First, LindaOnTheMove, your post was beautiful and something that I will think on a lot. Thank-you.
Originally Posted by happysmileylady
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.
I love this thread, because this is something I am working out, too.
I am one of those APers who does see my choices (or at least the choices I am striving towards as a mother) as better. Not just better in a 'ha, my clothes are better than yours' kind of way, but in a fundamental, societal, universal kind of way. Like, I would lobby politically to impose higher RF ages for kids in cars, I do often lobby for breastfeeding rights (and by extension, the right of children to breastfeed, regardless of the mother's 'choice'). Also the correlating supports for mothers and families that would need to be in place to make that work. I support legislation to ban circumcision. Not because I feel that I don't respect a parent's right to parent, but because I believe in fundamental rights for children, despite their parents. I'm a weird homeschooler who actually supports the UN's Convention on the Right of the Child and would very much like to see it ratified here in the US.
So. I completely understand that political beliefs and aims ought to stay out of social situations sometimes in the interest of harmony. I also get that it is not my job to go about righting every wrong, especially when the wrong is perhaps a matter of opinion. I want to be a gracious and warm person and friend. I'm not sure just how to balance these things in the right way in every situation, so I am sometimes at odds, too.
Of course, I also find that I am at odds even when I say *nothing*, just because of the way I parent. Not necessarily in conflict with someone, but definitely on the receiving end of a weird look, an uncomfortable vibe. For instance, a parent at church once asked me about breastfeeding, because i was breastfeeding at the time. I forget the question. The follow-up question was about how much formula I had used. I replied that I had never used formula. Another mother, a close friend of mine, was standing by and she jumped in and said, "well, MammaG stays at home, so she can do that". I felt as though I was being reprimanded for even admitting that we had never used formula somehow. It hadn't been a judgy conversation, you know? It hurts sometimes.
All that said, I sort of wish I had known a few AP mothers who were vocal about their choices before I had my first baby. I very quickly came to find this AP path for me and my family, but it would have been an easier path if I had had someone to talk to about it before my oldest was a toddler! I guess I hope to be that voice for someone. I also hope that in being vocal I can avoid hurting anyone. Tough line.
Anyway, I will follow this thread. It is something I am thinking about a lot.