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Not trying to offend. please help!

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Hi gals,

I have a unique situation and need some advice. 

I am SAHM to 2 boys and pretty crunchy by most accounts. I love to spend time with my mommy friends and their kids. Problem is, of late, I think that some of my opinions are getting in the way of friendships. I admit that I need to watch my brain to mouth (or hands on FB) filter, but I really never intended to offend anyone. I realize that some of the subjects are taboo and I really just want everyone to feel they have open communication about them. 

 

I feel like I am finally realizing the big picture in my own life as a woman and a parent, and just want people to know it is okay to go against the "status quo" and do what they feel is right in their heart. 

 

I am an active intactivist and lactivist, as well as a promoter of benefits of natural birth and avoiding unneccesarean. I have seen women get the shaft by the birthing system, and it really makes me sad. I have had a few call me out on it, saying their feelings were hurt by me stating my opinions, never directed at them, mind you. I guess I can see their POV, but it is hard for me to walk the line between staying true to myself and not making people mad. 

 

Anyone else have this issue? crap.gif

post #2 of 16

I don't know what to say about FB, but IRL what do you think would happen if you asked people questions about their experiences rather than shared information and answers? How would you feel about yourself?

post #3 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by cyclamen View Post

I don't know what to say about FB, but IRL what do you think would happen if you asked people questions about their experiences rather than shared information and answers? How would you feel about yourself?



Yeah... I used to be a bull in a china shop.  Turning it around to a "guided self discovery" via leading questions has been an absolute blessing.  redface.gif

post #4 of 16

I think there's a lot in the saying "be the change". You don't need to give your opinion or convince others (I've also had to learn this lesson) - just do what you do. Now that my kids are a little older I just don't feel the need to get into a lot of those hot topics. I just do what I do and don't get bent out of shape about what other people choose to do.

post #5 of 16

A good rule of thumb in these situations is to only offer your opinion when it's asked of you.

 

I guess to help see what it is like for others and why they may be offended, say your facebook post was "2 year breastfeeding milestone!"  And someone posted  "you know, that's just the breastfeeding nazis that say you have to, you need to exercize your choice to use formula".

post #6 of 16

Honestly it's hard to really get a sense of what is going one without a few examples.  Meaning...if you are saying things like "man, I was SO glad I didn't get an epidural" in a discussion that is already about birth experiences, well then I think the problem is with them. 

 

But, if a mamma comments about how expensive formula is and you say something like "well if you were BFing you wouldn't have that expense, plus BM is so much better for the baby anyway," well then I would say that you need to start thinking about what you are saying.

 

One thing to also think about is the tone of voice you are using.  My sister has this tone of voice when talking about all things parenting that make it sound like she thinks she knows EVERYTHING about all of it, and especially more than I do.  Now, my sister has a step son who is with them 7 days out of 14, and a 4 year old boy.  I have 3 girls, one is a teen, 1 two year old and 1 baby, so it kinda bugs me when she says things with that tone.  But, as things have progressed, I have learned that she doesn't even realize she sounds like that.  She's not trying to sound superior, she's just sharing her expriences and it just comes out that way.  So maybe think not so much about what you are saying, but how it really sounds when you say it.   

post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by APvegmama View Post
 avoiding unneccesarean

This phrase in particular is bothersome to me. If someone says it, I tune that person out and probably will try not to be around them. I went into trauma in labor with my son. He was not breathing when he was born and had to be rushed out. Specialists were everywhere. They pulled my husband from the room because they didn't know if I would survive. Now I know that doesn't count as "unnecessary." It absolutely was necessary, but your phrase is tossed around by people who really don't ever seem to understand how it feels to have a c-section. I'm not very nice in return to people who go on & on & on about "natural childbirth" and how their children are so.much.better off because they didn't have a c-section, as if it's a badge of honor that the rest of us are just too crappy to handle. So, yeah, your terminology is likely offensive to people who've had different experiences. 
 

post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by APvegmama View Post

I feel like I am finally realizing the big picture in my own life as a woman and a parent, and just want people to know it is okay to go against the "status quo" and do what they feel is right in their heart. 

 

 

I understand how good it feels to knowing your heart that you are making good decisions for your family, and that you are doing your absolute best by them. It's important to remember that although other people might make different choices than you, it's possible that they feel the same way about their lives. When it comes to our children, it's difficult to hear a person's opinion as activism, when it feels like a judgement against our carefully-thought-through decisions. If going against the 'status-quo' on a specific issue really felt right in their heart, they probably would have! People become a lot more willing to seek out your opinion or support, and receptive to your ideas, when you show them that you believe they are capable parents who are doing the best for their families that they can.

post #9 of 16

I agree with so much of what has been said (including Visionary Mom about the c-section, never assume someone didn't try and not ALL of them are uneccesary).  I think a lot of us on here have strong differing views from the "main stream".  I struggle with getting worked up when I disagree with what someone it doing/thinking/saying, especially involving birth or parenting.  This is my new mantra that I think we would all do well to accept:  "Everyone makes the choice they believe is best for them and their family based on their experience and beliefs about XY or Z"   Bottom line is they have every right to make and stand behind their choices as do we.  That doesn't mean we can't disagree but they probably think we are wrong just as we think they are.    We can share what we do and why but each person can, will and SHOULD make their own choice.

post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by VisionaryMom View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by APvegmama View Post
 avoiding unneccesarean

This phrase in particular is bothersome to me. If someone says it, I tune that person out and probably will try not to be around them. I went into trauma in labor with my son. He was not breathing when he was born and had to be rushed out. Specialists were everywhere. They pulled my husband from the room because they didn't know if I would survive. Now I know that doesn't count as "unnecessary." It absolutely was necessary, but your phrase is tossed around by people who really don't ever seem to understand how it feels to have a c-section. I'm not very nice in return to people who go on & on & on about "natural childbirth" and how their children are so.much.better off because they didn't have a c-section, as if it's a badge of honor that the rest of us are just too crappy to handle. So, yeah, your terminology is likely offensive to people who've had different experiences. 
 



I agree.  Using terms like "unneccesarean" is not educating anyone - it's simply off-putting and will instantly put people on the defensive.  I didn't have a c-section, but that's just the way it worked out for me.  Who would I be to decide if it was "necessary" or not for another mom, or make she feel like she had to explain why this happened to her? 

 

You can stay "true to yourself", and continue making choices for yourself, without broadcasting your choices to the world.  I'm guessing they know your viewpoints at this point, so if they want to know more, they can come to you if they choose.  And there is a time and place for everything.

 

While I've respected moms who do things a different way and certainly never commented upon their choices, I was not big into breastfeeding, and have recommended the epidural, personally (those temporary issues do lose the intense urgency as your child gets older and you see your thriving, hardy child grow) - but an issue I do feel strongly about is vegetarianism.  However I never cram it down anyone's throat, I don't get heavy about my stance.  People notice sometimes, and if they ask me about it, that's when I'll tell them about my choice.  That's it.  No friendships have been jeopardized by it, maybe they got to see a different viewpoint, and we're all good.

 

post #11 of 16

Most people don't take kindly to being "educated" about how their choices don't live up to your expectations.

 

I think you get a lot further in life and friendships if instead of trying to educate people, you try to relate to people.

post #12 of 16

Cesarean does not equal Unnecesarean.

 

The rate of C/S is above 30% now (depending on location) ... and should be something like 5-15% (depending on who you ask).

 

Therefore - NOT all C/S are necessary.  And not all C/S are unnecessary.

 

It sounds like you moms had real reasons to need c-sections.  Thank Goddess we have that option!

 

However, I personally DID have an unnecesarean.  My OB stated I had CPD.   I have since had two successful HBAC's.  Thus, proving my c/s was unnecessary, since my pelvis is able to deliver a baby vaginally.

 

My use of this term does not negate your real need for an emergency c-section.  My pride and announcement of my HBAC does not negate your experiences.  As women, and moms, we have got to stop terrorizing each other over this.  We need to be able to share experiences, and be able to help new moms avoid some of the pitfalls we ourselves have experienced.  Of course, we need to do this is a gentle and non-judgemental manner.

 

I don't think saying that some c/s are unnecessary, or that I have had an unnecesarean has anything to do with your experiences.

post #13 of 16

It's a delicate balance between educating and lecturing.

 

No parent likes to feel they are making the wrong choice. Many parents I know might look super confident in what they are doing, but many have concerns or fears that aren't "doing it right", so when someone comes along and presents a differnet view, it can be taken as criticism vs. a desire to be helpful. I try to wait for when my advice/input is asked. I do, however, correct or explore completely untrue information, esp about breastfeeding/childbirth. I hope I do it in a sensitive manner that provokes thought, but I'm sure the mark has been missed on an occaision or two.

post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by VisionaryMom View Post



This phrase in particular is bothersome to me. If someone says it, I tune that person out and probably will try not to be around them. I went into trauma in labor with my son. He was not breathing when he was born and had to be rushed out. Specialists were everywhere. They pulled my husband from the room because they didn't know if I would survive. Now I know that doesn't count as "unnecessary." It absolutely was necessary, but your phrase is tossed around by people who really don't ever seem to understand how it feels to have a c-section. I'm not very nice in return to people who go on & on & on about "natural childbirth" and how their children are so.much.better off because they didn't have a c-section, as if it's a badge of honor that the rest of us are just too crappy to handle. So, yeah, your terminology is likely offensive to people who've had different experiences. 
 


This is so true. I am very naturally minded and wanted to have a NCB, but it didn't work out with either pregnancy. With my 1st, I needed an epidural (long labor, totally exhausted, and had a MW present). With my 2nd, it was a life or death situation so I had a c-section. I spent long enough after the births mourning what I couldn't have, if I had a friend talking negatively about epidurals and c-sections that would be really upsetting.

Breastfeeding--some women can't do it. They try and realize it's too hard and their partner isn't supporting them, they have low supply for medical reasons, they are on medication and can't breastfeed, they end up EPing and can't do it very long...there are a lot of situations. Plenty of those moms beat themselves up over it and don't need to be reminded that they didn't do the optimal thing.

Circumcision--once it's done, it's done. Some moms do regret it, but what are you going to do afterwards? When they're pregnant, you can offer to give them some links or handouts to help them make the decision if they're interested, but no one wants to feel pushed into something.

No one wants to feel judged as a parent.
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyMommy2 View Post

Cesarean does not equal Unnecesarean.

 

The rate of C/S is above 30% now (depending on location) ... and should be something like 5-15% (depending on who you ask).

 

Therefore - NOT all C/S are necessary.  And not all C/S are unnecessary.

 

It sounds like you moms had real reasons to need c-sections.  Thank Goddess we have that option!

 

However, I personally DID have an unnecesarean.  My OB stated I had CPD.   I have since had two successful HBAC's.  Thus, proving my c/s was unnecessary, since my pelvis is able to deliver a baby vaginally.

 

My use of this term does not negate your real need for an emergency c-section.  My pride and announcement of my HBAC does not negate your experiences.  As women, and moms, we have got to stop terrorizing each other over this.  We need to be able to share experiences, and be able to help new moms avoid some of the pitfalls we ourselves have experienced.  Of course, we need to do this is a gentle and non-judgemental manner.

 

I don't think saying that some c/s are unnecessary, or that I have had an unnecesarean has anything to do with your experiences.


I agree that sometimes a C-section is unnecessary. However, calling it  an unnecesarian as a general term makes it sound like you think that every woman that has a C-section didn't really need one. I think a lot of women would be offended by the use of that term.

 

I was forced to have a C-section because DD was breach. The midwife and the OB both refused to deliver DD vaginally. I was devastated, as I had planned a natural birth. Sometimes things just don't go your way.

 

As far as offending people in general, I find that many people think that if you go off the beaten path there is something wrong with you, because you are not conforming to the general opinion. Even if you are just living your life as you see fit, if it doesn't agree with what others think, then you are some sort of weirdo and are judging their choices, regardless of whether you are actually voicing your opinion. Just the act of living an unconventional lifestyle can set people off sometimes. Not much you can do about it, except realize that they have their own issues.

post #16 of 16

The best thing I ever did for my own peace of mind was to stop taking things personally.

 

I don't take it personally when other mamas do things differently. And I don't take it personally when they react to my choices as though it's a judgment of their own. Choices like vaccine-free, intact, exclusive/extended breastfeeding, homebirth, etc. etc. etc. can make more "mainstream" parents feel threatened. They feel that your choice to deviate from the norm is a negative judgment of their choices. And let's not kid ourselves--it is! It DOES require forming a judgment to do something different than most others. You are effectively saying that you find this method superior to that method and so are choosing it for your family.


But the key here is that it isn't personal. It just isn't. For instance, my choice to have my babies at home is based upon my judgment that I would be better off avoiding the hospital unless absolutely necessary. Since it's my body and my birth, that's all that matters. I don't take it personally when other women get elective C-sections at 37 weeks because they're "tired of being pregnant" or whatever other extreme example you can think of. It makes me cringe for that woman and that baby, but it's not personal. It's not about me. And because it's not about me, I don't share my opinion on the matter unless I'm explicitly invited to do so.

 

The line between gentle activism and being "that guy" is a razor-thin one. I tend to err on the side of caution and keep my opinions to myself unless I'm asked. I do try to gently suggest alternatives to circumcision, because a concerned friend did that for me and as a result, I kept my child intact and became something of an intactivist. But if the person is not receptive to the information or not interested in hearing me out, I let it go. It's not personal.

 

It's not clear from your OP whether you're spontaneously offering your opinion to people, or whether they're attacking you because you're choosing to do things differently. If it's the former, maybe it would help to take an honest look at how you're choosing to present yourself and your ideas. If it's the latter, setting boundaries could help, and if that fails, it's time to find better friends. hug.gif

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