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I feel that my parenting journey is distancing myself from family member and friends...

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

I feel so ridiculous getting upset over crap that happens on Facebook.  

 

Long story short- I posted a rant about being upset because I saw a pregnant person registering for formula at the store I was in.  My mood that day was craptastic, and I put up a little blurb saying 'I will not flip out on this person registering for formula.  Not even going to TRY to breastfeed?  I just don't understand.'

 

I realize that this post was a rant, not an educational opportunity, and I realize that this person may not be able to lactate, and so she was registering for formula because of a million reasons, none of which I know.  I was judgy, but I'm human and I am working through my issues like anyone else.  Most of my posts (the ones that aren't about funny stuff my kid does) are helpful links about co-sleeping, breastfeeding past infancy, etc.  I feel as an attached parent, I have a responsibility to spread the love through knowledge, to advocate.  This was not one of those times, it was purely a rant.

 

A cousin got mad, because she is a formula feeding mom, who I believe is projecting her baggage upon me.  Chaos ensued, more family members got involved.  I can honestly say that I stayed respectful in the discussion while not compromising my beliefs, and when it got too ugly and I saw that my point was not going to get across to anyone, I stepped away.

 

I then decided that in order to maintain peaceful in real life relationships with family members (whom I don't see terribly often anyway), that it would be best to remove them from my friend list, so that my strong beliefs and passionate views on controversial subjects doesn't lead us into altercations.

 

I feel that finding out about AP, and learning to parent in a gentle, responsive manner has been so personally gratifying, I feel like this is something I am exactly in tune with, I see how well the tools I get from here and other resources (my local tribe, especially) work in my family and I want to share them with everyone.  I'm proud to be passionate about things like extended bf-ing and babywearing.  I'm having a hard time reconciling the fact that my strong opinions and passionate beliefs can be seen by others as me being 'selfish, self-centered, rude' (some of the words that were used to describe me).  

 

I am as of late, stating an intention to be more peaceful.  As part of my own personal growth, I am growing in my spiritual life with God and my family, I am getting a healthier body and embarking on yoga for the first time, I am trying to make a calmer, more peaceful path for myself, to remove all stressors, to set healthy boundaries.

 

Gosh, this is getting long.  Getting my words out in print is helping me work through my thoughts, and so I thank you for that.  Any advice or stories about how you achieve the balance between the two worlds (the one that thinks I'm a kook for parenting this way and for advocating for it, and the world that embraces me for those reasons) would be greatly appreciated.  I'm feeling fragile and out of sorts, and I'm thankful there is a forum such as this where I can discuss it without fear of judgment.  

post #2 of 25

This is something that I truly struggle with too. I'm trying to be a positive person, and I take a daily mental inventory to try and make sure I'm doing that. Sometimes I'm a nonjudgemental peacemaker, and sometimes...I just can't help myself. Anyway-hugs to you.

hug2.gif

post #3 of 25

Since I have a lot of people I don't hang out with IRL on Facebook (but know from childhood), I don't post any personal rants on there that are terribly controversial. However, I do send out links sometimes - not usually very controversial ones, but they could seem so to some people. I am very aware of my audience.

 

I also try to be more reserved in my judgment about why people are doing things. I once saw a lady feeding her infant formula and inwardly cringed. The baby was adopted. I know of people who are not comfortable in the female gender and feel like they will carry a child but have a hard time breastfeeding. I know of people - like me - who have had to supplement and might not have done so if I'd known about milk donation and if I had been perfectly healthy at the time. So I try to give information but not feel angry about that person's choices. I just don't think that feeling angry about all of those choices that I feel are wrong really moves things in a good direction in the end. I'd rather support people in making good, informed choices.

post #4 of 25

Vent and rant here, but not on facebook.

 

On FB, post positive things about *your* choices, not negative things about other choices.

post #5 of 25

I understand feeling like your choices distance you from others. Everyone I know IRL is very 'mainstream'. My choices for my family (parenting and household wise) are things that I do and honestly don't know anyone else that does. It has distanced some people that judged my choices but most just don't talk about it. I don't talk about AP or 'natural living' much because no one here cares about it. For the most part they know my choices and just write me off as being crazy LOL. I come to this board a lot for inspiration and community that supports my choices.

post #6 of 25

The thing that is distancing you is not your own parenting, it's your feelings about the way others parent.  It's when you get upset that someone else makes a choice different from you that upsets others. 

 

How would you have reacted if your cousin had posted something like "why can't she just TRY formula?"

 

If you do not want others to advocate for formula, spanking and other non-AP choices, why would you believe that you should be an advocate for AP parenting?

post #7 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by rizzosanders View Post

Long story short- I posted a rant about being upset because I saw a pregnant person registering for formula at the store I was in.  My mood that day was craptastic, and I put up a little blurb saying 'I will not flip out on this person registering for formula.  Not even going to TRY to breastfeed?  I just don't understand.'

...

A cousin got mad, because she is a formula feeding mom, who I believe is projecting her baggage upon me.  


You think that your cousin was projecting *her* baggage on *you*?

post #8 of 25



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by VisionaryMom View Post




You think that your cousin was projecting *her* baggage on *you*?


And why would a formula feeding mom automatically have baggage anyway?
 

post #9 of 25

I agree-post positive messages about your choices on FB, but reel in the negative ones.  I understand how frustrating it can be, it makes me sad when mom's seemingly choose to formula feed for reasons like "it's easier" or "my sister couldn't BF, so I probably can't either".  But ragging on them isn't going to help.  Posting things like "Man I love BFing, we were out a lot longer than planned, and I didn't have to worry about bringing enough milk!". 

post #10 of 25

Leave Facebook? Really, I get by without it all the time.

post #11 of 25

Being self righteous about your choices and trash talking other people's choices isn't the way to influence people.  If I were your cousin I would have been offended as well. Who are you to sit judge and jury for my choices?

post #12 of 25


 

Quote:

Originally Posted by rizzosanders View Post

 

I feel as an attached parent, I have a responsibility to spread the love through knowledge, to advocate.  This was not one of those times, it was purely a rant.

.....

A cousin got mad, because she is a formula feeding mom, who I believe is projecting her baggage upon me.  Chaos ensued, more family members got involved.  I can honestly say that I stayed respectful in the discussion while not compromising my beliefs, and when it got too ugly and I saw that my point was not going to get across to anyone, I stepped away.

 

I then decided that in order to maintain peaceful in real life relationships with family members (whom I don't see terribly often anyway), that it would be best to remove them from my friend list, so that my strong beliefs and passionate views on controversial subjects doesn't lead us into altercations.

 

I feel that finding out about AP, and learning to parent in a gentle, responsive manner has been so personally gratifying,....

I'm having a hard time reconciling the fact that my strong opinions and passionate beliefs can be seen by others as me being 'selfish, self-centered, rude' (some of the words that were used to describe me).  

 

I am as of late, stating an intention to be more peaceful.  As part of my own personal growth, I am growing in my spiritual life with God and my family, I am getting a healthier body and embarking on yoga for the first time, I am trying to make a calmer, more peaceful path for myself, to remove all stressors, to set healthy boundaries.

 


hello. I'm a seasoned APing mother -- my oldest is now 14 -- and a yoga teacher. One way you could choose to look at the next step for you is to globalize that "gentle, responsive manner" from just your kids to everyone else you come in contact with. Just as you don't expect your children to learn from being yelled at and shamed, those tactics don't work well on adults.

 

Since you are starting yoga, I'll share a little with you about yoga philosophy. There are 10 ethical principles taught in yoga as paths to having a peaceful life, and the very first one is "ahimsa."  It means non-harming. If you started looking at just this principle and seeing ways to apply it in your interactions and facebook posts, your life would change. Right now your interactions are about You Being Right. Being right is nice, but being Kind is actually higher. It is more likely to lead to peace.

 

The path of yoga isn't about removing all stressors. If you have some stressors that you can remove and simplify your life, then go for it, but attempting to removed all stressors, believing that you will have peace if you do, is unrealistic. Yoga is about finding a peaceful place inside yourself in spite of what is going on around you. Warrior pose, for example, is a metaphor -- in it, you pull your body in opposite directions, but find a place a balance and equanimity in the middle. And then you just stay there and breath.  It's really a great metaphor for what you are going through right now -- this sense that what is right for you is out of sync with what is going on around you, and being pulled by different forces -- your desire to be the best mother possible, your desire to share what you have been lucky enough to learn, and your desire to have harmony with your extended family.

 

Namaste (the divine in me greets the divine in you)

Shanti (peace)

post #13 of 25

I think the most important thing to remember is that it isn't your place to judge. Make the decisions that are best for you and your family. Let others do the same for theirs, even if you know that their choices aren't the "best." I know it is hard.

 

I remember the feeling of wanting to shout from the rooftops when I was at the beginning of my natural parenting journey. "If only people KNEW what I know they'd make the same decisions I make because to not do so is just so WRONG! So I must make sure everyone KNOWS!!" 

 

Shockingly, people don't respond to that method so well. shrug.gif

 

The best way to facilitate change is to just live your life. Other people ARE watching. You are making a difference just by being you and making the choices you make. 

 

 

 

post #14 of 25

Facebook and personal growth tend not to go hand in hand. smile.gif I love using it b/c I want to stay up to date on the lives of my friends and family, but wow is it an amazing medium for creating drama. I think it's a good rule to stick to positive status updates b/c there's already so much negative energy from everyone who uses FB to do their venting. It's possible to use FB as a challenge to become more peaceful by not engaging or getting upset by other people's status updates and comments and just accepting that they are on their own life path. I practice this all the time with some of my family members who parent radically differently from me. MDC is definitely a better place to come to vent or for support. And I would be really careful about unfriending people b/c it might create more drama.

post #15 of 25

I find it very distasteful when people use FB for such personal issues. I finally unfriended my nephews wife because of her rants on FB. She "collects" FB friends so many are people she doesn't even know and then shares every detail of her "beliefs", often causing such uproars that *I* was getting stressed out just reading them on my page. Ugh. I Often wonder if she would say these things to the same stranger if she met them on plane or at a party. 

post #16 of 25

This however is part of the problem

 

 

Quote:
 , even if you know that their choices aren't the "best."

 The belief that a particular choice is the best or right choice.  There is no one right choice for anything or anyone in life.  Even when statistics favor a particular option, that doesn't make it the best choice for any one particular person.  In addition, it is even ok if someone makes a choice that isn't going to be THE BEST for the them anyway, provided those choices aren't dangerous to the kids.  Just because a choice isn't THE BEST, that doesn't necessarily make it a WRONG choice. 

post #17 of 25

Interesting thread. I don't deny the OP her upset feelings, but do think that said feelings are better directed at the toxic corporations that perpetuate misogyny/lactophobia/etc in the interest of profit. This is a win-win, OP can rant a bit for catharsis/clarification of position, and not dump it on any individual who may or may not be ignorant of said toxic corporate practices. Anyone wanting to know more can ask, anyone secure in their own choices/situation does not have to care if it does not apply. Those who ARE bypassing something normal in favor of something more complicated/ecocidal/expensive can once in a while have their minds blown if they are ripe for it, and the ranting is done in a coherent manner.

post #18 of 25
Thread Starter 

Thank you for all of the replies, they are appreciated and very helpful!

post #19 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by happysmileylady View Post

This however is part of the problem

 

 

 The belief that a particular choice is the best or right choice.  There is no one right choice for anything or anyone in life.  Even when statistics favor a particular option, that doesn't make it the best choice for any one particular person.  In addition, it is even ok if someone makes a choice that isn't going to be THE BEST for the them anyway, provided those choices aren't dangerous to the kids.  Just because a choice isn't THE BEST, that doesn't necessarily make it a WRONG choice. 


You saw my quotes around the word 'best', right? 

post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamieCole View Post




You saw my quotes around the word 'best', right? 


Yes, I did, but my post was really more in general, rather than directed specifically at you.  I only quoted you becase that statement was a good example, quotes or not.  I apologize that I made it seem like I was specifically directing my post at you.

 

The reality is that in a lot of AP circles, a large number of people really do feel that AP choices actually are the best/right choices, and that other options are wrong.  That's why people think things like "she's not even going to TRY BF?" and "she wouldn't even TRY the sling, she had to have the latest and greatest stroller" and "why on earth would ANYONE turn their child FF before age 4 when RF is SO much safer?"  (and yes, I know RF and FF on not specifically AP principles, but a lot of AP folks also do extended RF) I find that a lot of moms who lable themselves as AP are so passionate about that lable that they tend to see choices as the right/best way and then not, vs just simply different.  Breast is best, therefore those who don't choose the best aren't doing the best for their babies and it's wrong not to do the best we can for our babies-that's the type of thinking I experience a lot in AP circles. 

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