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Why can't I be just a mother??!! "AP vs.Mainstreem Parents" - Page 5

post #81 of 301
I think this thread is bringing up some very valid and interesting points of view about how your environment, community, family, culture and friends can influence the way you parent... or the opinions you have about what you feel is the 'right' way to do things. The thing I get from MDC are insights and ways of thinking about certain topics that I haven't found other places.

I was recently having a conversation with another mother I had just met. We didn't know each other at all... so essentially we were doing 'mom small talk.' She said to me, "I love those Baby Einstein Videos! My son (2 months old) will sit in front of those in his bouncy chair FOR HOURS and be totally happy! They're great!" Now, this was offensive to me on so many levels based on my beliefs of what is good for a child (i.e. no TV and babywearing) but I told myself that those are her decisions and that I need to respect her right to make those decisions... Perhaps in her sphere of being she's never been exposed to any concepts of AP or Natural Parenting... perhaps if we were to see each other more often she would see the way I am with my ds, hear me talk about extended BF, babywearing, no TV, etc etc and perhaps that would start to open her up to another way of viewing things. For me, rather than 'judging' people, I strive to be open to their experiences, opinions and the factors that give them those opinions. If I can educate or influence by example and my generally positive attitude: Great!
post #82 of 301

depends on where you live

i guess it is different different areas of the country.

i live near st louis mo.

here, NO ONE USES BOTTLES.

everyone nurses.


they all seem to nurse at least a year here.



im sure it varies by location
post #83 of 301
Quote:
Originally posted by thinkingcapp
For me, rather than 'judging' people, I strive to be open to their experiences, opinions and the factors that give them those opinions. If I can educate or influence by example and my generally positive attitude: Great!
I tend to be very judgemental, but I am really trying harder to influence by example like you said.
post #84 of 301
The poster seems very defensive about things that are what most moms in this country do. Why? And why seek out this board, when there are places like parentsplace.com where AP is in the vast minority? I think this mom is asking for help!

To the original poster: Sure, I could use a break from my ds sometimes, but I have no family in the area and dh has a near-clinical distrust of anyone outside the family taking care of our baby, so count yourself lucky that you have a mom to take care of your baby sometimes. However, not everyone feels the need to have a break, or has someone they can trust to help them, so they learn to deal with it.

Diapers: I used sposies on ds until he was 6 months, mostly because our apartment's washer was busted, so I hear you about the diapers. And working outside the home would make cloth harder. I understand all that, but still, you should research both sides so that you can see where the cloth advocates are coming from.

Hope you feel a little better after venting.
post #85 of 301
Quote:
Originally posted by lunchbox
I tend to be very judgemental, but I am really trying harder influence by example like you said.
Believe me, I am judgemental as well... but I am trying to catch myself in those thoughts and analyze a little deeper...
Part of this (a BIG part) comes from judgements I had made about how my mother parented me that I see in a totally different light now that I am a mother myself. I have empathy for her decisions now, rather than anger. It made me realize that I really need to be sensitive to judging others when I am not in their exact situation.
post #86 of 301
Quote:
Also, considering the term: Attachment Parenting. To me IMO, a lot of emphasis is placed more on the mother than the father (if any). Is there such a term as Attachment Mothering? In our small family, my DH would be truly hurt if he was not *encouraged* to bond as equally with DS. He likes to call it our circle of love.
NewMommy, You hit a nerve with me when you mentioned "Attachment Mothering." Tht thing that surprised me the most about joining the online parenting community was seeing how gendered it is. I was just shocked to see so many families where the wife does most or all of the parenting, and the husband "babysits" every once in a while. I am at a loss to explain why that is, because it doesn't jive with my experience.
post #87 of 301
I think this whole thread kind of hit me the wrong way, at the wrong time. I am constantly being barraged by family, in-laws, friends, and strangers about my parenting choices. I consider those who are constantly telling me the *other* way to parent my ds, Mainstream{dictionary meaning: The prevailing current of thought, influence, or activity.} .

Quote:
Breastfeeding
Co-Sleeping
Slinging
Vaccinations
Cry it Out
Starting Solids
Cloth Diapering
Working outside the home
etc...

Many mamas around the world practice some or all of these things.
Many mamas around the world, that is right, but it is not the norm. in the states. I very much agree with LisainCalifornia, you have to know that this is not the norm.

I live in New England:
-our ped. told us to go on a cruise for 7 days and let someone else take care of ds (at 3 months of age) and let him cry so we wouldn't be able to do anything about it, and he was serious.
-my MIL said leave him in his bed until he goes to sleep, he'll "scream until he is hoarse, you'll go in to check on him and he will have snot all over his face, and he might even throw up, but he will learn his own privacy"
-I took my ds into the nursery in church a couple of weeks ago, and I started to BF him on the floor. The woman said, "oh, are you still breastfeeding him?!" (he was 7 months old, then)
-my mother has a friend who says, "breastfeeding is just wrong and gross, your breasts are for your husband..."
-I went to the mall last week, and was shopping with ds in a popular childrens store. There was a mother there shopping with her 1 ish year old. She had set him in front of the tv in the back of the store in his stroller so that she could shop. The baby cried for about 20 minutes while the mother continued to shop. She just ignored him, and he wasn't just fussing around...he was screaming.
-a friend of mine and her husband are going to start trying to have a baby. She said to me yesterday, "if it wasn't for you, I wouldn't know anything...i'd just do what ever the doctor tells me because i'm just to lazy to do any research"

I could go on and on...It all isn't so easy as "everybody loving and doing what they think is best for their baby". It is like a belief for me. Breastfeeding isn't a choice, unless it is physically impossible for one to do so. I feel CIO is wrong, and damaging for a baby. Giving a baby solids in his bottle at 1 months, is wrong. Studies have proven it. So you see, some people judge you for what they see you doing...but I am not judging others for what I see them doing, rather for me it is right and wrong. I don't look at a mother and assume she loves her baby less than me, but I do see mamas doing things that I don't *believe* in. I don't think they are bad for the beliefs they have, but mine are just different. I know I am rambling, but do you KWIM?

I am very sorry you could not bf your little one, I know that must be very hard for you. And to not be able to stay home with your baby when you want to, is really stinky. I am a first time mama, too. I understand the needing to get out thing. I think everyone does to an extent. My ds wore pampers until he was 4 months, I did CIO for a short while with horrible effects and regrets. I almost circumcised ds, but didn't at the very last minute. The main reason we didn't vax to start out, was because shots are painful.:LOL
So, as you can see, I have no room to *judge* other mamas in these forums, but from my learning of natural family living, and my many many mistakes (poor ds ) I have come to have "AP" characteristics as core beliefs for my family. Although, I think I will stop using the term "AP", and change it to NFL...natural family living. Maybe it will be less offensive to others, and it better describes what we are doing here.

Natural {dictionary meaning: Conforming to the usual or ordinary course of nature, Not altered, treated, or disguised, Not produced or changed artificially; not conditioned}
post #88 of 301
** going to read through the entire thread in a moment...

to the OP.

AP is about way more than just being a natural parenting sort of parent. you don't have to be all natural to raise a healthy, securely attached, loving child.

maybe that gets lost sometimes in all the what-for about organic v. non-organic, vegetarian v. non-veg, cloth v. sposies, bf'ing v. bottles, babywearing v. strollers, etc.

i raised my #1 in disposables, formula fed him, did no babywearing but held him a ton, used a baby swing + johnny jumper... but also coslept when i could, kept him close to me 24/7, kept an open communication w/ him constantly, gentle discipline... etc. i still hold him a ton, keep him close to me all the time, keep communication open and non-violent, etc etc. it was years before i even discovered that the way i raised him when he was an infant wasn't the "only way." i know that sounds dumb but i just didn't know there was an alternative community out there for more natural parents. i don't want to be judged by other mamas for the choices i made, because at the time i made them, i thought they were the best choices i could make. i try not to judge other mamas either for their choices, because you really never know anyone's situation.

(i do, however, get very irked when i see parents in the store w/ pasty kids and a cart loaded up with junk food. my lack of bias only goes so far. once i saw a mother refusing to buy her son salad when he asked for it, when there were sodas, snacks, and other not-so-good foods int he cart. that was just weird...)
post #89 of 301
Quote:
it was years before i even discovered that the way i raised him when he was an infant wasn't the "only way." i know that sounds dumb but i just didn't know there was an alternative community out there for more natural parents. i don't want to be judged by other mamas for the choices i made, because at the time i made them, i thought they were the best choices i could make.
Yes yes yes...that's what I was saying in my post. I did things then that I would never do now but I didn't know that there was a different way. How can we change that? I try to not preach to anyone and just live a good example while also trying to search out others who example I can follow.
post #90 of 301
Quote:
I did things then that I would never do now but I didn't know that there was a different way. How can we change that? I try to not preach to anyone and just live a good example while also trying to search out others who example I can follow.
i try not to preach either now... i think just living what you believe in is really the best thing you can do. the more exposure we give ourselves simply by being out in the open will help other parents see what they can do in certain situations. i think for every mama who nurses on a park bench, there will be at least a few passerbyes who think "that's a good idea... i didn't realize how easy it was / how convenient / how happy nursing babies are / maybe i'll do that if i have kids..." even if it's not a conscious thought, i think it's stuck somewhere in their mind, so that if the opportunity ever comes up they'll be more likely to think of nursing as normal. maybe the best thing we can do is just live our lives like it's "normal" and hope people keep jumping on the bandwagon to follow our example...
post #91 of 301
NewMommy, Of course you love your child - that is not in question.
I like to come to this site because it is like getting together with supportive girlfriends that parent the way that I do. You will see that there is lots of discussion and debate and usually lots of respect. I find that in general society is less supportive of some of my parenting choices and so it is nice to have an on - line "tribe". I feel at home here. When my MIL says, when are you going to wean, or friends raise an eyebrow when I pull out a CD, I know that I have some good support here.
Perhaps you sense a note of superiority in the tone of some threads. . . try to see this as maternal pride in doing an important job to the best of our ability. It can be difficult to go against society, family and friends and do what you know is best for you family.
Peace Stand your ground.
post #92 of 301
Quote:
Perhaps you sense a note of superiority in the tone of some threads. . . try to see this as maternal pride in doing an important job to the best of our ability. It can be difficult to go against society, family and friends and do what you know is best for you family.
That is exactly what I have been feeling, but could not put into words Mograine!
For goodness sakes! I tried to say it in my last thread, and after writing a mile long post, I still said nothing!!!:

So anyhow...yeah, what she said.
post #93 of 301
Okay, I pretty much almost read the entire thread!!!!
When I was a new mom, I discovered the internet. I found a mainstream board...at the time, I thought I was mainstream..didn't really see a difference....I was asking if anyone else used cloth dipes, cause I had some questions..it was actually a chat board. Nobody even acknowledged me...then I asked again, and I got FLAMED like you would not believe.
I kept going back though,I thought it was the only board out there..anyway..eventually, I stopped going..cause I felt stupid for cosleeping and using cloth...
I stayed away from the internet for a long time. Then my best friend, who is NOT a mom, gave me my first Mothering Mag..and I was flabbergasted...
I came to Mothering.com...and had never heard of Gentle Discipline, yet, that's what I practiced...there was a whole board on DIAPERING..and NOT disposables...And I vaxed my first, not my second. I only bf my first for three mts, am now allowing ds to wean himself...
WE all sleep together...dogs et all.
Oh, and I'm at work as I type this.
I don't appreciate your post much. There are too many boards out there. This is our safe place. If you learn from here, than great. But don't criticize our parenting, our beliefs.

post #94 of 301
Well, in all fairness, she didn't criticize our parenting or our beliefs.
She criticized divisiveness and judgmentalism.

I guess I have never understood why so many people need "safe space" to vent about how horrible other parents are.
I stay away from the "aren't other people idiots" type of threads.. I don't see that kind of venting as productive at all. I don't understand how railing at people who do or don't do XY or Z promotes AP.

Discussing and getting support for MY choices is great.
Education is great.
Shaking my fist at how stupid, cruel and abusive the rest of the world is... well, I just don't find it valuable.

When I first came here, I was pregnant. And I had all kinds of problems with my SIL, who handled her pregnancy and birth very differently from me. And she parents differently from me, too. She is what you would all label "mainstream..." and she likes Ezzo... (UGH), though she doesn't take him to literal extremes.

I used to post vent threads about her.. and commiserate with everyone about how horrible it was....
only that did NOT help me learn to deal with someone who is, after all, a family member. She and her son are going to be in our lives. Our boys are only two months apart. I had to start letting go of my anger at HER parenting. I had to find a way to make some peace in my family.

So I stopped venting, and started hunting for common ground. It worked. We are MUCH better with each other now. And I learned something about how destructive that kind of "venting" can be.... at least for me. And she is much more open to what I have to say, because I give her much less reason to be defensive. I still don't agree with her choices. But so what? I don't have to go around worrying about other people's choices. I prefer to stay focused on my own. I am raising MY child, not everyone else's. I can do that, while advocating for change and raising awareness out in the world... without bashing anyone.

I have learned much here. About parenting, about myself. I value this community, though it sometimes really upsets me, too.

I don't know why I am blabbering about this in this thread.
I guess I just do understand how the OP feels.
Because I don't think the flame threads or the bash everyone other than us threads are so wonderful either.

Are you all going to tell me maybe I should go somewhere else, too???
post #95 of 301
Well - I've managed to read through all of the posts!

Newmommy - I really hope you will stay. It sounds like you will fit in just fine, and this can be a really wonderful place. There are always going to be people on any board who are more judgemental about whatever issue - just learn to avoid their posts! (there is a handy 'ignore' feature that helps you do just that...not that I've ever used it, but it does seem to help some people!).

I agree with you, Asherah - it is much more helpful to try to find common ground with people. Venting doesn't really help you feel better about things in the long term.

But I think perhaps this is a realisation that comes over time with different issues for different people? I know that I used to be much more judgemental about people who chose not to BF than I am now. I still have a hard time completely understanding someone who doesn't even try, but having spent about a year and a half now nursing older toddlers and finding it EXTREMELY annoying, I can more easily put myself in the place of other moms who don't (for whatever reason) try or persevere with BF.

At the moment, I feel pretty judgemental about circumcision, and I think I'm at the stage of needing to vent about how indescribably awful it is. If I stay in the stage, I don't think that will be helpful - but I think maybe it's a stage I need to go through before I can be calmer/more rational in talking to people about exactly why I think it is so wrong?

I guess what I'm saying is - MDC has a lot of members and we are all at different stages in our parenting lives. In general, I stay away from the venting threads (except in the Circumcision forum, I'm afraid), andif I do that, I find that I don't feel there is a lot of judgementalism here.

If there are certain 'AP' things that aren't for you, I'd just stay out of those forums. I used disposables with my first two (I'm a cloth convert - finally!), and I just didnt' go into the diapering forum. Ditto with vaccinations.

But I do hope, NewMommy, that you will stay!

post #96 of 301
Oh I have no issues with venting about circ.. or any other PRACTICE.

I have an issue about venting about PEOPLE.
I too feel passionately about circ. But I can talk about that without calling people who did circ stupid, cruel or abusive.

There is a difference between criticizing someTHING... and criticizing someONE.
post #97 of 301
Quote:
There is a difference between criticizing someTHING... and criticizing someONE.
I agree with you... There is something profoundly different about criticising a THING or a practice, but the people who observe that practice often find themselves defensive because the attack centers on something that they themselves do. And, possibly feel guilty about.


You know what? Perhaps that guilt, or whatever, is good. If you feel like you need to defend your choices, maybe they aren't the right choices for you. Does that make sense?

Amanda
post #98 of 301
onlyboys: I couldn't agree more.

I'm hearing claims that the message here is if you don't do X, Y, Z then you must not love your children.

NOBODY HAS EVER SAID THAT HERE!!!!!!!!!!

Can we please PLEEEEAAAASE get past that, because it is simply not true.

okay, deep cleansing breath in, deeep cleansing breath out...


I've said it before and I'll say it again: if you yourself can't separate advocacy against a THING with personal judgement, then perhaps you need look to yourself, ask yourself why you feel so defensive about a choice you presumably researched?

There's a whole bunch of boards here devoted to the anti-vaccination issue. I vax, pretty much all of them, and I have never, ever, EVER felt badly because of that or felt like an outsider here or even not welcome. Why? Because I am 100% confident in my decision. And what's even nicer about feeling this way is that I can truly respect and admire those mamas who did THEIR research and chose not to vax at all! Isn't that how it should be? I have NO PROBLEM with mamas who do their research and make choices based on what is best for their child.

I also have to commiserate with those who "knew no better" before they "discovered" AP. I also started out my first PG on a mainstream board and thank goodness for one or two "troublemakers" who dared to stand up to the nonsense of CIO, etc. They spoke to my heart. I went to LLL and a mama there gave me this website. It literally changed my life.

I don't think mainstream mamas love their children any less. I don't think they are evil beings. I think that most of them are just IGNORANT. That's not a crime, it's a sad state of affairs is what it is. I proudly tell people about my parenting choices because, well...I have yet to meet somebody who can win a verbal battle with me on the subject,( <--- me )LOL, simply b/c I can back it up with so many scientific facts (and having PhD after your name doesn't hurt either, lol). So I try to just be a positive example and let people know there are CHOICES out there, and to do whatever baby needs.
post #99 of 301
Well, I am sorry Piglet68.. but stuff like that HAS been said here at times.
It absolutely has. It has been said about people who vax, people who circ.. and to ME PERSONALLY for working outside the home.

I am bowing out of this discussion now.
I see nothing wrong with a little self-reflection.. but as usual, I stick out like a sore thumb.
So, off I go.

Don't feel bad, Newmama.
I don't actually fit in ANYWHERE, as you can see. But I stay here anyway.
post #100 of 301
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