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am i obsessive, prejudice, type A or what?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
i am having a really hard time understanding what the heck my problem is regarding how other people choose to raise their kids. on the one hand, i believe everyone has a right to raise their child how they wish and very rarely (unless asked) tell people advice on childrearing. however,in my head certain things drive me insane. and not just make me mad, but somewhere in my heart i believe they are "damaging" their child in some way because it's not what i believe is right for my family. i'll give some examples, but i don't want this to be a discussion over whether or not my values are right or wrong etc. i just want to understand why i feel this way and not be so judgemental about other people's values.

ok...i really don't believe it's right to bottle-feed infants unless it's medically necessary. or to use substitute paci's in place of the breast. i believe it is "right" to child-led wean. i don't believe small children should sleep in a separate room at night (doesn't matter to me so much about the same bed,just same room) and I don't think it's good for a baby to be left without mom if the child shows distress from it.

now...i know that most people are not as nazi about this stuff as i am, so i have to figure there is something wrong with my brain chemistry or something. this way of thinking has actually become quite stressful for me. my sister-in-law is pregnant and in my head i obsess over whether or not she will circumcise, or follow-through on an epidural at birth. of course i would never say anything and i even had an epidural at my first birth.

i know i'm not just a bi%%%. I don't have many other real control issues. i just wish i could be more understanding and accepting of the way other people parent.

any advice?
post #2 of 22
okay I am reading and love a book Called the Dark Side of the Light Chasers by Debbie Ford and it is all about uncovering our shadow side and healing that part of ourselves. So my question to you would be what way of being do these parents ways of parenting seem to you. You have to go deep inside and put a name to how you perceive they are "being" that makes you so insane. Most likely it is a way of being that you can't stand and cannot possibly see in yourself. Now look deep inside and figure out where in your life you are being this way. It most likely shows up in some other area of your life other than parenting. Because the traits in others that really charge us are the ones that we are not willing to admit we are capable of being. If you want to learn more I would greatly suggest reading the book, she has exercises in it as well to help you discover it. Once you find what your shadow belief is and heal from it, that trait will no longer charge you so much. You will be able to notice it, but it won't make you so judgemental and "insane".
post #3 of 22
if you are feeling these things and not acting on them (telling them how you feel/your opinions) I don't think your being insane at all. I feel as you do, but have found it to be better for me not to say anything (unless pushed to or asked to)) because its not worth it. I am estranged from my sister now going on 2 years because I couldn't keep my opinions to myself (nor she). Is it worth it? Its very complicated, follow your heart indeed.
post #4 of 22
I suppose it is good that you are not speaking your mind out loud ...or is it. I wonder..have you ever though while your thinking these thoughts about why that certain mother is not breastfeeding her child, or why do they put their child in a crib and not sleep with them in their bed. People have honest to good ness mortal fears of waking up to find that they have squished the child ..you and I know that woudnt happen but some people cannot work it out in their minds that it will not happen. Perhaps that mother does not breastfeed because she has to take medication to live normally to care for the child and doesnt want her child exposed to the chemicals in her body. I would have lloved nothing more then to breast feed my child and feel that specialness,but in order for me to be able to care for her i need to take medication that excrets into the milk,,now what should i have done give her contaminated milk and risk her life or go the other way ...
I think that maybe you ought think on these reasons before you go off judging.
Your way of life is best for you but may not be for others. I disagree with a lot of ways people are raising their children, we all do, but there is always another side to it that needs attention
Many peope do not agree with how you or I live and raise our kids, but its non of their business nor is it yours.
post #5 of 22
I can't be sure but I don't think she is talking about these types of situations/exceptions which by btw are unusual circumstances.
-Many people who choose not to breastfeed are healthy-
-There are co-sleepers that attach to the bed to keep the baby at a safe distance for those who are paranoid about squishing their babies,although I believe momas have a natural instinct that would make this virtually impossible. When you hear about momas suffocating their babies they were probably drunk, on drugs,morbidly obese or completley stupid.
post #6 of 22
Just wanted to say that whatever it is, I'm the same way.

post #7 of 22
well I dunno then....guess I just missed something
post #8 of 22
Well I'm not very understanding either, I keep my thoughts to myself, but there certainly are a lot of them!
post #9 of 22
I used to be this way when I first became a parent and first started reading alot about AP. I got very judgmental and started feeling very superior to people who didn't do it my way. Then, as time went on, I started getting exposed to lots of different people who made lots of different choices and I heard their reasoning. And though I could still disagree with the choice, I started to realize that people make these choices with the best intentions in mind (for the most part). People make their choices with the knowledge they have in hand. They make these choices due to what they know from their experiences and from their own upbringing. Alot goes into parenting choices for almost everyone. It's not all this idea of scheduling c-sections for sheer vanity that we at MDC like to rail against so much. For most people, there are nuanced reasons for all of this that has alot to do with things that I am in no place to judge. I don't mean to excuse what I too deem to be damaging as "the best choice for someone's family", but given what I've seen and learned, I think most of the time it is. I'm not in a position to cast judgment - I am, after all, merely human, flawed as much as the next person, and I'm sure there are decisions in my life that other people may consider to be ahem, less-than-ideal. I've learned to just bite my tongue or share the things I know to be true in as gentle a way as possible. Realizing these things about impoverished people, ignorant of what I think is less damaging, for instance, realizing what it must take to just get by, let alone realize the benefits of ebf or cosleeping against all cultural influences, has mellowed me ALOT. I realize I am the product of my culture as much as anyone else and though I try to fight it, it's so much easier to do so when you're coming from a place of privilege the way that I am (and by privilege I mean from a middle-class white family with higher education, though my extended family is not all educated and none are wealthy and we are in fact living well below the poverty line). Anyway, I've learned to just shut up about it. When I see what other people have gone through, it's alot easier, though I certainly am still passionate about these things and do in fact think they are right, I just carry alot less judgment about it. Also struggling helps with this too. Facing death, facing challenge will wake you up to how okay everything is real quick.
post #10 of 22
Moved to Personal Growth.
post #11 of 22


.... to feel judgment about people is normal, it's human, but it is not coming form a place of love (as I'm sure you know).

What has helped me when I feel judgment toward people is to remember two things: (1) that there are no bad people - just bad actions (and let's not debate this here, o.k.) and (2) that everyone does as they are able to *at that present time*.

To eleborate on point (2) - if a parent had more info, has read the stats on why it is ok to sleep with your baby, why it is better not to bottle-feed, etc. and still makes the decision not to (health and medical reasons aside), it is because of a lack of emotional (and psychological) wholeness.

It takes a certain level of surrender (as we all know) to give yourself that unconditionally to another human being, and some people have emotional scars that leave them unable to surrender 100%. Scars come in many guises and are sometimes imperceptible, even to those who carry them.

But I find it helps me to hold that person toward whom I feel judgment in my heart in a loving, kind way and send them peaceful thoughts, understanding that we all can only do as much as we are able at any given moment.

Michelle in NY
post #12 of 22
well put michele1k
post #13 of 22
I believe most people are struggling every day to live their lives the best they know how. I believe most people have the best intentions for their children, even if they do not have the best information. I also believe that each of us is deserving of respect, the same respect I expect when I nurse my toddler in public, or change a cloth diaper, or do any of the "hippie" stuff I do in raising my DD. I don't want to feel judged and neither does anyone else.

I know it can be hard (I struggled with a lot of the feelings you are having) but I advise you work on letting it all go. Freeing your heart of such judgements is truly a weight lifted.
post #14 of 22
When my first was brand new, I felt really defensive about my parenting choices. I saw anyone who did things differently as a threat, so I became angry with them, when it is really none of my business if they give formula or put their baby in a crib. I used to think that only weak-willed women got railroaded into cesareans, then I had one myself. I used to think that anyone could breastfeed if they wanted to badly enough, until I had major difficulties nursing my baby and realized that it's not always as easy as LLL would lead you to believe. I used to think that people who said they could lay their baby down while still awake, and that baby would drift off peacefully without a fuss were lying about not using CIO, until my 2nd child was one of those mythical "easy" babies. Try widening your perspective. Those negative thoughts and feelings are not just hurtful to those other people, but to yourself as well.
post #15 of 22
post #16 of 22
thank you!! Wow some great wisdom from an experienced mother! well said!!
post #17 of 22
I used to be like that.....a lot. I had a very harsh lesson where I was judged by someone and it was a HUGE wake-up call. The incident was life-changing for me because I realized that I was judging others the way this woman judged me....and it didn't feel very good at all.

I also discovered that the only reason I judged others was
1. because I judged myself
2. because if I was "right" then I could feel better about myself.

I have a lot more self-esteem now and feel confident and secure in my parenting choices, therefore I have no reason to judge myself or another. I also realize that I can feel VERY strongly about the choices I make for myself and know that those choices are best for me & my family, but may not work for anyone else.

I know when I get tired, or down or something else is bothering me, I start to feel judgement creeping in the door, then I know it's time for me to look inward again and take some time to heal myself.

It's a process.
post #18 of 22
Maybe this is about parenting issues or it could be clinical anxiety. A lot of moms are simply anxious, regardless of the issue.

I felt much the same way when my kids were littler. As somebody else mentioned, when I gained more self confidence as a mother I quit worrying about other people's parenting as much.

This doesn't mean that when I see a... not very well off mom... at the mall feeding her baby a bottle, I don't shake my head. Doesn't she know how much money she'd save if she'd just nurse her baby??

I know, she very well might be taking psych meds. I certainly should have weaned ds sooner to start up psych meds. The whole family would have been better off, as a whole. But now I only jokingly hiss to dh about these delinquent moms and he accordingly teases me about being a militant breastfeeding cult member.

Dh is the oldest of 7. In his family I've noticed the sisters and sisters-in-law grow up a lot in the last couple of years. We used to gossip a lot to each other about the parenting styles of whichever sister wasn't present. I really think that as each of us moms in dh's family has gained more confidence we've quit gossiping so much. Now if only we could get mil to quit gossiping. And at age 57 she should know better.
post #19 of 22
Originally Posted by michelle1k
if a parent had more info, has read the stats on why it is ok to sleep with your baby, why it is better not to bottle-feed, etc. and still makes the decision not to (health and medical reasons aside), it is because of a lack of emotional (and psychological) wholeness.
I am sitting here trying to think of a non-judgmental way to comment on this...

Wow. That is just... uh... so ironic to be so blatently judgmental on a thread specifically about trying to be less judgmental!

So there could be no conceivable reason that someone would make any parenting decisions that are different than the ones YOU find appropriate? You know all the information, both factual and personal, that could go into each of those decisions? And even if you did, your consensus is right and theirs is wrong? Always? OK.
post #20 of 22
So there could be no conceivable reason that someone would make any parenting decisions that are different than the ones YOU find appropriate? You know all the information, both factual and personal, that could go into each of those decisions? And even if you did, your consensus is right and theirs is wrong? Always? OK
I think, taken within the context of the rest of her compassionately worded post, you and Michelle have the same ultimate message. And that perhaps those were simply the criteria she could think of- at the time she wrote her post.
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