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Starting to feel conspicuous / strange - Page 2

post #21 of 28

I'm lucky that the earthy-crunchy crowd is pretty big here where we live, so we are almost always in our own community so to speak. As for nursing in public, we used a Maya Wrap sling, which is almost like a ling blanket--the end of it can drape lightly over the child so no one knows he's nursing in there.  :-)   I remember the first day I tried my Maya Wrap, I was in the interminable line at the Registry of Motor Vehicles. My son started to cry (needing to be fed) and I nearly panicked....how can I feed him and NOT lose my place in this horrid line? So I ducked into the ladies room super-fast, pulled this & that into place and emerged from the ladies room like superman, or should I say Nursing Mama! He was in the sling happily nursing and no one could tell because I had the flap over him. He was nursing even as I did my registry business at the counter, and no one was the wiser! I felt quite proud of myself. I think if people see you nursing, they feel some obligation to take a position on it and/or react in some way. But having kept my son under wraps, it was no one's business but our own.

 

I totally understand how you can feel out of place if your parenting practices are different than the mainstream. I hope you can find a group of folks to run with where you can support each other. I don't stay exclusively in my own AP world, but after a while I find that's where I spend most of my time because I don't enjoy the company of people (for long periods of time) who don't share my general outlook. I know that sounds rotten but think of it....if you're sitting there amongst a bunch of mamas who feel free to call their kids brats or swat them when they "misbehave," or who are threatened with punishment, or handed food that you know full well is going to make them hyperactive for the rest of the day and which your child is now asking you about because "all the kids are eating it" (insert your own example here)....how much fun is that. Not too much. So yes, it's natural; we gravitate for the most part to those who share our interests; I hope you can find some people like that where you live (or even start your own group via Facebook or Yahoo Groups where you can ultimately meet in person)

 

post #22 of 28

Didn't notice where in Fla you are but when my folks were alive we visited there a lot.  I NIP everywhere and anywhere and was never even given a second glance. If anyone did notice it was often to give me a smile and to come over and coo over the cutest baby in the world love.gif

 

The rest of the stuff how would anyone really know unless you told them? shrug.gif Seriously I can't tell someone is eating an organic apple from a conventional one. And unless I actually make a huge point of looking I can't tell a cloth diapered baby from a sposie wearing one. I also don't make any assumptions about some random kid playing with a wooden toy vs a plastic toy or visa versa.

 

I do think you are flattering yourself that random people even care what you are doing. Surround yourself with people you like and don't worry about how they parent (obvious exceptions noted). So many things that are so important to you now will become less important as your children grow. My BFF ended up parenting VERY differently to me but we are still close friends.  Our kids are long past the diaper, BF, vaxing stage and those things no longer are even on our radar. As I meet moms thru my sons sports leagues, and school I have no idea if they circed, BF or how they diapered.  It never even comes up and why should it? A person can be a great friend and have different POV than you (general you).

post #23 of 28

I find threads like these so confusing sometimes.  I live in a very suburban, affluent area.  Almost all of my friends CD and nurse for extended periods of time.  We all nurse in public, and we all eat organic.  Most of these things are very mainstream now, aren't they?  I know it depends on where you live, but honestly, I live in a VERY mainstream area.  I drive a fancy van, go to the gym, eat at the club once a week, and we all bring our babies and nurse on the deck while drinking our dirty martinis!  lol.gif

 

I think you might be focusing too much on the fact that you *might* be different to realize that most people are just like you.  Try to focus on how you are like others, and you will find you fit right in!

post #24 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Calliope84 View Post

I am pretty sure that I am just flattering myself and no one really cares at all about what I am doing.


This.

post #25 of 28

I live in a big city in the Midwest and I've been in a few situations where my AP practices were mainstream and many where they stood out. I agree that most people probably aren't gonna notice plastic toys vs. wooden or organic food vs. inorganic, but I have sometimes gotten surprised comments about nursing "older" children (i.e. older than six months), about baby and toddler wearing, and about cloth diapering.

 

Now that my daughters are eleven and six, none of those issues comes up any more but I sometimes do get comments and questions about our homeschooling, especially if one of my daughters says or does something that causes someone to realize that we don't force them to follow someone else's timetable, but, rather, let them learn at their own pace.

 

As far as other AP and unschooling people, sometimes there's a connection but sometimes it seems like we don't fit their criteria either.

 

I second all those who say to just be yourself and enjoy yourself!

post #26 of 28

I feel ya', OP. I'm in one of the snobby areas, and it was haaaard when DS1 was first born. Then I found a wonderful group through LL (after attending for a year, so it was no quick fix) and met moms w/ similar styles and it was night and day for my mental state. It isn't that I was some kind of megalomaniac who thought everyone was watching, but rather the horrible feeling of isolation and feeling alone. Being a SAHM is isolating to begin w/, but then when your one weekly outing w/ grown-ups is spent hearing how well CIO is working, or how little Bree is off the breast and eating solids like a champ at 6 months...it's depressing, or at least it was for me. So anyway, I agree, try to seek out some AP friends through Meetup or LL or whatever. Like I said, I found a great homeschooling group through LL and that worked fabulously...until he started school. Now I'm back where I started. Waaah!!!

 

Anyway, hang in there, OP. Having like-minded people around you is a wonderful thing.

post #27 of 28
What's wrong with standing out a bit? If you believe in what you are doing, who cares if you stand out? Stop comparing yourself to "normal" people. Start hanging out with people who share your values and be happy.
post #28 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpiderMum View Post

What's wrong with standing out a bit? If you believe in what you are doing, who cares if you stand out? Stop comparing yourself to "normal" people. Start hanging out with people who share your values and be happy.



Yes to this! It actually did give me a good feeling to stand out when I was nursing in public and wearing my baby or toddler in a sling. Because, in my heart I knew that these biologically normal behaviors really shouldn't stand out, so, by my willingness to stand out and be seen doing the normal, child-responsive thing, I felt like I might be planting little seeds in anyone who might be watching. Maybe just seeing me doing these things wouldn't completely tip the scales, but it might just cause some minds to question the norm of plopping Baby in a bucket-seat with a propped bottle in her mouth.

 

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