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Help me sort out my reaction to a mainstream mama

post #1 of 97
Thread Starter 
I just moved to a new place and went to a momma group that I found at meet-up. I should preface this story by saying that I have only ever met/hung out with AP mommas. Even my semi-mainstream family members breastfed/co-slept and didn't CIO (except my sister, but we don't talk.)

Well the meet-up group ended up just being me and one other momma. She was elective c-section, formula feeding by choice, CIO. It was shocking to me. I could handle the elective c-section/formula feeding...I get that a lot of times it is just bad information and lack of support that makes people choose these things, but the CIO really struck a horrible cord with me. When she started explaining how she got her LO to STTN, I actually said, "oh no, you didn't let him CIO did you?" and she said well he only really cried for 5 minutes. I left immediately after that exchange. And quite frankly I don't believe her that he only cried for 5 minutes.

I am so angry that she let her LO CIO. I'm angry but I am jealous too. I want my LO to STTN so bad. Isn't this horrible? How do you mommas handle hanging with more mainstream mommas, or do you just not do it? I don't think I can do it again. I feel so yucky right now. I also don't want to be so judgmental, but CIO just seems so wrong to me, I can't help it.
post #2 of 97
My SIL is a cry-it-out, beat 'em when they're "bad", paranoid helicopter mom.

I have a hard time being around her. I only do for familial obligations.

I have no advice, because this is the only other mom I will even attempt to be around. I don't join mother's groups, I won't even go to story time at the library, because I will not have a good time listening to all the abuse stories that inevitably will be passed around.

All I can do is offer a hug!
post #3 of 97
In a small community (ie, where I live) you just have to take what you can get. Am I disappointed/alarmed/freaked out by some of the parenting I see? Sure. But a lot of the people I meet really don't know that there's another way.

As far as things that have already happened (past birth choices, whether a now-grown kid was formula-fed) I let it go since a) my feelings won't change it and b) I don't know the full story.

With things that I CAN have an impact on, I try to be a generous, non-judgmental source of information when I can in the hopes that I can help someone learn something they would otherwise have never been exposed to. If a mom has never heard anything but "The only way to get your baby to sleep is to CIO and they'll never remember it anyway" your immediate (totally understandable) alarm isn't going to do her any good. It's never too late for someone to improve their relationship with their kids.

And if it becomes clear that we're totally incompatible parents/personalities, that's fine and I have no problem walking away. Just not in the first five minutes when I'm desperate to find some mom friends .
post #4 of 97
I have a few friends who are pretty mainstream...in fact, if I really think about it, most of my Mommy friends are mainstream. I have one friend (whom I really like otherwise) who let her 3.5 month old baby CIO and sees nothing wrong with it. She is completely a sleep trainer and has no qualms about it. I just ignore those parts of any conversation. I cringe but I value our friendship too so I take the good with the bad I guess. It really does suck though...a lot!
post #5 of 97
I understand. I'm active in my community, go to library story times, coordinate play groups, etc. Most parents I know are mainsteam. Most parents I know really love their kids. I don't hang out with yellers or spankers- because that is when their choices/parenting are going to affect me & my child.
For instance, my bro & sis in laws, are very mainstream- baby in a crib in a nursery down the hall, bottle feeding, etc. I differ but I let it lie- our daughters are the same age, cousins 4-ever. I keep in mind that they think I'm the weirdo/freak of nature/hippie who's barely taking decent care of my kid. The mainstream backs their practices, not mine.

Anyway, we all cope as best we can. Best wishes & good luck.
post #6 of 97
I forgot to point out:
sttn= 5 hours straight, not all night.
many babies get up to half their nutrition during night nursing
not nursing at night may lower the supply
moms who nurse 2-3 times per night may have better luck reaching the 1yr mark
post #7 of 97
Oh that's a bummer.

My reaction would really depend on how much you need community. I assume if there was an AP group you'd be going to that, so is this all that's available?

Since it was just the two of you, I would stick it out to see how the other mamas are. I can't imagine hanging out with an entire group like that, but if there are just a few, I might tolerate it for the company of the others.

Maybe really examine what you are upset about. Is it the jealousy of your baby still waking at night? Is it just that you feel so bad for her baby? Is it something else? Try to figure that out see if/how you can cope with that.

My sister doesn't do things the way I do. Sometimes its pretty tough to deal with and I struggled with it for a long time. I finally decided the best thing I could do was be an example. Show her the relationship I have with my kids and hope that in time she'll see that what I'm doing is best for us, and maybe she'll learn from it too.

I don't hang out with any 'mainstream' parents that aren't family. If I didn't have any other options though, I probably would. I guess it would also depend for me what else I was getting out of the relationship. If the moms were otherwise enjoyable and we had other things in common, that would help. If we were just completely different and had no other basis for friendship, I wouldn't bother.
post #8 of 97
I don't know.. I don't really care much what my friends parenting styles are. I enjoy alot of the moms in my community and don't spend too much time wondering/worrying about how they parent. It doesn't really come up much.

I suppose, tho, if it bothered me I'd either not persue a friendship or maybe adopt a don't ask/don;t tell kind of attitude... just try to steer clear of the subject??
post #9 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by goldingoddess View Post
I'm angry but I am jealous too.
Don't be. We just don't know how this CIO will affect her child, her child's trust in her as a mom, and child's overall development and confidence. Consider co-sleeping/nightwaking an investment in your future relationship with your child and his trust in you.

I hope you find more like-minded moms in your area. *hugs*
post #10 of 97
Is CIO considered mainstream? And by mainstream, I mean is it really common? That makes me very sad.

I'd have a hard time going back too. I'm stuggling with finding a group in my area because I'm new here and have no mom firnds - no friends at all, really. You could try going to meetup.com and maybe starting your own AP group. I've considered that myself.
post #11 of 97
You know, some kids really do fuss/cry for just a few minutes and then go right to sleep. I never used to believe this, because the few times when I just lay there exhausted for awhile before going to my child, his cries only escalated to a heartrending shriek that had me leaping out of bed.

But, as moxie points out, there really do seem to be two types of kids, those who release tension by fussing and those who don't.

http://moxie.blogs.com/askmoxie/2006...s_and_cio.html

Which is why, though I would never advocate CIO in the slightest, I think there is a world of difference between a mother who says, "You know, my kid cries for a few minutes and then goes right to sleep" and a mother who says, "Yeah, we let him cry for two hours - that taught him!"

You know? It's all in the attitude. One has figured out what her kid seems to need to fall asleep, one is just following some one-size-fits-all sleep training tactic.

So I guess in a situation like this, without knowing the mother any better, I would tend to believe her. I would look at her as a person: do I like her, is she funny, smart, interesting, would I like to hang out with her? And that's what I'd base my reaction on. Her as a fellow mother who loves her kid, just like I do.
post #12 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by BAU3 View Post
I don't know.. I don't really care much what my friends parenting styles are. I enjoy alot of the moms in my community and don't spend too much time wondering/worrying about how they parent. It doesn't really come up much.

I suppose, tho, if it bothered me I'd either not persue a friendship or maybe adopt a don't ask/don;t tell kind of attitude... just try to steer clear of the subject??
I have a circle of close friends from college (9 of us), and a few of them FF, do CIO, and are a lot more punitive than I am. But we employ a don't ask don't tell, and they know the only time to talk to me is if they want to hear my opinions and advice about how to *NOT* do what they're doing... They all love their children, and their children love them and none of them seem to be majorly scarred (with the exception of one poor little one I feel so bad for), so I just focus on the friendships we had before, and the friendships we will have in the future. In my local mom groups, I have an AP group and a more mainstream group, and I still value all the women there for various reasons.

I don't want my kids to only be friends with people who think exactly like them, nor feel like they need to "save" everyone. They can lead by example, and offer advice when solicited...and I teach them that by living it, KWIM? I certainly do not stay quiet or condone things my friends do that I don't believe in or think are harmful, but I also don't stop being friends with them because of it.


*Edit: For new moms I meet, if the topics of FF or CIO come up and they are on the pro side, I diplomatically but assertively (is that even a word? ) state my opinions - so they know where I stand, and they usually drop the topic and we move on to find things we have in common instead. I'm not rude, and I've found others aren't rude either, and we find a common ground somewhere. I have yet to have anyone be rude to me after I talk about attachment parenting, even if it's something they don't believe in. I also have yet to talk to a mom where I can't find some common ground somewhere. I guess it comes down to the fact that I believe that most parents love their children, even if they do things that *I* personally believe can adversely affect the parent-child relationship, so I find some way to connect with them because we both love our children, KWIM?
post #13 of 97
I just wouldn't hang out with them. There are things I can deal with, and things I can't. CIO is one of them. I would have left as well.
post #14 of 97
it gets easier as they get older. I have a great mom friend that I met when our oldest were around 2 and her youngest was 1. I am guessing she formula fed (2 kids that are a year apart), but none of this stuff - CIO, FFing, etc comes up now. She is definitely more mainstream than me but really nice and we get along great. That said keep looking! I am in a fairly conservative area and I was suprised to find a great network of crunchy moms here. We are everywhere!
post #15 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by zinemama View Post
You know? It's all in the attitude. One has figured out what her kid seems to need to fall asleep, one is just following some one-size-fits-all sleep training tactic.

So I guess in a situation like this, without knowing the mother any better, I would tend to believe her. I would look at her as a person: do I like her, is she funny, smart, interesting, would I like to hang out with her? And that's what I'd base my reaction on. Her as a fellow mother who loves her kid, just like I do.

Totally. My second son would SCREAM bloody murder if we tried to hold him or rock him to sleep. He wouldn't co sleep and hated anyone around him. Actually, he didn't even want to give hugs or kisses until he was 4. He would however lay in his bed fuss for a minute and fall asleep. It was almost like he was getting the last bit of energy out, then just pass out. He started sleeping through the night at 6 weeks old and I even woke him for the first few weeks so I could feed him since I needed it. So really, it was him who hated being touched. I don't see that as CIO at all, it was doing what was best for my son. Even at 9 he likes to be all alone when he sleeps.

As for the elective c-section, was it her first child? Or has she had a c-section before? Could it be that she really had no other choice and in order to deal with that fact, she just accepted it? I HAVE to have a c-section, no options at all, NONE, and I would hate to have someone judge me because I will admit that honestly, my c-sections were that bad at all. And yes, part of that is justifying my having the c-section which is required, but it doesn't make me a horrible mom or person, or uneducated for that matter.
post #16 of 97
I would have just said something like, Oh, I can't bear to hear my son cry, so I try to comfort him when he does.

I do think its a little rude to just up and leave b/c you don't agree with how someone is parenting, and really thats only a very small part of parenting. I don't agree with CIO either, but I also think that alot of parents don't realize that there is another way to do it.

I've been looking for moms groups in my area and haven't been successful, but I'm really just hoping to find some friends to be my friends, not my parenting buddies. I feel like all I do is parent, and I kinda want some interaction that isn't about the baby.
post #17 of 97
I think as AP and NFLiving moms, we are all going to have those 'issues' with other parents that really strike a cord with us.

Mine are CIO and people who are just so ignorantly pro-circ, it's insane. I can't be friends with those types of people. Seriously, sometimes we just have to stay away from certain type of parenting because of how wrong we know it is. I'm not saying that these people don't love their kids, but it would just tear my heart apart being around someone who can do such things and not be bothered by it.
post #18 of 97
Yeah, my brother did CIO with his LO and was telling me about it. Doctors keep giving the advice and people follow their doctors b/c they trust them. Also, many people are much more parent centered than child centered... developmentally appropriate, what's that?

I feel icky too when having conversations like that.
post #19 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by goldingoddess View Post
I am so angry that she let her LO CIO. I'm angry but I am jealous too. I want my LO to STTN so bad. Isn't this horrible? How do you mommas handle hanging with more mainstream mommas, or do you just not do it? I don't think I can do it again. I feel so yucky right now. I also don't want to be so judgmental, but CIO just seems so wrong to me, I can't help it.
. I used to feel the same way in the beginning. I would meet other mothers who did moparented in more "mainstream" ways than I did and though I objected, I also would get angry because I felt like I was making myself a martyr for no reason. But in the end, you just have to decide that what's right for you, is right for you and know that this time when he's not sleeping/still nursing/wants to be held all the time is fleeting...it's only for a short time.

As for leaving, I probably would not associate with her very much either. I haven't made very many friends here yet because I just feel so strongly about my parenting choices/views, that I have a hard time watching others do things so differently. It's just nicer when you all have the same goals/ideas.
post #20 of 97
Sometimes it takes a lot of looking to find like minded people in a new area. Keep looking, I'm sure there are one or two out there. s
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