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Why can't I be just a mother??!! "AP vs.Mainstreem Parents" - Page 11

post #201 of 301
Quote:
Originally posted by Piglet68
...In fact, I would find it hard to believe that a mother would go through the uphill battle of not vaxing and yet hold the opinion "hey, vaxes aren't so bad". Of course you think they are poison! That's why you made the choice you did! That doesn't affect me in the slightest....
Why do you have to think vaccines are "poison" to not use them? Can't you just think they do more harm than good? Why does using formula have to be "abuse" or "junk food", can't breastmilk just be better?

I understand that some people actually do think vaccines are "poison" and formula is "junk food" but I disagree. A mother can give her infant poison (antifreeze, cleaning products) and/or junk food (soda, candy). In my opinion, mothers who choose to vaccinate and/or feed their baby formual are not giving their child poison and/or junk food.

I fed my son formula over a decade ago. It used to really hurt when I heard words like "junk food" applied to the food I fed to my infant. But time has changed my perspective, now when when I hear people using such extreme language about things like formula (junk food, abuse, etc.), it usually makes me think that maybe they are speaking more about their own insecurity than my choices. It's as if the choice they didn't make has to be the worst thing possible to make them feel superior about the choice they did make.

Breastmilk is best. I didn't give my son the best possible infant food, but I didn't feed him junk food either.
post #202 of 301
Thanks, PMM - you said it better than I did.
post #203 of 301
Hey, I did NOT tell anybody here that they feed their children "junk food". Please read my words again, in the context of my post. I said that this was the attitude I went into birth with, to steel my shaky-resolve against what I perceived may have been an uphill battle. The whole point of that post was to say "if my personal convictions (based on my experiences and for my own unique situations) are this way, but I treat those with different convictions with the respect and lack of assumptions they deserve, does that make me judgemental?". My comment about McDonalds was the "voice in my head" (and I think I was very clear about that) - it was most certainly NOT a statement to FF mamas that you are feeding crap to your babies and it was not meant as an "educational sound bite" either.

Look, if I were a mama living in a famine-laden country with my kids starving to death and someone offered me a lifetime supply of chicken nuggets and kraft dinner don't you think I'd be dancing in the streets that my children can grow and thrive? OTOH, if I am a mama in the local Piggly Wiggly and I'm picking KD over wholesome foods, then it's a different story right? As a BFing mom, I have the "luxury" (and I know it's due largely to good fortune!) of having the attitude I do towards formula. I don't expect, nor would I presume to impose, that attitude on anybody else, b/c I believe strongly in the "walk a mile in their shoes" principle.

Check out the PG board and see the amazing extents women are going to to avoid an U/S. Then there's me, who was pregnant while we had an U/S machine in the lab, and hopped up on the table every chance I got to take a peek at my babe. I have nothing but respect and admiration for mamas making tough choices based on their convictions, and I simply do NOT take it as "directed at me" when they post that they would rather risk not knowing that their baby has heart defects than do ONE TEENY TINY LITTLE U/S (something I did many, many times over and admitted to up front). I'm finding it nearly impossible to understand why some people cannot remove someone else's personal convictions from an attack upon themselves.

However, with that said ... it's obvious from the posts here that feelings were hurt, and for that I deeply, truly apologize. It was honestly not my intention to hurt people, and to each and every one of you who was "stung" by my words, please accept my sincerest apologies.
post #204 of 301
Heres Piglets quote:


Quote:
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...
Its pretty obvious to me where she was coming from. Not from a place of saying that those who FF are giving their dcs crap.......just an opinion from her, a person who is a bf advocate and someone who had the choice/ability to bf and chose to . Not someone who looks down on someone who FF, or, especially on someone who cant thru no fault of their own.

Guess we need a disclaimer button next to the spoiler and quote buttons.
post #205 of 301
:
post #206 of 301
Quote:
Okay. What's the matter with that? I'm not trying to sound antagonistic here, but really -- why is it right to refrain from judging people's decisions? To me, speaking for myself, this is about as impossible as suspending my ability to think -- I just can't help BUT make a judgment about darn near everything. And really, though many people's different decisions may be worthy of respect and certainly are worthy of being given the benefit of the doubt, the bottom line is that you can't agree with or respect *every single* point of view. The best we can do is make our decisions for what we hope and pray are the right reasons.
Can we get back to this conversation....or is it done?
post #207 of 301
I think it is impossible to avoid judging our own and other's decisions. About parenting, or what to wear to church, or whatever. I know that I use my reactions to what I see others doing to help me make future choices about my life, so its good for me to analize my reactions.

But, it is possible, and desireable, to express those judgements without hurting other's feelings. Going a step further, it should be a goal of posters here to express themselves AFTER thinking things through. Have I really given someone the benefit of the doubt? Have I said anything that can be easily taken out of context (for example, I still have trouble reading Piglet's quote and getting her stated intent). Have I made a general statement ("blue cars are are bad") when I really meant a more limited statement ("chosing to drive a car that pollutes because it doesn't have a muffler is bad"). If we remember those sorts of guidelines, I think everyone would feel better.

I don't think being "judgemental" is all bad, its the way that it makes a third party feel that is bad. For example, I judge the woman at the grocery store (which is normal), then come here and make a general statement about what I saw and why it's bad. A totally innocent person then reads the statement and feels judged. I've just created a problem where there shouldn't have been one.
post #208 of 301
Quote:
Originally posted by Piglet68
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!)....
I am taking this out of context, but only because rainsmom quoted the entire paragraph in her post. FTR, this was the part that made me take offense. If I misinterpreted it, I am sorry. I have to admit that I still don't think I did but I am willing to give you the benefit of the doubt.

Piglet, you said the following:
"I'm finding it nearly impossible to understand why some people cannot remove someone else's personal convictions from an attack upon themselves."

I'm sorry, I don't understand what you mean.

I would like to state again that going on and on about how horrible X is and ho they would never do that to their children and people who do should be beaten with a stick, etc. etc. and then adding a disclaimer to say "but you, well, you HAD to do it, that's different" does not make the previous rant any less offensive! I guess you have to experience it to understand how this is true.

I will stop harping on this now to get out of the way of the bigger discussion. I have some thoughts on that but the boy is busily at work destroying something in the other room....
post #209 of 301
Quote:
Originally posted by famousmockngbrd
I would like to state again that going on and on about how horrible X is and ho they would never do that to their children and people who do should be beaten with a stick, etc. etc. and then adding a disclaimer to say "but you, well, you HAD to do it, that's different" does not make the previous rant any less offensive!
I agree. But that is not what I did...

anyways, I'm certainly willing to admit that I failed miserably at trying to get my point across, and in the process hurt peoples' feelings. the frustration you hear in my last post is not just directed at those who seem to be taking my words out of context and taking them personally when they were about *me*, but most especially at myself for writing volumes and still somehow managing to be clear as mud. I don't like upsetting people like that.

but yeah..I, too, would like to try to return to the original discussion...what rainsmom said...and also I wanted ICM to elaborate on the "activism without judgement" topic as I'm interested to hear more...
post #210 of 301
Piglet, I completely understood your point when you first made it, although I took a deep breath and knew that it was going to get some strong reactions. I guess if its a sensitive point, then the word McDonalds would leap at you and the overall meaning becomes less significant than the emotional impact of the words.

I understand that it is common for us to equate personal statements of belief about a product or a procedure with an attack on ourselves if we made that choice or had to do so. However, I also think that the problem is often within ourselves for feeling attacked, more than with the person who made a statement of belief.

As I said in my earlier post, when I lost my baby, I felt hurt every time I read here or heard a mother complain about her pregnancy or her lack of sleep or sore nipples or whatever. But that hurt belonged to me. None of those people made their complaints or jokes or comments about their babies meaning to upset me. They were stating facts or beliefs. I chose to be hurt. I own my feelings.

That's not to say that some things are not tactless and unnecessary. And often when people feel hurt, words are taken out of context. For that reason the choice of an analogy to McDonalds was imo tactless. (although no doubt some of what I have said would be viewed as tactless or hurtful too).

My choice when I was hurting over my baby and not wanting to read baby moans, was to either not come to mdc, or to deal with it, scroll on by if something hurt, and understand that nothing personal was meant.

I understand that maybe sometimes someone posts something here about formula without the disclaimer, but cant we assume that 99.99% of members here don't believe that formula is wrong for those who have to use it. They believe it is a bad choice not a bad product. There is a big difference. I tend to make that assumption about any post about the evils of formula, because we are here with AP parents who are going to almost exclusively be breastfeeding advocates.

Back to topic (I think LOL) "why is it right to refrain from judging people's decisions?"

There is a big difference between judging people and judging people's decisions. Isn't there?
post #211 of 301
Quote:
Originally posted by Britishmum
However, I also think that the problem is often within ourselves for feeling attacked, more than with the person who made a statement of belief.

... None of those people made their complaints or jokes or comments about their babies meaning to upset me. They were stating facts or beliefs. I chose to be hurt. I own my feelings.
Intent is very important. I have had comments directed at me on MDC which could have had no other purpose than to hurt me. Did I choose to be offended? Yes, I suppose I did, but it's back to the attack. When someone attacks you, it's perfectly natural to respond. I don't think that the problem was with me, I believe that the problem was with the person who chose to attack me. I can't stand it when people attack me and then get all offended that I felt defensive.
post #212 of 301
Britishmum, your post yesterday left me thinking....... i'm so sorry about the loss of your baby; i haven't had this experience in life, but am close to others who have . I'm not a praying woman, but I'll send plenty of good vibes your way out there in cyber-land .... Parenting, & being involved with other families, & learning so much about yourself can be an incredibly painful experience sometimes, yet I wouldn't trade it for the world. We all have something to deal with in the end, don't we? Something that has the potential to change us & how we relate to the world...... I feel like my children have been a gift that has allowed me to see the world from a different (& better) perspective, a less black & white perspective. Right vs. wrong has become a more fuzzy concept, I guess..... & I do thank my children for helping me become a more tolerant person..... (they help me all the time, bless 'em )

Now, enough rambling there, I'll end with this.


For us all......
post #213 of 301
Aussiemum, thanks.

Yes, parenting is often a painful experience. I often think about how everything seemed in my own control until I had children. With both my two girls we had major scares within the first weeks, in dd$2's case, hours of birth. Both turned out fine, but at the time the realisation hit me that I no longer control this thing. It's humbling to realise that life is so much bigger than yourself.

We all go through our trials and tribulations. One of the problems with internet is that although we might feel that we are friends with other members here, we don't know details of all their lives. So, we talk as if we're with our local AP group where maybe there are some shared values and belief systems, but we are unaware of those members who have troubled lives or reasons to feel hurt by other people's assumptions.

I have been thinking a lot about this. To a certain extent, I think that we are on an AP board and so certain things are going to be expected as underlying beliefs, so we can't dot every i and cross every t in every post. But on the other hand, we can be mindful about the way that we express ourselves. I smile to myself sometimes on the diapering forum, for example, as I cd one child and use disposables on my other strong-willed will-not-accept-change dd. So where do I fit when I read people's abhorrence of those who use disposables?

I can identify with their abhorrence, but I also have my own issues with a child who quite literally would not have a cloth diaper within 10 yards of her body. But if any of those cloth activists saw me with my dd at the mall, they'd think I was one of 'those' mothers who doesnt understand or care about the chemicals in disposable diapers. I do understand and I do care, but I also have to deal with my child in my situation. As I said on another thread recently about clothing wars with children, unless you'd tried to parent my child, you just would not understand.

So, the key has to surely be discussion where we all accept that there are some generally shared AP values and that we need to put aside our personal issues and not feel personally attacked by others comments as long as they are not personal attacks. We cant expect a disclaimer in every post, nor can we expect people to know of our personal issues. Nor can we expect everyone to have as good a command of written English as ourselves LOL. We can personally try to choose diplomatic, uninflammatory language and check our posts so as not to inadvertently upset others. Like, not implying that someone who formula feeds cant love their child, although I'm not tuned into this issue so hve never picked up on this sentiment here. People need to think about their message and the implication of their words. But we also have to accept and allow for the fact that people are coming from different places with busy lives and not necessarily the time or ability to put their thoughts into print without saying something that may upset someone. So, we need to own our own emotions and see it as our own personal issue to deal with. If we want to belong to a board such as this, anyway.

And thanks for the kind thoughts sent my way. I appreciate it.
post #214 of 301
There is judging. And there is discerning.

Judging is a right/wrong/black/white moral issue.

Discernment is observing an action, hearing an idea, etc., and discerning what works for you and what doesn't.

Example: When I was 11, my sister gave birth to my nephew. Epidural, episiotomy, normal American birth. She put him in a crib from day one and formula fed out of choice. I thought that's the way it was.

Fast forward ten years. I meet a lovely hippie Orthodox Jewish woman my dh used to do dead tour with. She had her baby at home, wore him in a sling, breastfed him on cue, etc.

I "discerned" that the woman I met who used AP ideas would fit who I was the best.

I went through a course of harsh judgment toward people that did not "know any better". WHY are they formula feeding??? WHY did they okay the induction, end up with a c-section, and think it was necessary??? WHY WHY WHY???

I think when you first discover something as important and life-altering as motherhood, it's normal to go through some of those feelings at first. It's like being born again. You have to crawl before you learn how to walk. You have to work through all those feelings in order to grow and be a compassionate example to the children you were blessed with.
post #215 of 301
Quote:
Originally posted by Piglet68
I simply do NOT take it as "directed at me" when they post that they would rather risk not knowing that their baby has heart defects than do ONE TEENY TINY LITTLE U/S (something I did many, many times over and admitted to up front).
A bit OT but since the ACOG cannot rule that 'ONE TEENY TINY LITTLE U/S' as safe , then many of us don't really have to go to any 'amazing extents' as you call them, to avoid something that cannot be confirmed as safe for us or our babes. It isn't that big of a stretch to imagine, is it? It isn't safe so we make the decision to avoid something that isn't safe (logical to me, not a big stretch of the mind).

I sincerely hope that a heart defect dx woudn't be made by any physician based on 'ONE TEENY TINY...' At a minimum, another u/s should be rx'd if the technician and physician suspect a heart defect. If someone thinks that it is just 'ONE...LITTLE U/S' to diagnose something as serious as a heart defect, then they do not understand the limits of u/s nor what a responsible physician should do upon suspecting such a pathology.

You are probably aware that something as serious as a heart defect often threatens the viability of the fetus which doesn't mean in utero surgery most often, it means that the pregnancy doesn't make it.

If judgements are going to be made, which I so hope they are b/c there is nothing wrong with that, then accurate information is always best.
post #216 of 301
Thanks to everyone who gave me support for what I said earlier. I feel like a dork for saying this but it feels really good to have something I said be given that much approval and it has inspired me to be true to my words, which is something that I struggle with.

I think the most positive thing that came from this thread is that we all seem to be thinking more about the words we use to express our judgmental feelings. I still feel that judgmental feelings are something to be worked on internally but I agree that keeping them from directly hurting another person is another important step.

I related this thread to activism – not to bring us off topic – but because I felt that some people were already talking about activism. To me, statements like, “aren’t children worth it” and discussions about alarming FF rates are activism issues. It frustrates me to read these issues being used as if they are excuses for being judgmental. Will someone tell me how harboring judgmental feelings helps “the children”?

I don’t think this type of (local) activism can be well delivered from a judgmental person. Personally, I don’t think it’s even enough to successfully hide your judgmental feelings or learn to express them well because I think the internal judgmental feelings will really obstruct you.

If you approach the situation with a running dialogue (even if it’s just in your head) of judgmental-ism you will not be able to reach the person. If you’re judgmentally thinking, “What possible reason could she have for thinking this is a good thing?” or “Yea, it’s hard but it was hard for me too but my kids are worth it” then you are going to push the person away because you are not coming to the situation with kindness and openness.

I think you need to be coming from a place of *true* openness, compassion and a huge effort for understanding when you approach a situation with activism goals. Also, I think your primary goal needs to offer support (not conformity). I have seen some activist at work. From what I see their first goal seems to be to understand as best as possible. After they understand they nurture. Guidance naturally flows from this type of support, imo. If you offer understanding and nurturance the person will seek you out for guidance

Lots more to say but DC is hungry...TTFN, H.
post #217 of 301
aussiemum, thanks.

britishmum: well said again!

I wanted to hit on what candiland said about discovering ways that "fit" you, that excite you, as being similar to a "born again" experience. Tigerchild once wrote a post here - I wished I'd saved it - talking about this in detail. I remember that, when I had discovered AP and done my research and made my decisions, I was just so darned EXCITED about them! Sometimes in my zealousness I got really judgemental and intolerant (in my head - but as ICM says, that can come out anyways). I feel as though being here at MDC, and the numerous times I've done this has taught me alot. Obviously, I'm not there yet ( ) but I know I've come a long way.

I have to admit, when I read a post like ICM's last one, it sort of makes me feel a bit inadequate. I mean, it's such a wonderful sentiment to say none of us should be judgemental and we should all seek to understand/have compassion for those who do things we abhor (or simply don't agree with). I agree that's an ideal to strive for, but I tend to feel that I'm more along the lines of Charles Baudelaire's post - I'm human and I have strong opinions and I *try* not to let those hurt people. I suppose it doesn't hurt to set high standards for personal growth, but OTOH I feel like I need to give validation to my strong opinions too, kwim?



Now a general question for y'all: this concept of "whatever works for you"....is that really what most of us feel?

I know for me, I chose to do the things I do b/c I felt it was absolutely in the best interests of my child's physical and emotional well-being. I don't consider it a "lifestyle choice". When I say to someone who would never even think of cosleeping (disclaimer: differentiating completely from those whose babies actually prefer crib sleeping) "well, you have to do what works for you" - and I'm going to be honest here - sometimes I really don't really believe that. I'm just saying it to be nice. This sort of inner hypocrisy troubles me. It's not the case for all things, of course.

Anyways, I guess what I'm asking is: did most of us here choose to do the things we do (cosleeping, babywearing, GD, whatever) simply b/c we felt "hey, that fits me, that's conducive to my lifestyle"....was it that benign? For me, alot of it is much deeper than that. Maybe that is why some of us have an easier time being less judgemental than others. Maybe it has to do with the level of passion behind your choices...what do you think?
post #218 of 301
Quote:
I have to admit, when I read a post like ICM's last one, it sort of makes me feel a bit inadequate. I mean, it's such a wonderful sentiment to say none of us should be judgemental and we should all seek to understand/have compassion for those who do things we abhor (or simply don't agree with). I agree that's an ideal to strive for, but I tend to feel that I'm more along the lines of Charles Baudelaire's post - I'm human and I have strong opinions and I *try* not to let those hurt people. I suppose it doesn't hurt to set high standards for personal growth, but OTOH I feel like I need to give validation to my strong opinions too, kwim?

I was going to post the same thing! I mean, try it today.....walk thru your day and try NOT to have a judgement on anyone/anything. ITs nearly impossible. you see someone spanking thier kid......something negative runs thru your head first, before something compassionate.....Maybe not all the time, but I have to be honest with myself....on certain issues I am passionate about. Esp when its a situation where you cant say anything to that person.




Quote:
Anyways, I guess what I'm asking is: did most of us here choose to do the things we do (cosleeping, babywearing, GD, whatever) simply b/c we felt "hey, that fits me, that's conducive to my lifestyle"....was it that benign? For me, alot of it is much deeper than that. Maybe that is why some of us have an easier time being less judgemental than others. Maybe it has to do with the level of passion behind your choices...what do you think?


I think things like cosleeping........for myself, I didnt know I was going to do that when I had dd......it just felt normal to when it came right down to it. But for some people it doesnt occur to them or they do it for a short time and then it just doesnt work. In that situation you HAVE to do what works for you.....you have to sleep and feel good about your choice. In my belief, in my mind, I dont think cosleeping is for everyone at a certain point. Things like spanking......well, like I said above......there is never a good reason for me to do that. Its something Im passionate about. But Im someone who doesnt even do it to my dog.......and I see people hitting their dogs and it drives me crazy! But I dont say to myself, well, thats what works for them (with their dog or their dc). I say to myself, well, they dont know that there's a better way...... Thats totally a biased judgment on my part. One Ive made from my own experience as a child who was hit, and as a mother who doesnt hit, and from the many books from experts on the subject that Ive read.

So to conclude my thoughts.....YES! Of course it has to do with your level of passion about something. I think for myself, when I have judgements about something.......I try to be compassionate about what Im thinking inside, and about the person Im thinking it about. But when youre writing it out in words on this board......it does sound harsh....not like when its our private thoughts.
post #219 of 301
Quote:
Originally posted by Piglet68
Maybe it has to do with the level of passion behind your choices...what do you think?
I think that's it for me. I'm just so passionate about these things.

I'm not articulate this morning, so I don't dare expound or else I will likely offend someone with my passion.
post #220 of 301
I don't know. I feel very passionately about the decisions that I made, and I feel very passionately that every parent should think about the decisions that they make. I get irritated and I do pass judgement when people are presented with an alternate point of view and won't consider it, but I don't feel too judgemental when people make decisions out of ignorance (having had no opportunity to learn anything different) or when they've thought about it and come to a different conclusion than I have.

For example: let's take circumcision. (*Note to Piglet: This is not a discussion of the merits/drawbacks of circumcision, it's just the clearest example I could come up with. I will edit if necessary, please PM me.) The average American woman is not Jewish or Muslim and has, therefore, given absolutely no thought to the fact that many American baby boys are circumcised in hospitals every day. It doesn't occur to them until they get pregnant and find out they're having a boy. When the doctor asks if they want the baby to be circumcised, they don't think much about it; if their husband is, they say yes and if he isn't they say no. (Sweeping generalizations here, I know!)

When presented with information about what the foreskin of the penis is/does, and reasons that some people choose to circumcise their sons (or themselves) and that some people choose not to, it is the responsibility of the parents to think about it and weigh the decision carefully. Failing to do so is, in my eyes, the greatest possible error that any parent can commit. Many people conclude that they will not circumcise their boys, and many conclude that they will for various reasons. I don't feel that it's my place to judge people who've made a different decision from my own, only people who refuse to even consider the issue.

Parents who choose not to have their sons circumcised often see it as a simple, black and white issue. They refuse to acknowledge any shades of gray at all, and I think that the reason they do this is fear; they are making a decision which is not "mainstream" and are afraid that if they concede any opposing points that they will not be able to stand their ground against other opposing points. I take issue with very judgemental attitudes of those who refuse to concede shades of gray; it's not logical to me, and I can't make it make any sense no matter how I twist it. Just because a decision is simple for me to make, that doesn't mean that reaching the same conclusion should be just as simple for someone else.

The problem is, on MDC I think that people are more likely to decide that because someone has reached a different conclusion from their own that they haven't considered the issue or haven't done so well enough. I find that attitude very offensive, and I really think that a lot of people here need to work on it. It's simply not true that because someone reached a different conclusion from your own that a)they haven't thought about it at all b)they're ignorant of the "truth" c)they don't care, d)you care more than they do or e)they're not capable of logical thought. That kind of judgement runs rampant here and it absolutely sickens me. It's one thing to be passionate about your point of view, and it's another entirely to say that anyone who doesn't subscribe to it is barbaric or sick or selfish or whatever. (Oh yes, I could quote places where each and every one of those points and more has been made. : )
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