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What do you say when others bring up pregnancy/birthing/parenting issues? - Page 2

Poll Results: What do you say when others bring up pregnancy/birthing/parenting issues?

  • 4% (9)
    I keep quiet. They probably wouldn't understand/respect my 'crunchy-granola ways'
  • 58% (111)
    I go into detail only if they seem receptive.
  • 30% (58)
    I tell them exactly what I think. Its important to expose people to better ways to raise healthy children
  • 6% (12)
    I've been known to get into heated debates over such issues. I like a good argument.
190 Total Votes  
post #21 of 44
I have such a hard time holding my tongue, but I feel I need to IRL when it comes to APing since I'm not a mother yet. (But I'll debate it on a message board! )

For some reason, I'm never in the "mainstream." For example, I have two Rottweilers, of whom I have to constantly defend. I can only imagine how it's going to be when I don't circ my son, cloth diaper, baby wear, bf in public, extend bf, etc., etc., etc.

I think the problem is that people go too much by what they hear and not enough on actual facts. It's hard to be educated and not educate those who aren't. (Um, I hope I didn't ramble too much! :LOL )
post #22 of 44
i try to squeeze in my opinion while being subtle.

For instance if someone says "Oh I hated breastfeeding, who would want to be so tied down by a gross littlke baby?" I would say "Oh I loved every minute of it!!The bond it created is just something I will cherish forever"

Or, if someone complains about getting up at all hours of the night I might just slip in how much better it is to just roll over and hook up.
post #23 of 44
Because I'm not yet a mother, I have to show SOME restraint in lecturing people about their parenting! I think the same will hold true of lecturing people who have kids older than mine in the future. However, being a developmental psychologist and doing a lot of reading on family issues gives me SOME right to opinions, I feel.

The thing I try to ALWAYS do is to support parents who are doing things "right". This comes up either in a conversation where a "right" parent and a "wrong" parent (or other opinion-giver) are at odds, or when someone talking to me says, "Can you believe X is using parenting technique Y?!" Then I will talk about the advantages of that technique and the benefits I observe in the child.

When I'm only talking to someone "wrong", I almost always express my views at least a little, but how long I continue depends on their reaction. For example, a former co-worker was all excited about BF while pregnant, but when her baby was 3mo and she came back to work she said she'd weaned him a month earlier. "Really! Why??" "Oh, I was just so over it." "How do you mean?" "I was so over it," she repeated firmly. That told me she didn't want to discuss it, so I dropped it. (I still wonder....) When a "wrong" parent seems receptive to the "right" idea or uncertain about the "wrong" idea, I really go to town with advocacy, unless they start flinching!

Because most of the people I hang around with are non-parents, most of the parenting discussions are theoretical. There are two kinds of those: "What I'm going to do when I have kids," and "What all parents ought to be doing, dammit!" (Funny how the latter so often comes from people who are purposely "child-free".: ) In these discussions, because there's no specific child being discussed and because I have more experience w/children than most of the people present, my opinions generally get a decent hearing, and people are pretty receptive. The one that really works like a charm is when people are talking about how to get kids to behave properly in public, usually advocating setting a lot of rules and enforcing them punitively....I explain that one of a child's strongest desires is to do what bigger people do and be accepted into our world, so instead of making rules about "what you must not do and what will happen if you do it" explain "this is what we do"; positive reinforcement is more effective than negative. I love seeing the lightbulbs go on in my friends' eyes!
post #24 of 44
I posted a similar topic on the diapering board. Here's my dilemma:

Debra Baker: There's so much pressure for people like us to sit down, shut up, and be polite but why isn't the standard the same for the opposite??!!
I think that it is because when you say something like, "I use cloth diapers because it is healthier for my baby's skin." People feel defensive about *their* choice to use something that you have (by not using it) deemed inferior.

People who say that BF, CDing, co-sleeping, wearing the baby, and all of that stuff is going to make me "too tired" obviously don't realize that I don't care whether it makes me tired or not because it is BEST for baby. And I am irritated with their condescending you'll-see-when-baby-comes attitudes! (We are due this spring with baby #1)

It makes me so mad. Not this mad ---> But, this mad! --->
post #25 of 44
We went to a New Year's Eve party with our 4 yo and 9 mo. I made a comment about how I was still nursing the 9 mo (and later nursed him three times at the party) and an acquaintance, who is 31 and engaged, said, "Oh, you're nursing? That's a LOT of work, huh?"

I said, "No, not at all. It's a lot easier than formula feeding and much healthier." I said it in a very blase way, and she just got a thoughtful look on her face.

I later nursed without worrying if people saw (we were the rare folks with kids, so in the minority). I figure I'm going to lead by example.

But if someone ever were in my face about something I do (cosleeping, bfing, nocirc, etc.) I'd dish it right back to them, asking for their facts to support their claims. Slavery, gender discrimination, racial discrimination, etc. were all "mainstream" at one point too, ya know? That doesn't make them, or any other non-child centered parenting styles, right.

That said, some of the things I would never do in my family as it is right now--a dad, a mom, two kids, and I'm a SAHM--I might do under other circumstances. If I were a single parent, there might be times I'd use a pacifier, or let the baby cry more, use a stroller more, etc or if I had twins and little support. We parent as best we can and we have to take into consideration many factors. But when someone tries to tell me I'm "spoiling" my kid by holding him or cosleeping, it's like they're speaking a different language.

post #26 of 44
This has recently come up again for me. I have had a few converts in my time and a few that I had to celebrate the differences.
These children choose us as their parents for a reason. Some of them know they will need parents like us and others know that for them the other type will provide them with the circumstances that they require to learn the lessons they need in this lifetime. I know I got the child I was meant to have. I think she knew that there were few mothers who would have been up for the challenge (great kid mind you, just spirited.)
It's come up for me because dh's stepsister recently had a baby and does things very different from me. Now, I'm getting lots of questions like, "So, can you put her in her own bed and let her fall asleep, or do you have to be with her the whole time?" and "So she just nurses when she's sleepy, right?" The SS went back to work after 4 weeks and stopped bfing after a few days because she really felt too much pressure to get it right before she went back and it wasn't going smoothly. She is very driven in her career and has a high stress/paying job. I see the way we live as a choice. I have chosen to go without a lot of the extras in order to be the person who gets to raise my dd. Our decision is right for us. I hope their decision is right for them. We will certainly raise two decidedly different children.
In most cases, I measure how much info to leak at a time based on the reaction I get. Some people need to stick their big toe in before they get in the water. Others jump right in. I jumped right in. I read everything I could get my hands on and went with my gut. Most people would agree that Zen is a pretty amazing child.
post #27 of 44
What I find crazy is that people (my family especially) have no problem blurting out their feelings about my stlye of parenting (why do you hold him so much, how much longer are you going to breast feed - I think its weird, I don't understand why you don't give him sweets (he's one), blah blah blah - when I would never think of coming right out and telling people how wrong I think some of the things I think they do are. I swear sometimes I feel like I should. My sister is all over me all of the time over over one thing or another about how I raise my son. I have never once told her what I think of what she does. She would probably fall over if I did though. It is so frustrating.
post #28 of 44
I tell people what I think, but I try to be really polite about it. Unless people are rude to me (i.e. "You're going to turn your baby into a spoiled brat if you hold her all the time!) When I hear stuff like that, I rip into people.

post #29 of 44
Leading by example is the best way to influence others. It's difficult to argue with success! DD spends all of her time laughing and smiling, while actively exploring her surroundings. We must be doing something right!!!

I will happily share my opinions about parenting in as non-judgemental a way as possible. If the response I get is a receptive one, I will elaborate, if not, I just move on to another topic. It's not my responsibility to try and change others, but if possible I can educate those willing to listen . . . .

mommy to Greta 3/14/02
post #30 of 44
If people are discussing parenting styles, I will definitely chime in and let them know what I do. I don't, however, feel the need to "convert" anyone; after all, I wouldn't like them to try to convince me that CIO is the way to go (just an example!). If someone challenges me, however, I will back up my position. I think I'm a lot luckier than many of the mamas here, because I have rarely had anyone directly challenge me in that way! I've found that people who get really confrontational probably do so because they feel insecure about their own choices anyway, and they are just looking for a fight, so the best thing to do is to say, "Let's just agree to disagree on this," and walk away.

Also, if someone directly asks me for advice, that's a different story. Then I'm happy to quote statistics and studies and whatever else I may have in my brain! Sometimes I may get carried away, but that's more out of excitement rather than preachiness!
post #31 of 44
I am a young mother and before I was pg I thought it odd to bf past 12 months and freely talked about my views. I had friends who did extended bfing and didn't understand it. I also thought I would have drugs and an ob. Well, today with a 9 month old my views have changed. We bf and bottle feed. We pretty much co-sleep and I had a mid-wife with no pain killers. i was however induced babe was two and half weeks late. My APing friends didn't preach they showed me. they talked abouth the ups and downs. Now I am trying to encourage a someone I know to bf when she has kids and to not be to upset if babe ends up in bed with you. I hate it when people preach or say it's the way it should be done. If it works for you do it.
post #32 of 44
Eventually, my 18mo dd will be proof of the effectiveness of APing. But now, my words don't have a lot of back up. She's sweet, intelligent, and empathetic, but to others, she's shy and clingy. And she is. The mainstream mommas I know probably think that my parenting style has fostered dependence, and independence is very important to them. But I know without a doubt that dd was born with a fear of abandonment. I can't bring myself to force her to stay with a baby sitter, because I'm afraid that all my hard work to get her to trust that I will never abandon her would all be for nothing. I am convinced that our AP ways are doing good, not harm. But it's difficult for other parents to see that.

One way I've been trying to expose strangers to APing is to tell them to look up Elimination Communication info on the internet. Some people expecting babies have noticed that we are toilet training dd, and I tell them that it's easy because we started EC when she was 8 months, and that I wish I'd known about it earlier. Many of the EC sites have some info about AP. And EC itself requires a bond between parent and baby that is not encouraged by mainstream society. My subtle way of spreading enlightenment.
post #33 of 44
I always speak my mind on any subject matter, sometimes it's met with questions, sometimes with excuses on why that wouldn't/couldn't possibly work for them. Like nursing or no meds childbirth(although that wasn't really planned). My mother even said my children were not "normal" cause they didn't wake up extra early just to watch cartoons. Whatever. I'm not raising them to be freaks, hello!
post #34 of 44
I didn't vote because although I tell people exactly what I think, it's not because I think they need educating and I am some kind of expert or that I know best. I just like letting people know there are other parenting styles available.
post #35 of 44
Ditto the posters who hold up their children as 'models.'

I used to feel like a couple we know thought we were nuts because of how we do things.
Now that they're pregnant, I hear that they talk about us all the time and admire our children and they way we do things.
I try never to be pushy, but to calmly state what we do and what works for us. My mother was always this way. She generally didn't 'pipe up' on things unless she felt it was really necessary and then she made a simple inoffensive comment to provoke thought and leave an opening for follow-up.
I don't think I'll ever be as good as she is, though!

My usual comment is that it works for us, or there are other ways, or something to that effect. I also like to act as though mainstream is not! (I'm lucky to have a large circle of non-mainstream friends) So I can truly and sincerely say things like, "Really! I don't know anyone who makes their babies go to sleep crying alone in a crib!" and "Circumcision? No one does THAT to their babies anymore!" etc.

I did recently miss a baby shower that I wanted to attend, even though I had misgivings about being the only natural parenting mother there--most of the other folks would have been childless or from the last generation. Oh well--can't 'save' them all, LOL!

I remember when we were planning a family, we had two very different families we knew. One family was always immaculately dressed and miserable, horrible to be near, keeping-up-appbearances and what-will-people-say. The other had kids who were always disheveled and wrinkled, they did things their own way, and swam upstream but were, and still are a joy to be around. I looked at those two very different families and had no doubts about which I preferred to emulate.
post #36 of 44
It really depends on the crowd, and how tired I am of defending my parenting style.

I LIKE talking about how we raise our son (but I like it better when my audience supports what we do).

But given that I don't know any other cloth diapering or EBF'ing mothers, that supportive audience isn't always around!
post #37 of 44
Not much. I don't think I have a lot of credibility with mainstream moms, or my parents for that matter, because I am soft spoken, and I rarely complain about my house/kids/husband. I firmly think that if someone wants my opinion they'll ask for it.

How could they know what a plethora of information they're passing by? . That said, if I think I can help someone, or pass along information to someone who is looking for it, I will. I also don't hesitate picking someone's brain for information, and asking a million questions (right sohappynow? ).

I loved my birth, I love my girlie and being with her is my favourite thing to do. It seems few of my peers feel the same way.

post #38 of 44
I've parented my children both ways. With my oldest, I co slept until he was 4.5 years old and I only nursed him for 6 weeks . With the twins, we still co sleep (as much as possible) and I only nursed them for 2 months. With the baby, he's slept with us since the day he came home, he doesn't know what a pacifier or a bottle is, he's still BFing (he's 18 months old), he still goes everywhere in a sling (unless he wants to walk ), and I'll be darned if he isn't the most independent, well-behaved child of them all. I think that gives APing a wonderful endorsement, don't you? When ppl comment on how independent Hunter is, I tell them our AP story. Then, either they : or they .
When my sister said she was weaning her baby (he's 5 mos) I almost because I feel so passionately about BFing. At least do that for the baby!!!! Can't change 'em all, as my DH says....But, I can Try!!!!!
post #39 of 44
On the other side of the fence, I've had people come up to me while I am cuddling my Goo and giving her a bottle and actually say "how can you be so cruel to you baby by giving her chemicals? You should be breasfeeding. It's natural" Man that pisses me off. a) I understand the benefits of BF and the benefits of FF b) you don't know me, or my situation so how do you know that I didn't bf? c) what is it your business anyway?

however, if someone had asked me how I felt about BF, I would tell them my views (Strongly support others, didn't work for me).

There are no "RIGHT" ways to parent. There are only things that we all recognise as wrong.
post #40 of 44
Originally posted by MamaOui
I am somewhere in the middle of all of this. If I hear someone giving false information to another mother, I will chime in with stats and my own experience. Like if I hear another mother tell a new mom that co-sleeping is dangerous, I just can't let that slide.

I am also someone who is vocal about the things I do. If someone asks me about the sleeping patterns of my children, I will go into detail about co-sleeping and breastfeeding. Or if someone tells me I carry my babes too much or that boy my back must hurt because I carry my babe so much, I tell them about the wonders of a sling or good front carrier.

I parent with pride,
Kerry~mama to Max and Ivan

Thank you Kerry.....I knew I wanted to post to this topic, but couldn't find the words(major mamma mush brain) and your ideas are right on...I feel exactly the same...Thank you
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