeds, and refuse to feed my little snacker, as DD likes to feed very, very often.

I fought through our troubles, and I'm not prepared to give up now, when it is easy, and quite nice. My goal is at least 2 years and CLW.

All this said, we are having a lot of trouble dealing with comments on the way we try avoid harsh chemicals, bad plastics, food additives, sugar etc, but only from family. The vaccination register people were quite annoying about us opting out of it, and a ped at the emergency room was really annoyed that DD wasn't vaxed (I said that we thought she was too little, and she said "But we vax the tiny preemies in the neonatal ward"!!!). Co-sleeping isn't tht much of an issue, although my parents still think she should be in a cot (DD won't, quite simply), but they don't believe CIO exists, so that isn't a problem. I guess I and my siblings must have slept happily in our cots! Unfortunately we didn't get the homebirth we planned, family has been a bit taken back when we've discussed this afterward. We haven't mentioned that we're planning to home school, possibly un-school, yet, but I know that MIL is against home-schooling, for socialization. My mother is a teacher, she'll probably hit the roof when we have to talk about it.
post #64 of 157
I voted 'other' - I think the thing that most people have expressed concern or disapproval to me about is our decision for me to continue to SAH for the moment. I think they think I'm lazy or irresponsible - despite the fact that we can manage fine on DH's salary and I wouldn't be able to earn much more than the cost of daycare. It doesn't make sense to DH or I for me to go back to work right now, but apparently everyone else seems to know more about our situation than we do :

But I would probably get more flack about my other decisions if people knew about them: I don't discuss our decision not to vax, which I know would cause a lot of hassle. I still BF DD but I think most people are afraid to say anything to me about it! Few people know we co-sleep or CD as that rarely comes up, and no one knows about any future plans for schooling (or not) and number of kids - mostly because DH and I don't really know ourselves yet!
post #65 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCVeg View Post
Wow--I'm really surprised at this. We get lots of flak for only choosing to have one, and most moms of onlies I know (IRL and online) hear the same. And we're both professionals, with advanced degrees, in highly competitive and time-consuming fields. I guess you can't win no matter what you do!

I've never understood why people feel the need to comment on someone ELSE'S family size, whether that family is small, big, or somewhere in between. It's not your damn family--why do you care?
I try to ignore it and not bite the bait, b/c I think for several of the women telling me this...it is a projection of their unhappiness (aka had lots of children close together and now blames lack of career/interests on children).

I didn't realize how much I was still internalizing it until DH joked a couple days ago, "let's try for another!" (We have a 4 month old) and the first thing I thought of was, "no way! X, Y and Z would have a cow!"
post #66 of 157
I voted other:

Not being married


Gender neutral clothing and toys
(ds is 19 months old and is perfectly happy in pink and purple pants, and does not need clothes with sports on them or a new dump truck!)
post #67 of 157
I voted TV. I can deal with the co-sleeping and vax and the like. I've long ago learned to close those matters to discussions. TV is tricky because it's a practice that they do to our DD that we disagree with. We have to deal with it when we visit and when they babysit.
post #68 of 157
I'm going with other, because it's not co-sleeping so much that's the issue (although people raise their eyebrows), but the whole "is he sleeping through the night" business. I don't think it's normal for babies to STTN, and I wish people would quit basing their assessment of parenting on it. YK?
post #69 of 157
I think it was a 4-way tie between breastfeeding, the food we eat, cloth diapering, and homeschooling. And of course the only person that bugged me about these things was my mother Her general pov on everything is pretty narrow. If you don't fit into what I like to call "How the World Works According to Denise _____" then you are wrong. Let's see I had to hear the following:

"You know she's 10 months old now, isn't it high time you stopped nursing her?"

and

"You can't not put her in school because you're too afraid to let go of her." (???? What the hell are you talking about woman?)

and

"Cloth diapers are disgusting. It costs way more to do that than to use disposables."

She nitpicks what I feed the kids constantly because I don't have ready-made processed foods to feed them for her once-a-year babysitting night.

Oh, she can't understand why I don't spank. I haven't yet told her that it's because I am trying to use the direct opposite of her parenting.
post #70 of 157
It's funny, but so far, it's toys. It's the thing that comes up the most and where we just don't seem to be getting through to people. Rather, they want to understand but just. don't. get. it. I'm getting ready to give a seminar on phthalates and open-ended toys and simplifying . Everyone is well-intentioned, but still buy stuff that's just outside what we're comfortable with having in our home. And it's mostly b/c they want the fun of shopping at different toy stores and getting different toys, so I don't have a problem shooting them down. If they really thought about what's best for DD, they would shop at the three places we told them were 100% fail safe. Or just stop buying so much!

I think toys comes up b/c people want to get DD things, whereas BFing, cosleeping, vaxing... it's not up for discussion at all. If anyone asks, we tell them the truth and they know not to go there. But toys are more "public" domain somehow.
post #71 of 157
I voted food choices because we did BLW, and for the first few months it was a pretty obvious difference to a lot of people. Several were worried that DS would choke (and I totally appreciate them voicing their concerns for that) but more commonly, family and friends worried that he wasn't eating enough because surely breastfeeding alone couldn't be enough for a 6 or 7 month old (he was just sampling bits and pieces of food at that age). For that matter, they worried because we didn't introduce solids until 6 months. He was gaining weight just fine, and quickly learned to eat on his own, so the arguments died out within the first few months and changed to astonishement that he was capable of eating regular food.

Friends and family have been pretty respectful about our other choices. I'm sure some things have been brought up behind our backs, but we haven't had to defend them. Especially my MIL and FIL have been surprised at some of our decisions, but they've kind of just gone with it...even though they've probably done their share of worrying.
post #72 of 157
I voted other-
I have spent the most time defending my decision to always hold and carry my baby. When she was tiny, people were always wanting me to leave her in the carseat, prop her up on some pillows, whatever. I'd go to gatherings, and I would let people hold her who wanted to, then they'd set her down somewhere. (I'd go get her, but why not just hand her back to me?) I was at a potluck and first off the hosts offered to let her sleep in their grand son's crib. All I could think of was her waking up and no one hearing her in that noisy environment, and needless to say, we didn't do that. Then a friend offered to hold her while I ate. I looked over to where they were sitting, and she'd set her down. She said, "Sharon told me to set her down." Sharon is not her mother!!!!! So I ended up holding her myself a lot of times, even though I'm a single mom and I kind of figured other people would want to hold her when I went to gatherings. Hey, thanks for letting me get that off my chest! I haven't minded for a single second being the one to hold her, though! Even at potlucks!

This has morphed into my now needing to defend my decision to stay with her and not force her to stay with someone else when she's clearly upset. No, I am not going to leave her in the nursery at church so people can hold her while she cries and tell her over and over, "your mom needs a break." They have a system to call the mom if the baby needs them, but they don't use it. Hey, thanks for letting me get that off my chest, too!!!
post #73 of 157
Not circing my son: "It's going to get infected." "It's going to get tight when he's older and he'll have to have surgery with general anesthesia." "It looks so weird when it's not circed."

Co-sleeping: "You'll never get him out of bed."

Cloth diapers: "You'll give it up within the first week." "It's gonna be so gross when he starts eating solids."
post #74 of 157
Number of children, without a doubt. People assume I must be a religious fanatic who's opposed to birth control, because no-one would actually WANT six (soon seven) kids. : I'm sure the main reason I hear so much about this is because it's something that's obvious to every idiot on the street when all the kids are with me. I don't wear a sign saying my kids are homebirthed and unvaxed, kwim?

And for the record, birth control is my friend. Without it I would have a lot more kids!
post #75 of 157
Other-I would say the way we discipline (or don't)
post #76 of 157
I voted "Other."

In public, I've gotten the most flack for breastfeeding . . . from being asked to cover up all the way up to being harassed by the police at a water park last summer for over an hour.

Online, I probably get the most flack for not censoring the media my kids are allowed to see/not sheltering them from . . . um . . . anything. I have not a single iota of doubt that I'm doing things exactly the way I should, as far as that goes, but it's something people like to freak out about.

From family . . . my mom's only concern is our selective vaxxing. My partner's family . . . they just don't like anything we do, but I think biggies are/were not censoring our kids' language, extended breastfeeding, and not spanking.
post #77 of 157
Circumcision, and more recently, discipline.
post #78 of 157
This has changed over time...

Back when DS1 was still nursing, extended BF was high on the list (he weaned himself @ 3.5) Having a homebirth with DS2 created alot of worry & controversy in my family, but I kind of expected needing to defend these choices, or at least explain them.

What's been surprising to me is how often I find myself defending is no TV/limited media & our educational choices. Seriously. I am shocked at how many people believe that I am harming my children by not providing them with access to TV & by not putting them in preschool/daycare. The school issues kind of calmed down this year (DS1 is in kinder @ Waldorf school), but we're considering homeschooling for next year & WATCH OUT! One of my friends actually said that she thinks homeschooling is tatamount to child abuse. :

The other thing I've found myself defending through the years, is my reluctance to leave my children - for a weekend, a day, (when newborns) for a walk around the block. Why do I "have to learn to leave them"???? I'll know when we are ready for a seperation! Why would someone ever guilt trip a new mom about leaving their baby! Or try to convince a new mama that she's harming herself & her child by not leaving them with someone else? Wow. I guess I'm still angry about that. I didn't leave DS1 overnight (with daddy) until after he had weaned & was almost 4. I knew that we were both ready.
post #79 of 157
I voted co-sleeping. Not vaxing hasn't ever come up. MIL wouldn't leave us along for some time about how we would never get DD2 out of our bed if we co-slept. I'm surprised that she doens't say anyting now since DD2 is 3 and still in our room (mostly in a toddler bed during the night though). I think she just gave up. LOL Hopefully she won't carry on about the new baby being in our room. I think it helped that DH changed how he felt and became more and more supportive of it. (He was supportive to start with but then thought that DD2 was going to move out of the bed sooner. lol)
post #80 of 157
I voted food choices. I had to explain to my family that they would incur my wrath (and they know I'm very scary when I'm angry--particularly when it comes to my kids) if they fed him anything with sugar (someone wanted to give him soda pop). Running a close second though was the fact that we did not leave DS with anyone (except DH when I had to go to the doctor or needed a half hour break to go to the store) until he was over a year old and even now (almost 2 years old), there are only a couple of people I'm comfortable with.
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