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Be honest: Would you stop being my friend...

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
...if you found out my DS was circ'ed?

[Yes, I regret it, no, I will not circ any future kids, I had no idea what I was doing, read all the wrong research...]

I'm sorry if this sounds dumb, but I'm worried about DS playing naked with his friends. No big deal because usually he prefers to keep his diaper on anyway when all the other toddlers are running around naked but he is enjoying naked time more & more lately & now I'm worried he'll want to be naked around our friends -- which I would have no problem with if it wasn't for my own embarrassment about it, if that makes sense.

I'm worried my friends won't bother asking me about it, that they'll just think I'm an evil horrible person.

I'm also worried it will be upsetting to the other parents to see him like that.

Maybe I'm just being crazy but really, I have read so many posts in this forum that make me afraid I will lose my friends. But it's not fair for DS to not be able to run naked with his friends because of MY mistake. *sigh* Please just be honest.
post #2 of 31

In a word.  No.

 

Are your friends parents to intact boys?  Have you discussed circumcision with them?  Do they know you were ill informed, pressured, misled and otherwise unknowing?  Do they know you regret it and now that you are educated, would not do it again?

 

My choice to be friends and share my life with people is not based upon looking backwards but upon where we are today and where we plan to go tomorrow in our ideas and learning.  Thus, you would totally be included in my circle of friends!!!

 

post #3 of 31

As long as you're not out there counterprotesting the intactivists and demanding that everyone be cut, you're fine by me.  

 

There's a huge pro-circ movement out there--it's very easy to find and is often overwhelming.  The fact that you've since educated yourself says a lot.  

post #4 of 31
No I wouldnt not be your friend. My first thought would be greensad.gif for your ds and I would assume that when you had it done you didnt know you had another option. If you didnt bring it up I wouldnt.
post #5 of 31

Just know that you are not alone in your previous lack of education on the subject of circumcision.  so many of us moms know exactly how you feel.  When I think about myself making that mistake 32 years ago, I still feel guilty, but I also realize that I was at a vulnerable time (in the hospital, having just given birth), and not everyone is a strong during this time.  I wasn't.... and my then husband gave his blessing to the circ, even though I was against it.  And why did he want it so bad for his son?  Because he said his son was going to look like him.  What a ridiculous reason to cut a perfect baby boys genitals!  I know so much about it now, and am very outspoken about it, but it will never erase the guilt I feel for not protecting my son back then.  At this point, I doubt my son really cares about it, he's still young....what he doesn't know is what his mom and stepdad are going through at our age.  We are healthy, fit, active people in our fifties and love each other very much, but the effects of his circ are causing us a lot of grief.  We are both angry, but not at each other.  It's not either of our faults.  It is the fault of ignorance in the 1950's..... when circ was at an all time high of 80%.  You are all very lucky today that you have a voice, facts, and the strength to make a difference for your sons.  We'll figure something out, but right now it is stressful.  We just keep saying to ourselves, if only he had not been altered at birth.  He would not have chosen it for himself, and I know there is a place inside of him that feels betrayed by his mother and the hospital, and he feels they did NOT have the right to do that to him (and then, probably with NO anesthetic because they believed that babies felt no pain!)  I am sad for him and for us, but it just makes me want to spread the word all the more.  I feel guilty even more, because both my daughters circumcised our grand sons in the last two years, even though I feel they should have known better with so much information out there. To them, it wasn't my business.  So sad.

post #6 of 31

"When you know better, you do better."  --Maya Angelou

post #7 of 31

Are you kidding?!?  Heck no.

 

When we know better, we do better. Like Puppyfluffer, I'm more concerned with how people are in the moment and going forward. All of us mamas make mistakes, and my heart really goes out to those who are willing to admit as much and, importantly, make a different choice the next time around. It takes courage and vulnerability to learn from our mistakes, rather than remain in willful ignorance or denial.

 

I might feel sorry for your son, but I would also feel sympathy for you, that you were mislead and given false information on such a critical matter. If you regretted your decision and were sad, I would cry along with you because I can not even imagine how sorrowful I would feel if I were in that same boat. RIC affects and implicates our entire society. We all are (or have been) culpable to some extent for allowing this to continue, for not questioning the practice sooner. So no, I would not dismiss you as a friend based on the status of your son's penis.

 

 

post #8 of 31
Wow. Im shocked that you really think that your friends dont know you well enough to know that you probably know better now. Id just strike up a conversation with one of them about it, and they will tell each other.


I would absolutely be your friend if I found out that your DS was circed. I would make the assumption that you didnt know any better and either that you do now or that you are open to learning about it. Geeze.
Do I seek out mamas who have circed to be friends with? No.
Do judge when people circ their kids who KNOW better? Yes.
Do I judge every mama at the pool who is changing their kid out of his swimsuit and notice that he is cut? No.

I try to assume the best of people. I would absolutely ask you about it though? Id probably say, "Why did you guys decide to circ?" and if you responded that you wish you hadnt and youd never do it again, I would feel for you because I know that you have had to live with a decision you wished you hadnt made. If you said you circed because its best or because DH wanted DC's penis to look like his, or because you didnt want him to have infections, Id probably try to share some information with you and if you werent receptive, I might decide that there is no way we could ever be close friends. (mainly because of an unwillingness to learn, not because of the circ)
post #9 of 31

I also wanted to add that if you care about your friends understanding where you stand on the issue, you may have to be the one to bring it up. Although I feel very strongly against RIC, I have many mama friends who did circ their sons, and many whose sons' status I have no idea, and either way I don't dare bring it up in conversation. Partly because I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings or stir the pot (what's done is done), but also because a part of me would like to keep on hoping that they feel the way you do. If they came out as really defensive or pro-cutting, I'd have to re-evaluate the friendship. So this may be a conversation you'll have to initiate, but if they are decent women, they would completely support you...

post #10 of 31

where i live, most of my friends' sons ARE circumcised. in our own family, however, all 3 of the boy cousins are intact. 

we don't generally do naked time outside of our own house though (although we do PLENTY of naked time inside -- for our potty learning toddler), and friends' kids generally aren't getting naked over here! so the scenario you bring up is a non-issue.

 

my read of your situation is that you feel sorry/guilty for having circumcised, and you fear being judged by others because you are essentially judging yourself.

so.... the time has come to forgive yourself. truly forgive yourself.

once you have done that, you can move past this. you are actually in a very strong position to be a voice against circumcision to your friends. are any of them expecting baby boys? 

 

i think that once you get past the forgiveness part (forgiving yourself), you will have the courage to bring up this topic with your friends. 

 

and if naked time for the toddlers is at hand, join right in.

post #11 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by PuppyFluffer View Post

My choice to be friends and share my life with people is not based upon looking backwards but upon where we are today and where we plan to go tomorrow in our ideas and learning.  Thus, you would totally be included in my circle of friends!!!

 


yeahthat.gif wonderfully said!

 

post #12 of 31

It's the people who refuse to see the other side and say stuff like "All my boys will be circ'ed! It's not that big of a deal." that I have an issue with. I like to think I am friends with people who are smarter than that.

post #13 of 31

no i wouldn't!  and that's one of the crunchy-whatever things that i feel most strongly about. 

i have had friends circ even after i tried to convince them otherwise.  sometimes i have a hard time being internally non-judgy with it, to be perfectly honest, but i would still be friends. 

you're in a really good position, though, to be able to talk to people about non circ and be taken seriously.  it's much easier to talk to people about regretting having done it if they are considering doing it, you know?  you're coming from the same place and having that common ground makes people much more relaxed, and this is an issue where people DO get very defensive about their choices... 

and also-- maybe i am just crazy but if we're talking about little kids nakkey in the sprinkler i really can't LOOK and tell who is and who isn't or i guess i probably wouldn't think about looking...do you have the kinds of friends who are just looking for something to be critical about?  (i know some people are like that but ick)

i have a friend who didn't circ her kid and i saw that kid naked like 20 times before i realized that he wasn't.  it's not something people really look at, i wouldn't think!!! 

and.. judging people for circ without at least asking or having discussed it?  my dh's cousin had to circ because of a physical abnormality (they had to use the foreskin to rebuild a bit).  that would kind of peeve me to think about a situation like that.  there are always exceptions, and people have reasons for doing things that are not always immediately apparent, too, ya know?

post #14 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by A&A View Post

"When you know better, you do better."  --Maya Angelou


nod.gif

post #15 of 31

If you were my friend, I would have intervened and tried to protect your son from you having him circumcised. If the friendship ended, it would have been back then, not now. 

post #16 of 31

So a little off the subject..... but I recently donated to NOCIRC and ordered their educational pamphlets about circumcision.  I am trying to think about how to distribute them, so does anyone have any ideas?  Here we only have one hospital, so I thought about going to the labor and delivery waiting room and hand them out.  What do you think?

post #17 of 31

Truly, I would never think to look. I don't even know if I could tell the difference between the boy parts because I never really gave them a good once-over. Regardless, I would not stop being your friend. I don't believe in circumcision, but this is by no means a deal-breaker for friendship. If I thought you were a hostile mother...that you degraded or demeaned your child...I couldn't be your friend. If you were a heavy drinker or smoked in your home, I might have a tough time making friendship work because I would not want my kids exposed to those influences. But this? Nah. Whatever.

post #18 of 31
Thread Starter 
I am so relieved to read this, I'm glad I asked because I'd really been worrying about it!!

And you're right that probably most people wouldn't even look or notice.

I feel like circ'ing is so contradictory to every other aspect of my parenting... why oh why did I not think of it like this BEFORE DS was born??? I feel like most of my parenting is pretty instinctual, what the heck kind of instinct would tell me to cut off a part of my baby?!?!? (I seriously thought it was basically like cutting a fingernail). *sigh* So hopefully everyone will look beyond my mistakes. I tend to have this same fear about everything in my past (i.e. would they run for the hills if they found out I spent time in a psych ward? etc.) so I may just be projecting my own issues...

My friends are wonderful and I guess I am not giving them enough credit.
post #19 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by NatureMom2Two View Post

Truly, I would never think to look. I don't even know if I could tell the difference between the boy parts because I never really gave them a good once-over. Regardless, I would not stop being your friend. I don't believe in circumcision, but this is by no means a deal-breaker for friendship. If I thought you were a hostile mother...that you degraded or demeaned your child...I couldn't be your friend. If you were a heavy drinker or smoked in your home, I might have a tough time making friendship work because I would not want my kids exposed to those influences. But this? Nah. Whatever.



I have to say, I would be crunchy_mommys friend because I would assume that she didnt know better when she did it. However, I do believe that circ is a really awful practice and people who choose to do this to their child after being given all the information ARE demeaning and degrading their children (imo). Circumcision is a form of genital mutilation, which is something I definitely consider to be degrading. It is absolutely a deal breaker for a friendship for me if the person knows all about it, and knows that its not necessary, and knows that the rates are drastically dropping, and has listened to all the arguments and still does it....there is no way I can respect them as a person if they arent respecting their own child's genitals enough to leave them intact. just my opinion....(and crunchy_mommy, I hope my statement about it being a dealbreaker doesnt hurt your feelings)



HOWEVER, as I have said, I would not automatically assume that any mother knew all of the information (or wasnt bullied into it), so that doesnt leave very many moms. Pretty much, the pro-circers who are out there counter protesting intactivist are people I would consider be this way. I have several friends who have circed their kids, and they all say "If I knew then what I know now...." and kick themselves. I dont want to kick them anymore than they are already kicking themselves.

And I do look. Maybe its because I just had a baby 16 months ago and its still fresh on my mind, but I look at every single naked little boy I see to see if he is circed. Maybe Im nosy, maybe Im curious, maybe Im secretly judging people because I want to see if they are the kind of parent who is evil enough to circ their kid. I dont know, I just know that I do look.
post #20 of 31

No, I wouldn't...even if you didn't regret it.  I'm completely against it and when I don't want to know (can't handle the answer) I don't ask.  I'd give you any info I could while you were pregnant and then push it out of my head and hope you didn't circ, but I'd still be friends with you.

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