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post #61 of 115
Quote:
Originally posted by Benjismom
I was thinking more about this thread and I think the difference between me and some of the mamas that are defending the venting is that I find that in myself once I start judging in one place, I kind of give myself permission to be more judgmental overall. So then it leads generally to more judgmentalism on my part, which I'm trying to avoid. Whereas I am hearing that for some of you ,expressing your feelings here is a sort of safety valve that helps you be less judgmental (or less expressive of it) in real life. This is food for thought for me since it's not how I am.
What I have found is that I sooo hate the judgementalism I find here that when I feel myself start to make a snap judgement IRL I realize I'm doing exactly what I don't like to see others do and it humbles me and reminds me to take off the judgement hat.
post #62 of 115
Just for the record, I doubt I would have thought you were one of "those" mothers. You DID tend to their needs as soon as you could. The only mothers I would even think "please pick that baby up" about would be those that continue to do all of their shopping with a screaming baby in a car seat. You know, the ones that won't even make eye contact with their baby or try to sooth them with their voice. They totally ignore the child. Sorry, that does bug me.
post #63 of 115
Quote:
Originally posted by suseyblue
so, in advance: if you see me bitching, it wasn't you. really. i'm 99.9% sure. ok?
I've been thinking about this thread, and I've decided that this is why venting online doesn't bother me. When I see threads with people complaining, to me it is the action, not the person, they are complaining about.

So, for instance, if someone talks about seeing someone with a screaming child in the grocery store, it isn't so much that mom that they are talking about, it is the letting the child scream part. That mom could be a perfectly wonderful mother, and the poster doesn't know it or not. In fact, I assume the poster doesn't care. If that mom *is* wonderful, certainly there are enough other moms who just let their child scream. That's why it bothers people enough to vent in the first place.

If I read about someone who saw someone else letting their baby scream in the grocery, I don't think about the last time my baby screamed in the grocery store and think it could be me. Even though my kids have screamed for different reasons in the store, I know that I am not one of those moms who will just let a baby cry and cry without doing something about it. If it happens to look like that to other people now and again, it still isn't the way it is. I don't identify with moms who can ignore their screaming children, so I figure it doesn't matter.

Nor do I think that the poster thinks that particular mom is a horrible, terrible mother. Maybe that's how it comes out, but really they don't know that mom or have any idea what kind of mother she is. Everyone who has a child knows that things happen sometimes despite our best efforts. They just hate the idea of screaming babies, and that incident brought it out.
post #64 of 115
Quote:
Originally posted by suseyblue
we've been over the fact that those of us who consider ourselves militant bfers are NOT judging ffers who adopted, had reconstructive surgery, breast cancer, etc. can there be one place we can just rip our hair out & go 'ACCCKKKK!'?
Exactly. When I hear people complain about how "judgmental" everybody here is, I wonder how many other online forums they've hung out on. Yes, we have our weirdos here, our extremists, our post-before-you-think types....but I honestly think it is unfair to decide that MDC is so judgemental. I really have to say, and I mean this in a loving way, if reading strangers venting online upsets you that much, you should really do some soul-searching to find out why you need that sort of validation? Overall, I see FAR more loving support here than nasty judgementalness (is that a word? ). How many "I'm a bad mama threads" pop up here where everybody reassures the OP that she is just a normal mama having a normal mama moment. Where are the judgmental comments then?

And I really, really feel the need to address the signature thing. I have heard a number of times how some people interpret that as bragging about how AP you are. Well again, I ask what are your own issues? Because I don't see it that way at all. If your friend ran a 20 k marathon and got a shirt attesting to that, would you consider her wearing it to be bragging? Would you feel "insulted" because YOU can't run a 20 k marathon? Of course not! You're proud of your friend for achieving something that a) meant a lot to her and b) required a whole lot of effort. And since you could care less about running a 20 k marathon the fact that you are currently physically incapable of doing that doesn't make you instantly feel like a failure, does it?

I actually got in a huge flame war on a mainstream board once b/c a FF mom decided my "proud BFing" signature was somehow implying that she had nothign to be proud of for going right to formula. Well, dammit, exclusively BFing a child for six months was something I DID have to work hard at, in terms of battling a society where it's normal to feed pudding to a 3 month old and nobody has ever HEARD of a baby who has never had a bottle. I had stupid docs telling me, in my deeply emotional post-partum state, that I was going to have to supplement b/c my healthy, peeing-and-pooping like a racehorse, 4 day old baby was "losing too much weight". I'm proud of those things but it sure doesn't mean that I'm slagging anybody who used a bottle! So when you read a signature, why can't you just be happy and proud for that mama that she did the research, battled the odds, and accomplished something she wanted to. I could care less if her goals aren't the same as mine.

There, got that off my chest!

Quote:
Originally posted by mothersong
When I see threads with people complaining, to me it is the action, not the person, they are complaining about.
EXACTLY.
post #65 of 115
thank you piglet.

funny i should happen onto this thread this evening. thus far, i have had a week that would make a saint scream obscenties. i have been far from the loving ap mama that i strive to be and more like mommie dearest.

am i a bad mother? no. would someone say i was a bad mother judging by some of the incidents that we have had the misfortune of experiencing this week? ooooooh yeah.

all in all, this is a really supportive community. everyone b!tches from time to time. this is really one of the least judgemental online communies that i have ever come across. i wish rl was like it is here. if someone does say something that might come across as judgemental there is always someone near to give an alternate pov and a gentle reminder that we don't walk in one another's shoes. i have yet to see offense taken at such a reminder.

i think my point is here that we all have our moments and we all do the best we can.
post #66 of 115
Quote:
Originally posted by Benjismom
I was thinking more about this thread and I think the difference between me and some of the mamas that are defending the venting is that I find that in myself once I start judging in one place, I kind of give myself permission to be more judgmental overall. So then it leads generally to more judgmentalism on my part, which I'm trying to avoid. Whereas I am hearing that for some of you ,expressing your feelings here is a sort of safety valve that helps you be less judgmental (or less expressive of it) in real life. This is food for thought for me since it's not how I am.

Still thinking

Beth, Mom to Benji and Maggie
I get what you are saying, but it took me like 10 reads before I did!:LOL you are talking around and over my head! that was a meaty paragraph (dense with muscle mass and takes a while to digest ) and no, I am not a vegetarian

:LOL :LOL :LOL
post #67 of 115
Mindful Mom-I tend to agree with you. These boards, and others, can seem judegmental sometimes. But I really think a lot of this stems from the perils of email and posts-you can't always read tone. And we all don't really *know* each other and each other's situations.

I've only been a mom for 2 years now (with my 2nd child on the way), but I've learned in that short amount of time that I was being judegmental about some other mothering choices.

I have a good example (and I'm not sure if this is a bit OT, or not). I was at our local park about 1 year ago. I saw a middle-aged woman with 1 child on the swing. I saw standing near her, a young-ish, college-aged woman talking to a child in a stroller. By the way they were interacting and speaking to each other, I gathered that the young woman was the older woman's nanny. I started getting all my judegmental thoughts about nanny-care, about people hiring others to take care of their kids (there I live neighbors on an affluent area where there are lots of nannies). Two seconds later, I saw these women and children getting ready to leave the park. I saw the mother go to the stroller and hoist/carry a young girl out who obviously was profoundly disabled. The "nanny" helped the woman's toddler off the swing.

I ended up meeting this woman later that same week. Turns out her child is brain damaged. She also had a young toddler.

Don't know if this makes sense. Just was a glaring lesson for me about judging a mother's choices. We never know WHY someone makes the choices they do, minor or major decisions. And just taking a few seconds to remember that and forget the judgement has really helped me grow.
post #68 of 115
And if the mother in question had in fact been hiring a nanny so she could resume her important career doing cancer research, would she be any less of a good mother? Is the father less of a father if he goes back to work and hires outside childcare?

It's not about well, we don't know the unique situation, maybe they are doing their best to adhere to *our* views of "right parenting", it's that each is following their own path of parenting, there's no one right way, and it is not our place to judge.
post #69 of 115
Quote:
Originally posted by Piglet68


And I really, really feel the need to address the signature thing. I have heard a number of times how some people interpret that as bragging about how AP you are. Well again, I ask what are your own issues? Because I don't see it that way at all. If your friend ran a 20 k marathon and got a shirt attesting to that, would you consider her wearing it to be bragging? Would you feel "insulted" because YOU can't run a 20 k marathon? Of course not! You're proud of your friend for achieving something that a) meant a lot to her and b) required a whole lot of effort. And since you could care less about running a 20 k marathon the fact that you are currently physically incapable of doing that doesn't make you instantly feel like a failure, does it?
See, I would ask the converse question: Why do people feel a need to announce that their child is "cd'd, non-vaxed, non-circ'd, EBF'd, worn, co-sleeping, all-organic vegan"? I can understand being proud of the fact that you're EBF; I'm rather proud of it myself. I'm honestly impressed with myself every time I get Eli situated over my giant belly and nurse him becasue that's what he needs. But I don't feel a need to say that in my sig file because to me that's just begging for approval. I can't see any reason to put into a signature that my kids aren't vaccinated except to say "I do more AP stuff than you". It doesn't seem to me to be a matter of pride, but hubris. Subtle distinction, perhaps, but that's how I see it.

So no, it doesn't make me feel like a failure, but it does make me roll my eyes a bit. We all come here for validation and support because we're making decisions that are different from the "mainstream"; do we really need to prove just how different we are, or to get special recognition? Those signature files don't make me think "What a dedicated, thoughtful mamma"; they make me wonder why some people feel a need to prove just how different they are, as if just having a quote or a picture of their child isn't enough to "prove" that they belong here.
post #70 of 115
Quote:
Originally posted by Piglet68
I really have to say, and I mean this in a loving way, if reading strangers venting online upsets you that much, you should really do some soul-searching to find out why you need that sort of validation?
I can't speak for the OP, but I will for myself. The judgementalism doesn't insult me or make me feel bad about my parenting choices. That's not why it bothers me. It bothers me because sometimes it's just pointlessly negative and it just brings down the general helpful - happy nature of the boards. I'm not sure that makes sense, but if I read a thread like that it just makes me feel negative-icky and that's not why I enjoy being a part of MDC.

I mean I understand when someone posts and says I saw a child being hit in the grocery store, should I have done something, or I did this and was it the right thing? Those post I think are helpful and important.

But a post that says this kid was in their baby bucket and the mother ignored him blah blah blah - how does that do anyone any good? I guess I don't see any inherent value in complaining about someone I don't know and don't want to help. Why come here just to bitch about a stranger? What is the purpose of the vent if not to point fingers and say - we'll we're all better than that mother?

Maybe we all just view MDC in different ways. For me this is a place to support and help mothers. I come here both to get advice and to give it - not to put other mothers down because they don't do the same things I do.

I also think that as a mother of three I've been knocked off my high horse enough to not ride it as often. My kids are all so different and the way I parent each one is so different because of that - that I don't believe that AP techniques must be followed to the letter in order for one to qualify as a good mom.
Quote:
Originally posted by Piglet68
Overall, I see FAR more loving support here than nasty judgementalness (is that a word? ).
This is usually true and that is why I love it here , but that doesn't mean it couldn't be better.
post #71 of 115
Well, you raise some very good points, eilonwy.

Your post made me realize, that this is perhaps more of what we are talking about. Because both you and I are making assumptions about what lies behind the sig.

I'm assuming that people are just proud of the choices they've made (b/c IME, those who choose to go against the norm tend to have a harder time making and defending those choices) and just pleased that they can announce that they cosleep, EBF or whatever and not feel an outcast or abnormal.

You're assuming that they have some need to brag about how AP they are, like it's a contest.

Hey, maybe you're right and I'm wrong. But it just reminds me of this whole thread being about making assumptions. Why jump to the "nasty" one first? Whether it's "wow, she must be ignoring her baby deliberately, what a bad mother" versus "maybe she's having a bad day, wonder if I can help". OR "why does she have to brag about not vaxing in her sig - she must think she's so great!" versus "hey, she's proud of making a tough decision that went against the grain, and probably so happy to find a place where she can announce it with pride and not be flamed".

The big philosophical question here is: whether one is the "optimist" interpreter or the "pessimist" interpreter, does that reflect more on us and our own personal issues? or on the person we're judging?
post #72 of 115
I think I may have originally bashed the sig lines. I was going to respond to Piglet's point about the sig lines, but eilonwy got there first, and basically said what I would have said.

Then, Piglet posts again and makes another good point! I guess when I first came to MDC, I saw the "AP laundry list" sig lines as being a bragging contest. But now that I've been here a while, I can see how they are also (or instead? I'm not sure) just a matter of pride.

And I realized that for a long time my sig line said, along with my kids' name and b-days, "planning the homebirth of #3 mid-march." hmmmm. . . pot, this is the kettle??
post #73 of 115
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by dotcommama
I can't speak for the OP, but I will for myself. The judgementalism doesn't insult me or make me feel bad about my parenting choices. That's not why it bothers me. It bothers me because sometimes it's just pointlessly negative and it just brings down the general helpful - happy nature of the boards. I'm not sure that makes sense, but if I read a thread like that it just makes me feel negative-icky and that's not why I enjoy being a part of MDC.


Exactly -- when I read a post that seems to have been made for the sole purpose of being critical or negative, I wonder what the point is. What does ANYONE stand to gain from it? Would it make me feel badly about my parenting choices? Maybe yes, maybe no -- it would depend on the issue and on how I was feeling that particular day.

It's been suggested that one would only feel badly if one were insecure about one's parenting choices --- I think this is untrue. I thinks it's possible to be very secure about your parenting choices but still find harsh and judgemental comments unsettling and hurtful -- especially when they're made in/by a community of supposedly like-minded mothers.

I'm going out on a limb here, but sometimes I think that some AP parents get a bit of a rush by being outside the mainstream. Maybe it feels good to point out how different we are? Maybe posts about "those" mothers are a good venue in which to highlight how different we are from the "mainstream" (for lack of a better term). Maybe the same can be said of the signiture lines -- that they're a list of how "non-mainstream" someone is.

I'm not saying it's necessarily a bad thing to want to stand out from the mainstream -- especially our current mainstream -- but maybe there are more constructive ways to do it.

Just musing....
post #74 of 115
I am sure that the sig lines have a different intent depending on the person who writes them, and have a different effect depending on who reads them.

If someone reads a particularly judgemental post, and then sees the sig line with the list of all the "right" things to have in a sig line, they may think the poster is a judgemental bragger. If that same person with the awesome AP mama credentials in her sig line writes a kind and non-judgemental post, a person who reads the post is not apt to see any type of self-aggrandizing in the sig line.

I think a lot of us feel like we don't fit neatly into the categories, either, and have trouble believing that so many others do. Like, I co-sleep, breast fed, use gentle discipline, eat vegetarian, use a sling, support local businesses and charitable causes, etc, etc, but there are a lot of "buts".

We cosleep with two children, but, we put our son to bed in his room each night, lay down with him until he's asleep, and when he comes into our bed later, at whatever time it is that he wants to, he's welcome.

I went into labor at 6 months. My birth became a medical birth before I had even really thought about what type of birth I wanted.

I breastfed my son until he was practically self-weaned - but, I pushed it along a little because I had recurring mastitis that was totally debilitating me. My daughter is formula fed because she's adopted and I could not induce lactation. And she uses a pacifier - she doesn't know what a breast is, and wouldn't go near mine when I offered it as a pacifier.

I use gentle discipline, but I use time outs. What I call a time-out is sitting on a chair, talking to mommy about the behavior and how it makes people feel, and making a plan to get along once out of the time out. There is no shutting of doors or timers.

We're vegetarian, raise our own chickens to have cruelty free eggs, but we eat some junk food. Okay, my DH and I eat lots of junk food, but my kid has just a little bit. We buy organic when it looks good and is affordable.

My daughter loves the sling. She wants to be in it 90% of her awake time, and most of her nap times. I'd like her to like being in it 60% of her awake time, and fewer of her nap times. When my back isn't killing me, I love it.

I use cloth diapers, but I am not "into" them. We use a service, and we use disposables when we travel.

I support local businesses whenever I can, but go to chains when I can't find what I need at the local businesses. Or when I don't have time to search extensively.

I think there's a two line limit on the sig line, and I can't present myself as being this or that and feel honest about it without all the "buts" in there. I think that that may be what some people here are talking about.

L.
post #75 of 115
starting over, sigh, nak baby just erased post (sigh)

the 'point' is some kind of 'i'm not crazy!' validation. if you live in an ap kinda community, i'm glad for you. but when irl you are practically the ONLY person you know who even *considered* bfing, let alone radical things like attending to your wailing child, sometimes it's nice to put the shoe on the other foot- the 'your parenting is lousy, not mine' foot, instead of having your whole universe united in thinking what a loon you are for cosleeping, etc. yes, it's defensive, it's wrong, yadda yadda.

do you mean to tell me everyone here is (or should be) so karmically pure that irl, with like-minded folk, you never raise an eyebrow to your friends when you see someone giving their 6 wk old baby coke in a bottle?

the world needs kindness and understanding, so believe me, i am not advocating a perpetual bitchfest with nothing good to say. i get your points. it's all true. but the world needs radicals unafraid to be get-in-your-face blunt about wrongful deeds, as well. (and irl AND online, how many more moms get praise for 'attempting' to bf and succor for 'failing', than someone gutsy enough to tell them the truth? we need people brave enough for that too.

i think a vent here keeps us in good practise for when those times may be necessary, and offers up multiple viewpoints to reflect upon before opening one's mouth. i posit that the 'vent' posts are a valid expression indulged in not only by mean and negative people trying to feel superior, but by people trying to do their best with strong opposition, and that in the long run, they foster empathy, courage, and kindness.

baby is wiggly, so i'm not sure if i'm making sense (and no doubt offending many with my judgmentalism, sigh, but baby is gonna 'edit' me again in a minute if i don't just post, so...)

suse
post #76 of 115
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by suseyblue
starting over, sigh, nak baby just erased post (sigh)

the 'point' is some kind of 'i'm not crazy!' validation. if you live in an ap kinda community, i'm glad for you. but when irl you are practically the ONLY person you know who even *considered* bfing, let alone radical things like attending to your wailing child, sometimes it's nice to put the shoe on the other foot- the 'your parenting is lousy, not mine' foot, instead of having your whole universe united in thinking what a loon you are for cosleeping, etc. yes, it's defensive, it's wrong, yadda yadda.
I suppose I can see what you're saying....if I were constantly feeling isolated by and judged for my parenting choices I might be more quick to judge others. I still don't think judgement is a great practice (especially as it relates to the AP lifestyle), but I can see how one would feel the need...

This brings up another interesting point though... I don't think I live in a super-AP-friendly type of community, but I've never really encountered much resistance with regard to our parenting choices. Sure, there have been some well-intentioned -- but stupid and wrong -- comments from family, as well as some looks of shock from people when they find out we cloth-diaper. Some friends might "warn" us about co-sleeping. Most (actually, nearly all!) of my friends BF, some co-sleep, others don't. Most do Feberize at some poing, but don't ever suggest we should do the same. But, people mostly just acknowledge that we do our thing and they do theirs.

Do most people have different experiences? Do you think these experiences might contribute to the tendency to rush to judgement?
post #77 of 115
Just a thought...


I wonder if those types of threads are not so much bashing the mother at the grocery store (who certainly could be any of us many times), but rather an expression of frustration about certain parenting practices, and those feelings are just triggered by a glimpse of someone doing something that reminds of of the things we disagree with?

(Okay, please don't grade my grammar there - I've got all sorts of English no-nos in there!)

Not saying this makes it ok, but just wondering if this is what goes on sometimes...
post #78 of 115
I don't see the problem with sig posts with mom's indicating how AP they are. As a matter of fact it is quite refreshing when i see at the sig line.. mom to breastfeeding, intact , co-sleeping or what have you children because i start sensing a sisterhood and thinking "Hey there are other people who do what i try to do or believe as i do" It gets pretty lonely out in the mainstream when all the media , other magazines and friends and co-workers are telling you how unsanitary it is to have an intact male or how emotionally unhealthy co-sleeping is.
I say....keep it up with the sigs....i need to know you are out there!!
post #79 of 115
Quote:
Originally posted by Mindful Mom
I don't think I live in a super-AP-friendly type of community, but I've never really encountered much resistance with regard to our parenting choices. Sure, there have been some well-intentioned -- but stupid and wrong -- comments from family, as well as some looks of shock from people when they find out we cloth-diaper. Some friends might "warn" us about co-sleeping. Most (actually, nearly all!) of my friends BF, some co-sleep, others don't. Most do Feberize at some poing, but don't ever suggest we should do the same. But, people mostly just acknowledge that we do our thing and they do theirs.

Do most people have different experiences? Do you think these experiences might contribute to the tendency to rush to judgement?
This has basically been my experience, too. Mostly people are curious about the way we do things.
post #80 of 115
there's a difference between 'not esp super' ap communities, and ones where people give 6 week old babies coca-cola, imho (making me feel rather elitist, but oh well.) i'm not feeling esp bashed, and i'm old enough to (mostly) shrug off the ignorant, but it's more the unconscious assumptions that *everyone* gives their baby a bottle (let alone of coca-cola.) go to 'bfing support' & do a search for people getting hassled for nip, you know? hardly just my imagination (& yes, it happened to me, & i'm not sure if it's archived here or not. even me, who has been nursing off & on for over 17 years, started twitching when someone managerial got snippy at the golden arches. letters & lawyers never got me so much as an apology. i think we've got a long way to go.)

i was wondering- is it ok when someone goes to 'parents as partners' and vents when their dh sends their dipes on thru without a second rinse and they turn out crunchy? is it wrong to vent at your neighbor's barking dog, that you can't otherwise do crap about? surely we owe the rest of the world (partners & neighbors included) our positive vibes, not just this pantheon of abstract mamas who may or may not get their panties in a wad thinking 'omg, they mean me!' do y'all get what i'm saying here?

should we petition cynthia to start censoring any post with negative energy? it does abound here, & not just towards mamas. (there was an esp mean thread about meg ryan's plastic surgery. what if she read it!) and let's not even get into the things said about conservative mamas, over in activism.

(i'm using absurd examples to get people thinking, for those who don't 'get' hyperbole. please god, everyone does think these examples are absurd, right? :P)

how 'bout: if it says 'vent' in the title, & you only get bad vibes out of it, you skip it? i kind of like free speech (or as free as it gets on a moderated message board.)

suse
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