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post #21 of 115
Quote:
Originally posted by mothersong
If they didn't actually tell that mom she was a lousy mom, and just whined about it here, then no real harm was done, IMO.
I disagree with this. Obviously, based on the responses in this thread, there IS harm being done. You might not be telling the mom you observed in the mall that she is lousy to her face, but hundreds of other women here are reading that you thought she was a lousy mom. LOTS of us find ourselves reading those "I can't believe how awful this mother is" posts describing a situation that we've found ourselves in. And by "you" I mean anyone posting, not one person in particular.

More than once a perfect stranger has suggested that my baby needed to be held, fed, whatever. Well, no shit, sherlock. Telling me that my baby needs to be held while I have a grocery cart full of food, a toddler that keeps running away from me, and a six-year-old begging for four different boxes of cereal does not help me. I think the answer is just to get to a place in our own heads where we don't automatically assume that someone is neglecting her kid when we see a child crying, sitting in a carseat, stroller, or whatever.

Also, notice how all of these threads are about mothers and what mothers do wrong? It is divisive and does nothing to empower other women or create unity to "whine" or "vent" about what other mothers do wrong.
post #22 of 115
I feel that way too. I can't use a sling because it hurts, and I have a VERY hard time with my ds. I have one of those voices that can sound upset when I am not, and I get stressed out easy. I can just imagine the things people would say about me.
post #23 of 115
As for me..i can't afford to pass judgement on anybody because i have a spirited/high maintenance /indigo daughter and she has made quite a bit of scene in public and i have had people whom i don't know come up and comment to me that i don't know how to raise my daughter. The first thing that comes to my mind when a mother is frustrated with her child and yells and loses it in public , i feel for her and understand that she must be having a tough day because that is what dd puts me through so many times.
It might be easier for parents who have calm easy children. I have been the victim of gossip and was told that i would not be a good girl scout troop leader by people who did not know me and only saw me walking my daughter down the street as she refused to go to school and was crying. Odd..i am good enough to get paid and be a special ed teacher and work with children but i am not good enough to volunteer...anyway...just want to share about how judgement has hurt me in the past.
post #24 of 115
Quote:
Originally posted by Mothra
LOTS of us find ourselves reading those "I can't believe how awful this mother is" posts describing a situation that we've found ourselves in.
Why do you care, though?

I mean seriously, when I read people slagging vaccinations I don't take it the least bit personally. They are passionate about something - good for them. Since I'm totally secure in my choices it really doesn't bother me. I love reading about homebirths, and the cracks about women scheduling C-sections often make me laugh, too. And guess who scheduled her C/S? So why should it bother anybody? I just don't get it. I feel that (and maybe I'm wrong) if you are secure in your choices and your parenting then it just shouldn't affect you.

I do totally see the point of the OP. I think a reminder to be less judgemental in our hearts is always good for us. Like someone else said, I might find myself judging another woman but lord knows I would NEVER say anything to her face. Maybe I needed to boost myself up at her expense (in my head). I work on my judgementalness alot and I have to say that in the last year that I've been on MDC I have changed alot in my inner reactions to things.

Sometimes it gets tiring being the minority in my choices out there in the "real world". The unique thing about MDC is that here, we are "normal" whereas out IRL we are not. You can complain about seeing babies in buckets left crying and how much that distresses you, b/c people here aren't going to feed you the "babies need to cry - it's good for them" line. People here will understand why it upset you. No need to bash the mother or pass judgement on her - but sharing how it made you feel is understandable IMO.

ITA with what mothersong wrote.
post #25 of 115
Quote:
Originally posted by Mothra
I disagree with this. Obviously, based on the responses in this thread, there IS harm being done. You might not be telling the mom you observed in the mall that she is lousy to her face, but hundreds of other women here are reading that you thought she was a lousy mom. LOTS of us find ourselves reading those "I can't believe how awful this mother is" posts describing a situation that we've found ourselves in. And by "you" I mean anyone posting, not one person in particular.
Maybe that is something moms reading the posts should look at in themselves. I have to think that most people here have been in bad situations with their kids, who hasn't? If reading something that someone you don't even know wrote about someone else you don't know, (and *they* don't even know) makes you feel like a lousy mom, is that really the problem of the poster?:

I don't know, I'm just playing devil's advocate. I have never written or responded to a post like we're discussing. I do have 5 kids, some of whom are very spirited, high need, sensitive, downright difficult children. I consider myself pretty darn AP, as do most people who know me. I've had my share of horrible experiences in public, though I've never had anyone criticize me to my face.

I would never judge a person by one or even a few incidents in the grocery store or the mall. I might tell my friend about it, though. We might talk about how we would do things differently, or how glad we are that we already do things differently. Sometimes those things make us feel good about our parenting skills, help reaffirm to us that even though we are out of the mainstream, we are doing a good job. I see it as being the same thing if you come and post about it here, where you can presume that there are like minded people.

In the meantime, the woman at the mall or the grocery store has no idea. I still don't see that any harm is done, as long as you aren't telling some poor person to do a better job when you have no idea of the reality of that person's life or circumstances.

For that matter, I know people I think are truly not good mothers and they all think they are fine, and talk about how strange I am all the time. I am not offended by that. We have obviously made drastically different choices, and I wouldn't expect them to think mine are correct. I for sure don't worry about my own parenting skills based on someone else's opinion of them. I know the truth, and I know which times I really was doing the best I could, and which times I probably could have done better.
post #26 of 115
This whole "like minded" thing-- thousands of women read these boards every day. I read things here that make me nod my head and say "right on" and then click on another thread and read something that makes me feel nauseated.

This doesn't bother me on a personal level. From time to time it does hurt when someone lets on that they don't feel as though I'm genuinely doing the best I can for my children. Reading that on a bulletin board, as in when I read comments about how women who have bottle-fed or had their children in hospitals are neglectful at best and child abusers at worst, really doesn't bother me anymore. What does bother me is the "us" vs. "them" attitude. We'll never acheive equality without unity, and in case you haven't noticed, mothers are not equal in most of Western society-- not equal to other women and certainly not equal to men.

And let's assume that woman in the mall with the screaming baby in the mall doesn't know any better. What does that say about our society that she doesn't have the resources she needs to efffectively and safely parent her child? What does that say about us if we sit here and rip her apart? What else could we do that would actually help the situation?

It hasn't happened to me here, but I can remember once logging on to a bulletin board that I relied on for support as a young, poor, clueless mother of an active child. I had just gotten home from the mall where a woman said of my one-year-old child who would not sit still in the food court, "Why don't you just spank him? Whatever you are doing obviously is not working." So I logged on and read an entire thread about how someone had gone to the mall and saw a child climbing on the tables, singing loudly, and disrupting everyone else. She seriously could have been writing about my son. The thread turned to discuss how this child was obviously not being raised in an AP environment and was probably spanked or something. Great. I felt really supported.

So is the purpose of this community to unite, empower, and support mothers while enabling them to parent with their hearts and minds against the conventional wisdom, or is it to bash other women who don't appear to make the same choices? Because I've seen both here and I prefer the former.
post #27 of 115
Thread Starter 
Phew -- thank you all for not flaming me!! I honestly wasn't sure what type of reaction I'd get!

Quote:
Originally posted by mothersong
If they didn't actually tell that mom she was a lousy mom, and just whined about it here, then no real harm was done, IMO.
I think it has the potential to do a lot of harm. Society as a whole does a pretty crappy job of supporting AP choices, so many women come to places like MDC to seek advice and inspiration. Posts that are made for the purpose of highlighting less than ideal mothering are neither supportive nor inspirational and may actually wind up alienating people who are in dire need of communion with like-minded mommas.

Instead of coming here and complaining about "the poor crying baby in the plastic bucket", maybe we could come here and share what we did to help mom and baby. That sort of action would certainly be way more in-tune with the AP lifestyle -- don't you think?
post #28 of 115
Quote:
Originally posted by Mothra
And let's assume that woman in the mall with the screaming baby in the mall doesn't know any better. What does that say about our society that she doesn't have the resources she needs to efffectively and safely parent her child? What does that say about us if we sit here and rip her apart? What else could we do that would actually help the situation?
Just FWIW, I meant that the mom at the mall wouldn't know that I was talking about her, not that she didn't know any better ways to parent.

If I am having an issue with one of my kids in the mall, and someone sees and misinterprets what is going on, then goes home and talks about what a terrible mom I am, what do I care? I don't know I'm being talked about. If I heard her, on any given day I wouldn't even know it was me she was talking about. I know I'm not a terrible mom, and I know I'm not perfect. That about covers it, really.

Also, I really don't interfere much with other parents. If I see someone who is obviously in need of assistance, then I offer it. If I see someone screaming away at a child, or dragging a toddler along too fast, something like that, I usually don't say too much. I've lost it, I've had friends loose it, having someone in your face pointing out that you have lost it doesn't usually help. I was also with a friend who got screamed at herself, in front of her own children, for offering to help an out of control parent once. Made a lasting impression on me.

I recently gave a mom a ride that I picked up on the side of the road. It was raining, and she was walking, tugging along a toddler who was trying hard to go a different way, and carrying a baby. That same day, I walked away from a mom who was yelling at her preschooler in the grocery store, because I didn't think it was my business. I guess we all draw our own line when it comes to where to help and when to leave it.

I still don't think if I had come here and posted about how sad and irritating it was that the one mom was screaming at her child that I would have been doing that mom a great disservice. For all I know she is also a great AP mom, just having a bad moment. I didn't tell her to her face I thought she was being rude to her own child, and she would never know that I came here and said that she was.

What's more, if you should see me screaming at my own child in the mall, and come here and post that I wasn't being a good mom, I would agree with you. I wasn't being a good AP parent at that time, I wasn't working with my child the way I should. That doesn't mean I am never a good mom, does it? That doesn't mean that if you screamed at your child yesterday at the mall, and you read about me that you should feel that you are also not a good mom, does it? Or that if you weren't your best right then that you are never a good mom? IMO it shouldn't, anyway.
post #29 of 115
yup, you just never know what is going on with that parent @ that time.
what about when you have to have to teach your child that, " NO, you can't have everything @ the checkout counter"
(or something similar) & the kid pitches a fit ??
IMHO - raising your voice (not screaming & NOT belittling the child) is not so bad.
Saying NO sternly is not a bad parent.
I rarely let my baby cry but @ times getting from the stroller to the car can be trying when he's fussy & tired.
I think we can all decipher mistreatment from just being a parent & human at times.
post #30 of 115
Count me in as one of 'those' mothers. I just try & do the best I can, day by day. Some days are better than others.

It used to bother me a lot, reading about how bad a mother I must be, bottle feeding, not co-sleeping, etc. etc. I left the boards for a few years, in part because I just didn't need to feel bad about something else in my life. I am quite good enough at tearing myself down- don't need anybody else to do it for me. But I have become more comfortable in my own skin lately, & more comfortable about my family's parenting style (tho not entirely!). It's a learning process- for life. And I think it's a good idea to remind each other gently when we think we're being too hard on each other....... I personally do it, prolly to the annoyance of others on the boards. Oh well.
post #31 of 115
Wow, one more reason I like MDC! Thank you for this post! I was having a 'bad mom' day....well, who am I kidding, a bad mom week. I wouldn't have mentioned it here b/c I feared being shunned by all the perfect moms! I want to be perfect, but alas, I am human, and I can only do the best I can. Today I yelled...a couple times. I felt SO bad. My son is a highly sensitive kid (born on the solstice, during a lunar eclipse and a massive thunderstorm...) am I like that normally? No. I have more patience with my kids than I ever thought possible. Am I AP? Who knows. I hate lables, and I am a huge believer in 'take what you need, leave what you don't' I bf until my kids weren't interested anymore, around 10 mo for both. Could I have encouraged them to continue? Sure, but who are they continuing for? I don't vax, but use disposable diapers. I also recycle, compost, eat organic when I can, and love my kids to pieces. My kids have cried for extended periods of time, but not as a rule. My son is intact. Am I perfect? Hell no. Therefor, I can't judge. I never get involved in the 'flaming' here, or the debates, b/c I feel everyone has a right to their opinion, and its not how I'd like to be treated. I value this board tremendously for the wealth of info it has to offer. I don't always love the drama. But, what's life without a little drama?
post #32 of 115
Quote:
Originally posted by mothersong

I still don't think if I had come here and posted about how sad and irritating it was that the one mom was screaming at her child that I would have been doing that mom a great disservice. For all I know she is also a great AP mom, just having a bad moment. I didn't tell her to her face I thought she was being rude to her own child, and she would never know that I came here and said that she was.
You're missing my point. It isn't just about that mother, it is about all mothers. I truly feel that bashing one mother is bashing us all, especially in a forum such as this where the primary goal is supposed to be to make it easier for parents, not harder.

Honestly, the more I think about this, the more it upsets me. I've posted here off and on for over two years, but have less than a hundred posts primarily for this reason, the finger-pointing at "those" parents is ongoing and contrary to what I perceive the mission of these boards to be.
post #33 of 115
Great OP! I totally agree. I do my best not to judge "those" parents when I'm out. I DO consider what a rough day they must be having. Just last Friday, I saw a dad get really frustrated with his hysterical 2 year old at Circuit City, grabbing him and kind of shaking him. I felt badly for them both--it was late, I'm sure they were both tired. Today, completely out of character for him, my 22 mo son went into complete hysterics as we pulled into the grocery store parking lot. I had to get milk, so I had to choice. I am 40 weeks preg, and it was a blizzard, and man what a struggle! All eyes were on me for 10 minutes as he screamed through the store. Very stressful.

I also agree with Piglet's post. . .
Quote:
I feel that (and maybe I'm wrong) if you are secure in your choices and your parenting then it just shouldn't affect you.
I don't care for labels and don't consider myself AP (and have always been a bit bothered by the long sig lines touting how AP one is, like it's a contest). But I'm a homebirther. I'm a breast-feeder. We eat mostly all organic/natural foods. We see a holistic ped. I selectively vax. My son is intact. We don't hit. I do my best not to raise my voice. I do cloth diaper (although I just recently switched). We co-sleep, but only sometimes. I recycle, I'm a conservationist. We don't do fast food. We have wooden toys and playsilks. I'm very practical. I shop at the resale store and buy used cloth diapers. The sling never really worked for us. But, I also live in a big suburban house, and drive a big SUV, and wear a diamond, and have a cleaning service and a part-time nanny. I get my hair high-lighted. I'm a lawyer. We have a second home on a lake. I have an occasional cocktail and a cigarette.

I guess my point is that it's tough to label people, although "we" do it all the time.

What I do know is that I love my kids more than anything and am doing my very best to raise them. I'm really secure with the choices dh and I make, and how we're raising the kids. (oh and everyone is always telling me how great my kids are! )

I hope I haven't strayed from the OP, but I've also struggled with/wondered about this since I've been at MDC.
post #34 of 115
I'm not missing your point, I just don't agree with you.

I can see what you are saying if moms are tearing each other down IRL over these things. I agree that moms in general have a hard road to hoe, and are more in need of encouragement than harrassment.

I just don't think that having people post about anonymous moms (or dads) doing things they perceive as wrong, or non-AP or whatever is all that counter-productive. In fact, I think that if a person is inclined to vent about that kind of stuff, on line is a far better place than their playgoup. If I vent to my best friend about someone in the local mall, the possibility that someone will actually know that mom and she will get her feelings hurt is far more real than people complaining online.

Should we not ever talk about people we see or what we see that offends or irritates us? I don't know. That seems to be what you are saying, and although I see the point, I think it is unrealistic to think that no one will ever comment on poor parenting on a parenting board.

And does that differ from the mission of these boards? I don't know that either. To me the boards are what the users want them to be. If lots of users like coming here to vent, then maybe that is a mission of this board. To be honest, I hadn't noticed it until this thread. I suppose I just skim right over that stuff because it doesn't interest me much.
post #35 of 115
I get upset when I think how people are probably judging me. I get really stressed when I am out alone with both kids. I am just a high strung person. So when I am at some place like today at the chiropractors office (they both had to go) and I am trying to get Olivia's snowsuit on while Elijah is over by the coffee maker attempting to pour some, so I'm putting Olivia down and running over to stop him and by the time I go back she has toddled off down the hall, so I run after her and when I get back Elijah has dumped the box of toys in the waiting room. By this time I am stressed! So I am telling him to pick up the toys, Elijah listen to me pick up the toys, pick up the toys right now, PICK UP THE TOYS. Olivia is trying to run away from me and swatting my face. Olivia don't hit mommy, Olivia stop that, Olivia stop that - getting very stressed and probably looking incredibly pissed off. Finally get her into her snowsuit, pick up the damn toys myself (if you know how to force a spirited 3 year old to pick up toys let me know), find Elijah over by the complementary fruit tray biting 3 different apples. Grab him a bit yoo roughly by the arm, take him over, throw out apples, make him apologize to receptionists for wasting the fruit, get his jacket and shoes on. Stick her in the sling, grab his hand, head out the door. And the second it shuts I am sure people are thinking or talking about what a spaz i am and how i am so stressed out, I shouldn't have kids or something, or worse, thinking I'm abusive. All because my kids are both spirited live wires who don't stand still for two seconds. I'm sure there have been many comments about me even though I consider myself a good mom.
post #36 of 115
Quote:
Originally posted by mothersong
Should we not ever talk about people we see or what we see that offends or irritates us? I don't know... I think it is unrealistic to think that no one will ever comment on poor parenting on a parenting board.
I think it's the tone of the threads that is the problem. A lot of times it does feel very judgemental and self-aggrandizing.

I agree that it's unrealistic to expect people not to talk about it but I have to question their motives, sometimes. I think some people just like to bash "mainstream" moms because it makes them feel good.
post #37 of 115
I am glad mamas have been able to express themselves so well here. I have been feeling this, too. I have a daughter who I adopted, couldn't induce lactation, she has trouble with her tummy and her foster family found a formula that works for her before we adopted her, and we continue to use that (gasp!) formula. I still sting from a remark that was made somewhere on the boards about formula maybe being as bad as blue kool-aid. There is a lot of judgement here.

And if my baby falls asleep in the carseat, I am not waking her up to put her in the sling so I can look "in tune" with her. She'd be pissed.

And another thing....no, actually, I am done for now.

L.
post #38 of 115
Quote:
Originally posted by Piglet68
Why do you care, though?

I mean seriously, when I read people slagging vaccinations I don't take it the least bit personally. They are passionate about something - good for them. Since I'm totally secure in my choices it really doesn't bother me. I love reading about homebirths, and the cracks about women scheduling C-sections often make me laugh, too. And guess who scheduled her C/S? So why should it bother anybody? I just don't get it. I feel that (and maybe I'm wrong) if you are secure in your choices and your parenting then it just shouldn't affect you.
Exactly.

Lord knows I'm sure my neighbors (and lord knows who else) judges me all the time for my choices (I'm having a homebirth, for one, nursing so long, for another...)

so what?

I do wince when I see kids at the park holding Goldfish. But that's just me. I'm allowed to think it's gross. Just like everyone else around me is allowed to have their opinions about me. (Just don't tell me to my face... because you are going to get an earful!)

Even some of my best AP mama friends offer their kids "junk" on occassion - Something I'd never do - but they are still GREAT mamas! (And I would NEVER tell them to their face. But it is my personal pet peeve. Soda? {Shiver.} ) Nobody is perfect. I'm not perfect. We are all doing the best we can.

But I could really care LESS what a complete stranger at the airport or mall thought of my parenting style.

Heavenly, I really sympathize with you (and others) who get so caught up in what other people are thinking. That's really self-torture and awful to live with. But you are just adding a burden to yourself. You really don't KNOW what they are thinking. Again, you have to remind yourself you ARE a great mama and doing the best you can at the moment.

And look, IF your kids are fussing (and what child doesn't) then you deal with it as best you can and everyone else can go jump a bridge!

Leatherette, yeah, I know there is a lot a judgement against FF and that's a shame. I don't share that view. And this is coming from someone who BF her son for 3.5 yrs. It's just not MY hot button. FF doesn't equal bad mothering to me at all.

I like what Mothersong is saying.

Personally, I strive not to be judgemental. (For example, I am all pro natural birth, but I don't feel one bit harsh against moms who choose epidurals or had Csecs). Who the hell am I? (But Goldfish or McDonald's, sorry, yuck.) :LOL
post #39 of 115
I almost feel like it isn't my place to comment, since I only have like 10 or so posts myself, but I lurk and learn alot here, so here is my take.

Even though it shouldn't matter how other people are judging us, it is still hurtful. I believe that all mothers love their children infinitely and are doing their very best at raising them. Mothering is such an important and personal job that it hurts when somebody suggests that we are doing it wrong. I have been hurt by comments made on these boards, and by comments in real life. Even if we don't agree with what a mother is doing, I think that we should remember that she is doing her best.

I know a mom in real life that visited these boards on my suggestion, and she was quickly turned off by attachment parenting because of the judgements that she found here. She felt overwhelmed by all of the things that she was doing "wrong" and I think it was easier for her to label attachment parenting as militant than to examine her own parenting choices in light of new information. Of course, turning away from attachment parenting was her choice, but I wonder how often that has happened with other moms?

You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. If we can be gentle and gracious in our dealings with other parents, maybe they can be more accepting of our choices, and even learn something from us.

I do understand the desire to vent, but I agree with Mindful Mom,
Quote:
Instead of coming here and complaining about "the poor crying baby in the plastic bucket", maybe we could come here and share what we did to help mom and baby.
post #40 of 115
Heavenly- hey, that's my life you're describing!!! I really do mean that. Holy cow!

Leatherette, I once read where someone said that mothers who don't breastfeed their children should give them up for adoption to someone who would. As an adoptive mum I'll bet you appreciate the irony of that one! Shortly thereafter was when I quit coming here for a while. So I guess I do think that all the snarking does hurt, but I don't want to be in a position where I'm telling someone else what they can say, KWIM? :
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