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Why can't I be just a mother??!! "AP vs.Mainstreem Parents" - Page 9

post #161 of 301
I am often in a place where I have to describe the subtle undertones of an English (US) word. I believe that the word judgmental has a negative undertone. If some of you don’t have the same experience with that word or deliberately decide to take the word very literally, that’s fine with me but it doesn’t make sense for us to continue talking as if it is the same word.

I have a question, if a non-native Engish speaker were to ask you to help her/him understand how the word ‘judgmental’ is understood in the US, what would you say? Would tell them it is a synonym for opinionated? Would you say that a person who has strong preferences for a particular food is judgmental?

I’m feeling like the word judgmental (for me!) is more about not thinking about the individual circumstances with compassion before deciding if you agree with the action. Yea, that’s what I think of it as.

I know there has been quite a bit of “I’m not participating in this thread” stuff going on here and I’m starting to understand why. It is not interesting to me to play with words in this way (well actually, it is, but not when I’m trying make a point).

But, I can’t resist…I think you’re all judgmental (but in the nice way that Charles Baudelaire uses the word.
post #162 of 301
BTW, Britishmum, I’m a person who is extremely frustrated by the whole “PC” thing. I agree with what you said about it but (for me) not being judgmental has very little to do with being “PC”.

Also, sorry, I apparently misinterpreted your paragraph about struggling with being judgmental. AND, I am slightly on the fence about your example about circumcision. For me, circumcision is in a different category from the other examples given like CIO, Breastfeeding and corporal punishment. I’m not sure why but it is different for me.

And, CB, I wasn't trying to disagree with anything that you said other than your word choice. I just think the word “opinionated” fit better where you used the word “judgmental”.
post #163 of 301
Am I the only one who is thoroughly enjoying this thread?

ICM, britishmum, charles b....so many wonderfully written posts!

Good point about "what is judgemental". I have to say that I tend to think of it as a negative. As confusing the person with the action. But then can we be judgemental about an "action" and separate that from the person? I believe so.

example: I am so passionate about breastfeeding that I basically went into hospital with the attitude "you are feeding that garbage to my baby over my dead body" (life threatening situations notwithstanding, of course) as I felt that gave me the strength and determination I might need to counter the Supplement Police (I tend to buckle under in confrontational situations). How can I possibly convey that and then not come across as judgemental about those who FF even though I would *never* dare to comment to some poor mama about her choices? I struggle with this: I think formula is crappy, substandard, processed food on the level of McDonald's-with-added-vitamins (there! I said it!)....yet my heart goes out to mamas who can't BF - how does hearing my rant make them feel? Pretty crappy I would guess. Does it make me judgemental? I don't know...

My dearest friend...a sensitive, selfless, caring friend you'd love to have in your life. A mother completely besotted with her girls, and determined to give them the best in life. A mother who did CIO when they were only weeks old, and spanks them with a wooden spoon when they are naughty. I completely 100% disagree with those things, I think she is wrong to do that. But I also know that she comes from a place that I have no experience with (abusive childhood that makes her kind of spanking pale in comparison; and a very tough life with no support). I don't think any less of her as a person or a mother. I love her dearly. And yet, here on these boards you will hear me rant and rave about spanking and CIO...

...am I judgemental?
post #164 of 301
Im loving this conversation!!


I think what gives the word Judgemental a negative feeling (for me) is that its sometimes linked to the word "PRE-judgemental"..or prejudice...when you make judgements about some thing/someone before you you know all the facts. But arent we just wired that way, to make judgements on everything we see based on our beliefs?

But IRL, we dont make our judgements known......its just this running dialogue going thru our heads.........that sometimes later, when we know all the facts, we are kind of ashamed about. Maybe Im just speaking for myself. I dont go up to anyone, stranger or friend, if I were to see someone spank with a wooden spoon or FF, and tell them what I think about it. But we do it here because its safe,we are faceless, and its the perfect and only opportunity to do so.

ITA with Charles, Piglet and Britishmums posts.......just adding another spin I guess....
post #165 of 301
I don’t think it is natural to be judgmental and even if it were I think it is something to be overcome.

To me, there is a big difference between “judging” something as right or wrong and activism. I was blessed with meeting some major activists for the welfare of families and I must say that they were among the least judgmental people I’ve ever met.
post #166 of 301
ICM - I totally agreed with what you had to say - thanks for expressing my own thoughts so much more clearly than I seem to be able to!

That said, what everyone else (Piglet, Britishmum, etc) said also resonates with me.

I think I feel this more deeply at the moment, because I've just finished having a long drawn-out e-mail exchange with my best friend (who is very 'mainstream' - her own definition, not mine!) about whether or not I am judgemental about the choices she makes as a mom.

If we are judgemental about a parenting practice and express that judgement, other parents who parent that way are going to feel judged - whether or not we mean to be judgemental.

So, in the past, when I've said that it's important to me not to give my children formula (or if I've even made passing comments that indicate my unwillingness to give formula), my friend, who supplements with formula from early on and weans to formula around 10-11 months, has felt judged. Even though I don't feel that I AM judging her decisions - I'm just stating/doing what is important to me.

I think this is what tends to happen when people first come to MDC - and this is the reason for posts like the OP.

And it's one of the reasons why I think that it's worth re-reading some of the things we write before we hit 'submit reply' - why use words which can easily give offense when a bit of re-wording just might 1) make our meaning more clear and 2) prevent offending someone who is sensitive about a certain subject?

I do think that some people will come here and be offended no matter what we say. But there are others who are 'on the fence' so to speak, and a 'softly, softly' approach just might convince them to stick around, learn and change (I personally have changed a LOT in my 2+ years at MDC!).

A bit off-topic, but - ICM, I totally agree with you about circumcision being different from other parenting choices.

With circumcision, I cannot think of a single mitigating circumstance that gives one person the right to cut off a healthy, functioning part of another (non-consenting) person's body. Leaving a son intact IN NO WAY impacts upon the parents' way of life (perhaps religious circumcision is an exception, although it still seems to me that it is unfair for one person to impose their religious beliefs on another, unconsenting individual in such an irreversable, damaging way).

All of the other parenting choices we make? These do require big changes/sacrifices on the part of the parent. They all impact greatly on the parent's life - so I can see that, when the needs of the parent are taken into consideration, there might be situations in which, on balance, the greater good for the FAMILY as a whole might involve not co-sleeping, not breast-feeding, etc.
post #167 of 301
Quote:
Originally posted by rainsmom

But IRL, we dont make our judgements known......its just this running dialogue going thru our heads.........that sometimes later, when we know all the facts, we are kind of ashamed about. Maybe Im just speaking for myself. I dont go up to anyone, stranger or friend, if I were to see someone spank with a wooden spoon or FF, and tell them what I think about it. But we do it here because its safe,we are faceless, and its the perfect and only opportunity to do so.
I say many many things here which come accross as inflamatory and/or judgemental, but I make it a point not to say things here that I wouldn't be comfortable saying irl. Maybe that's just me; I know that lots of people think of the internet as a safe haven, and MDC in particular as a safe place to speak their minds, but I don't say things here if there's ever a chance that they might come back to bite me in the a$$. I'm sure that I've posted things and changed my mind about them later (I can't think of an example right now, but I'm sure there are a few) but nothing that I wouldn't say to real people. If it's not reasonable for me to say it to someone in real life, I don't feel that it's reasonable for me to say it here.

And please, please, for crying out loud, don't get me started on circumcision. Isn't there a forum for that?
post #168 of 301
"If it's not reasonable for me to say it to someone in real life, I don't feel that it's reasonable for me to say it here."

Hmm, I'm not sure that I agree. Taking a lesser example than circumcision, IRL I'd never say that I consider formula to be gross within the hearing of friends or acquaitances who formula feed. To be honest, I cringe when I see them bring on the formula, but I"m poilte and have never opened my mouth. (Ironically, they have about my breastfeeding, but there you go......)

However, here I believe that I have a general concensus of the vast majority of posters regarding the grossness of formula and the dispicable way that it is marketed to women in this culture. That doesnt mean that I"m rude about it even on the boards (I tend to be careful what I say in general, here as in real life) but there is a common understanding here ime about such things. It's rather like if I"m with my AP group, I am going to be open about cosleeping and what I think of CIO. If I"m with mainstream friends, unless the subject is open for discussion, I keep quiet. In fact, I believe that I keep quiet too often and that's something I'm working on.

I take comments about my AP practices from a friend's husband that are presented as 'jokes' (unfunny though) and find it hard to respond. It is easier to be honest and tactful in print, so if he were here on the boards I'd tackle him far better. Face to face, its often easier to smile, fume inwardly, and keep quiet. Not something I"m particularly proud of. So, maybe I should be more outspoken irl, not less!

With a more serious subject than formula, imo, such as circumcision and spanking, I am more outspoken because I believe passionately that I have a moral duty to express something on behalf of the child. If I don't advocate for children's rights, how can I expect others to? And how can I look my children in the eye? That doesn't mean being rude, and like Piglet, I have a friend who spanks in spite of what I think. She does know what I think, and now at least tones it down when I"m there and doesnt spank in front of my children. I also told her my opinion of circumcision, very politely, but nothing I say would ever change her mind, and although it saddens me greatly, I see the formula feeding, circumcision and the spankng totally in the context of her upbringing and her inability to question the teaching of her church and her father (a minister).

Which is where I believe there is a difference between 'judgemental' in a negative sense and in a factual sense. I understand that her puritanical upbringing leads her to believe that breastfeeding is unnatural and gross. And that it is her duty to hit her children 'in love'. And that the circumcisions are 'biblically necessary.' In her father's church, that is what is taught, along with cio and a lot of other sad stuff. So, I judge her actions to be very wrong, but I understand why her upbringing has created the parent that she is. But in all conscience, when I am in a position of keeping quiet or of speaking out for her chidlren, I must speak out. I believe it is possible to do so without being judgemental in a negative sense.

I too am greatly enjoying this conversation.
post #169 of 301
Quote:
Originally posted by Britishmum
"If it's not reasonable for me to say it to someone in real life, I don't feel that it's reasonable for me to say it here."

Hmm, I'm not sure that I agree. Taking a lesser example than circumcision, IRL I'd never say that I consider formula to be gross within the hearing of friends or acquaitances who formula feed. To be honest, I cringe when I see them bring on the formula, but I"m poilte and have never opened my mouth. (Ironically, they have about my breastfeeding, but there you go......)
I feel that because (in many ways) I agree with the general concensus here, there's no need for me to go on a huge rant about the way that artificial breastmilk is marketed, etc: it's preaching to the choir. In real life, most people haven't done the research and haven't given any more thought to it than what the pharmaceutical companies have told them: "It's a lifestyle choice." Much like your stance on circumcision, I feel that I am obligated to disseminate the information that I have come across, and to guide people toward an informed conclusion. Not out of moral outrage, really.. it's just that I have the information, and I don't believe that I should hoard it.

IRL, I don't have a problem with confrontation, but when I discuss my parenting practices it rarely devolves into a confrontation. I'm perfectly open about the fact that we co-sleep, that Eli is still nursing despite being over a year old and the fact that I'm pregnant, that I plan to give birth in a hospital but I don't think that's a great choice for everyone, etc, etc, and so forth. When my future SIL told me that for her very first birth she's going in looking for drugs, I had to question it. She's never felt the pain of labor, has no idea what it will be like. I can't understand wanting to go into your very first labor planning to have an epidural; it's just not logical to me. If she does some research, listens to the points I make as well as others, and still concludes that she wants one that's fine, but I'm not just going to listen to her talk and nod and smile politely. That's just not me.
post #170 of 301
Quote:
I struggle with this: I think formula is crappy, substandard, processed food on the level of McDonald's-with-added-vitamins (there! I said it!)....yet my heart goes out to mamas who can't BF - how does hearing my rant make them feel? Pretty crappy I would guess.
Yep. Like rubbing it in with salt.

Quote:
Hmm, I'm not sure that I agree. Taking a lesser example than circumcision, IRL I'd never say that I consider formula to be gross within the hearing of friends or acquaitances who formula feed. To be honest, I cringe when I see them bring on the formula, but I"m poilte and have never opened my mouth.
And why is it okay for me to get to read here that you think formula is gross? I'd venture a guess that the vast majority of ff-ing mums on this board have read the research, & make a necessary choice when the feel they have to.......... I'm not going to make any sense..... too emotional now.... shouldn't have opened this thread again....... online stuff does hurt sometimes, & I think that might just get back to the OP's point.
post #171 of 301
"Is she ignorantly making the choice to CIO? No. Do I agree with that choice? No because it doesn’t mesh with my values and goals for my family. Is she wrong and I am right, am I smart and she’s ignorant? IMHO no, we just hold different beliefs and values.

I think that is what upsets me on the boards sometimes. It is the attitude that we are right and “they” are wrong. I don’t think there is a right or wrong in parenting (of course that does not include blatant neglect or abuse). I think everyone has to do what’s right for his or her family and it is of no benefit to point our fingers at people who parent differently and disparage them."

Well I DO think there is a right and wrong in parenting. CIO IS neglect and abuse in my book as is circumcising, spanking and choosing not to breastfeed. I have gone through much more than most other people in regards to breastfeeding. I didn't bf my son due to lack of education about bfing after reduction and safe meds for bipolar. I never tried to pretend that formula was some great food. It was satisfactory nutrition and I got him off it as soon as I could, fed him only organic foods and no sugar to counteract (oh and never switched him to that crappy follow up stuff that has corn syrup). I also bottle-nursed (held him every feeding, on demand and letting him self-wean - he still takes a bottle before nap and bed). I still feel crappy about it though. With my daughter I have been through hell and back to make it work but I did it. And yes I do feel "judgemental" when I hear of some of the reasons people (even people on here) say they can't nurse. When I hear someone say they couldnt nurse because they didn't make enough milk I feel like that is NOT a valid excuse because I only made 70-75% supply even with galactogogues but I use a lact-aid at the breast so my daughter could still breastfeed. If I can struggle through all that why cant others? Aren't all our children worth it?

On to the issue of people choosing to formula feed, well I think that is abuse in the fact that is substandard feeding and why would you purposely CHOOSE not to give your child the best? That is neglect IMO and incredibly selfish. I do think CIO is abuse, totally 100%. Spanking too, if you can get arrested for hitting another adult (assault they call it) then why is it no assault just because they are younger. Is there some magical age I don't know about where they all of a sudden become human? Circumcizing - well that seems pretty obvious to me, no one has the right to have another human beings genitals mutilated. There are some issues that I am not so cut and dry about but these ones I am. Co-sleeping? Well I don't do it and don't want to. I have been a diagnosed insomniac for 17 years. I cannot sleep with anyone near me. But my children have always been responded to immediately so IMO that is not abuse. Vaccinating? Well I'd never do it but this is not a clear cut issue because there are differing arguments. I cloth diaper but I don't think disposable diapering is abusive. I do think it isn't the best choice because it messes up our environment plus all the trees cut down plus the chemicals in them and not knowing what the long term effects are. Baby wearing? hmm well I have to admit I absolutely hate seeing babies in bucket carriers and strollers. I think that children should be close to their parents. I just can't get over the vacant stares I see in most children's eyes when they are in a stroller. I've also noticed that while I am babywearing my children we converse and discuss the world around us but the people I've seen who shop with kids in stroller rarely even talk to them. This is not every person but the majority IMO. And those bucket carriers drive me insane. They are only allowed to be in them to 20 lbs. You (general you) honestly don't think that it is better for a baby that small to be carried and close to their parents. What possible reason could you have to leave them in one with the excpetion that they are fast asleep?

Yes I know I sound incredibly judgemental and I admit I am. I don't think its wrong though. I feel very strongly about these issues and like I said IMO these are not just choices, not our right to decide these things for another human being. If you view all these issues as choices, whatever works for you issues, then yes you won't get what I'm saying. But if you seriously do think it is very detrimental to children to be formula fed, left to CIO, spanked, circumcized, etc then you can't just sit quietly and say "whatever works for you."
post #172 of 301
Quote:
On to the issue of people choosing to formula feed, well I think that is abuse in the fact that is substandard feeding and why would you purposely CHOOSE not to give your child the best? That is neglect IMO and incredibly selfish.
And here is your example Piglet. Apparently I am an abusive mother for giving my littlies formula after going thru FTT & all that other crap..... I guess I just didn't try hard enough. Bad mummy.
post #173 of 301
aussiemum, I think she's talking about people who regard ff vs. bf as a lifestyle choice. Not about people who HAD to use formula.
post #174 of 301
Quote:
Originally posted by Heavenly
...Co-sleeping? Well I don't do it and don't want to. I have been a diagnosed insomniac for 17 years. I cannot sleep with anyone near me. But my children have always been responded to immediately so IMO that is not abuse. ...
Well, of course it's not abuse, you do it, so it can't be abuse, right?

How would you feel if I told you I think your "excuses" for not breastfeeing your first son and for not co-sleeping were crap and that I think you have been/are being abusive by making the choices you've made? Would you listen to me? Would your heart and mind be open to making changes? Or would you shut me out and ignore me?

It never ceases to amaze me how people who are so careful to treat children with politeness and respect are so ready to treat other adults like with rudeness and contempt as if that were going work in changing the other adults attitude/behavior.
post #175 of 301
fwiw, i think the entire ff v. bf portion of this thread should be taken to the breastfeeding board. just my opinion.

Quote:
Well, of course it's not abuse, you do it, so it can't be abuse, right?
i think Heavenly was trying to get across that she responds to her children, so it's different than simply leaving the kids alone to CIO.

there is a big difference between someone who doesn't bedshare and doesn't respond to their kids, and someone who doesn't bedshare but is 100% responsive to all of their kids needs, all of the time.

** now, stepping away from the thread, because everyone's pretty riled up...
post #176 of 301
It's really strange.

I *knew* what was best for my kids and my family. I tried to stick to my convictions 100%, and when something didn't work for me, I knew I wasn't choosing the highest choice. I willingly admit that. I'm not defensive about it at all.

Like, with both kids, I got so desperate (a combination of pretty bad PPD, combined with bipolar disorder, serious lack of sleep, etc. etc.) that I tried modified cry-it-outs with both of them. Of course, it failed miserably; of course, I felt like a piece of crap for psychologically abusing them; of course, I am sitting here now admitting it was not the best thing to do.

It's strange to me when people don't just say "Yeah, I didn't get it right. I hope I'm [stronger, wiser, healthier, insert word of choice here] to get it right next time."

But that's me, and how I judge MYSELF. I judge myself FAR more harshly than I've ever judged anyone else
post #177 of 301
I managed to produce enough milk to keep them alive. Not growing, but just alive. I did not use SNS or any other sort of device other than a hand held pump. I basically had them on the breast continuously, other than to shower or drive the car, & it wasn't enough. So i supplemented & they weaned from the breast at 6 months. They just weren't interested anymore......both of them, both times. It still kills me, every day...... i normally avoid any sort of thread that looks like it might be about breastfeeding v. formula feeding, this one just caught me by surprise.....

so, by certain standards I have failed. I try so hard not to give a sh*t what other people think, but this particular topic is one that really deeply affected me...... more so than any sort of diapering issues, or vax, or circ, or where they sleep, or whatever. And you know the really demented thing, mostly I think I feel sad because I feel like I somehow missed out. Not so much for the kids, but for me..... it's so selfish that in the end it's about me, but it's true. I wanted to be able to extended b-feed my kids..... that was the most important thing to me before I had kids, above all else, & it is the one thing I have not been able to do. So I try & take it as a lesson for life....... & the experience has made me less judgemental, no doubt about it. Not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, just less quick to assume.
post #178 of 301
Quote:
Originally posted by klothos
fwiw, i think the entire ff v. bf portion of this thread should be taken to the breastfeeding board. just my opinion....
I formula fed my child, I'm not going to a board entitled "breastfeeding".

Quote:
Originally posted by klothos
...i think Heavenly was trying to get across that she responds to her children, so it's different than simply leaving the kids alone to CIO...
I was trying to point out to Heavenly that maybe, just maybe, other people have reasons just as valid as hers for their parenting choices. It's very easy to say "my choices were good ones but those people over there, they are being abusive." It's a lot harder to put yourself into someone elses shoes than it is to just cast judgement.
post #179 of 301
"And why is it okay for me to get to read here that you think formula is gross?"

Aussiemum, I sincererly apologise if I hurt your feelings. I said what I did in the context of what has been mentioned on this thread many times, that if someone truly cannot breastfeed for whatever reason,. there is nothing at all wrong with formula, In fact, its' a marvellous thing.

In fact, I dont go talking about my feelings about formula here iether, unless it is pertinent to a discussion, as someone else said, that's preaching to the choir.

In a way this illustrates the point, that here on mdc we mostly share certain values. It is not practical or realistic to expect every post to come with a footnote of something like "Of course, I am not talking of anyone with a medical reason blah blah for having to formula feed." And if someone doesn't hold at least a basis of some of these basic AP values, they are not going to feel at home on an AP board.

If someone chooses to formula feed, and doenst want to hear in discussions that people believe that it is substandard nutrition, they need to inhabit mainstream boards not mdc. That was my point, and I believe the point that many have made here on this thread.

I really dont see that the subjects of aspects of AP need to be taken to their separate forums. Someone earlier said this about circumcision. Now about breastfeeding. But that is what this discussion is about, aspects of AP. Of course we can go share our opinions on circumcision on that forum and breastfeeding on its forum, but there would be no discussion left here then, would there?

As for getting riled up, I'm certainly not remotely riled by this thread. I think it is stimulating and challenging and I'm enjoying it. I love to talk about this stuff with people who have actually thought about it.
post #180 of 301
Giant hugs aussiemom! I've been there, I still am there, and my daughter is 4. My daughter started to jaundice (from dehydration) three days after her birth, she then began to pass dehydration crystals in her diaper on day 4. I too had to then formula feed and it pretty much killed me.

And I would venture to guess that I have been a breastfeeding advocate much longer than the other mamas on this board since I was breastfed and grew up listening to my mother speak of the wonders of it....

But to hear that my daughter's first foods, the ones that nourished her precious newborn body, are comparable to McDonald's....was it necessary to say that? Aren't the women on this board already convinced that breastfeeding is best, is it necessary to make a statement like that which just makes us feel even more like sh*t?

And for those that assume formula feeding is mainstream, I would venture to guess that you have never opened a package of formula which has literature stating, "breastfeeding is best for your baby's health. If you must use formula, please consult your doctor...." You'll never know what it's like to torture yourself by reading that pamphlet everytime you open a can of formula. Lucky you.

Isn't it possible to make the choices you feel are best without disparaging the other options? I HAVE to believe that formula is fine, I don't have a choice. Maybe one day your body will fail you in some way and you'll know what I'm talking about.
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