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The Granola Extreme - Page 3

post #41 of 327
I think no matter what circles you run in, you always will run into people who have a highly competetive edge, who need to be the fastest, the strongest, the best at EVERYTHING they do. I've seen it in my mainstream groups of friends and in my crunchy groups of friends (and oh man, you should see what happens when I have both groups of friends over at the same time!).

People I know IRL tend to usually not give me too much crap for any decision I choose to make regarding anything, whether they're crunchy or mainstream. I do massive amounts of research (a discussion about a serious subject will end in me pulling huge binders out of my bookshelf for the opposition to read), I weigh it carefully, and I make the decision. Once my mind is made up, it usually doesn't change. You are more than welcome to state your opinion, which I welcome and enjoy, but I had better be able to present mine. I don't deal with bickering, one-upmanship, or accusations of crappy parenting.

As far as one group being worse than the other, I don't see it that way. I just see different things to bash on. In the AP/NFL/Granola world, it's breastfeeding, vaccines, epidurals, homebirth/UC's and circs. If you vary from the "norm" within the crunchy circle, you tend to be ostracized a bit, accused of not educating yourself, etc by at least one person. In the mainstream world, the things to bash on tend to be formula choice, consumeristic ideals (who has the best stroller vs. the crappiest), prep pre-schools, college plans for 2 year olds, etc. Once again, if you vary from the norm within these circles, you're subject to bashing within the community.

It happens equally in both circles. Both circles bash the other, then get bored and bash within the ranks. No one does it more, the arguments just vary.

All in all, though, I think if women would stop hating on each other for idiotic, petty reasons and start showing more loving guidance and support, the world would change drastically.
post #42 of 327
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
I think too often people take "discussions" of a certain topic as "holier than thou". In a discussion people discuss thier reasons for doing things and others might contrast or compare thier experiences. Somehow someone in the party becomes deemed the "holier than thou" person.
Well, I think it's hard not to take discussions as "holier than thou" when mothers who ask questions about crib sleeping are accused by other posters of putting their baby in a cage. Or when a mom goes on at length about how she could never ever ever let another human take care of her child for even an hour without being wracked with guilt.

Because, clearly, the people that post these sort of opinions feel that they *are* more AP than others. And they make other people, the ones that do use a sitter or don't cosleep, feel like crap.

The above examples are somewhat extreme (although very real ones from this site), but this happens every day here, in subtler forms.
post #43 of 327
Dh and I are crunchy and "AP"/NFL b/c it's sort of the way we were brought up. And it makes sense to us, intellectually AND emotionally. Neither of us could give a rat's ass how other people do things or what they think of us. We do like finding other people who do things the way we do b/c we tend to have more in common w/ them for 1, and for another, we actually feel comfortable letting our kids go to their houses w/out having to stay w/ them the whole time. I don't think we are very competitive. Sometimes I talk about what others are doing and say we need to do that. But it's not b/c I'm trying to keep up, it's b/c I think it's a great idea that I hadn't thought of myself.
post #44 of 327
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinaKat View Post

Instead of helping women be the best mamas they can be, I sometimes feel like the AP movement can be a way to make women even more tortured about their choices -- because, sometimes, you really just can't be good enough.
Amen, and amen.
post #45 of 327
Quote:
Originally Posted by kidspiration View Post

as for mainstream mama bashing here at mdc, you have to remember that for many of us, this is the only place that we can vent about stuff like that and get like-minded support and commiseration. so that definitely requires some consideration.
Hmm, this too, though.
post #46 of 327
I have a question, though. Does it matter what a person's motivation is for doing all the AP/NFL stuff, or is it enough that they're even doing it?

I guess for some people, a huge part of the appeal of AP/NFL is that it's kind of 'edgy'. If it became mainstream, would it still appeal to them as much?

It seems like in many movements, there is a pride of ownership in those who were there 'first'. And they feel like everyone who comes after them is somehow not as authentic. KWIM?

Arrgh, I will try to come back tomorrow to form more coherent sentences after some sleep.
post #47 of 327
I think I have noticed IRL a lot of people assuming that it is all or nothing, like somehow there is a set of decisions that all go hand in hand and any variation from that is either a failure or some terrible contradiction. For example, I find it assumed that because I still wear my son (age 3) on a somewhat regular basis, I must be breastfeeding also or because we chose not to circ, we chose to delay vaxs. The truth is that I am a pro-choice Catholic, anti-circ and very ok with-vax, buy nearly all organic/whole groceries but am happy to grab a burger on the go every so often, washed my own cloth diapers but carried them home in plastic grocery sacks, I am interested in a VBAC but don't regret my c/s for a minute, did not do CIO but was happy to have my son in a separate crib based on his needs. Heck, I get Mothering AND Brain, Child AND the WSJ. I don't see a need to put people into neat boxes, life is a little more mixed up than that. Before I had my son, I bought several soft carriers/slings and a co-sleeper and ended up with a stroller loving, crib loving kid. So I had to get a crib and a stroller, lol. I firmly believe that whatever works best for my family is the best route for us to take. I am very hardcore I suppose in many of my beliefs (against disposible diapers and for whole foods for example) but I don't try and convince others to do it the way it worked for me and my family because who the heck am I to say what the heck might work for their family? I used to work for a parenting non-profit and beleive me I have seen the judgements flying in all directions on parenting issues. However, in my area, the climate is a bit more skewed to the crunch factor.
post #48 of 327
Quote:
Originally Posted by kidspiration View Post
as for mainstream mama bashing here at mdc, you have to remember that for many of us, this is the only place that we can vent about stuff like that and get like-minded support and commiseration. so that definitely requires some consideration.
I know a lot of people feel that way. And I have certainly "vented" myself, though I do not anymore. Why? Because I have learned it simply does not accomplish anything positive. It may make me feel momentarily vindicated, but in the long run, all I have done by my "venting" is spew out negativity.

And when the other people do come into commeriserate.. well, it sometimes looks like a mob-mentality cyber-space stone-throwing gang. A gang all mobilized to turn on some random mama at wallmart, or some mama from a playgroup, with metaphorical pitchforks and torches. And it is ugly as hell.

And maybe other mamas need that kind of commiseration to feel okay about themselves. But I don't find it healthy or helpful at all.

I know people will defend the "venting" to the death.

But I recently edited a "venting" post of my own for exactly those reasons.
Un-mindful, angry, judmental words accomplish nothing positive. And sometimes I really shudder at what gets said around here in the name of ap/nfl.
post #49 of 327
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinaKat View Post
Well, I think it's hard not to take discussions as "holier than thou" when mothers who ask questions about crib sleeping are accused by other posters of putting their baby in a cage. Or when a mom goes on at length about how she could never ever ever let another human take care of her child for even an hour without being wracked with guilt.

Because, clearly, the people that post these sort of opinions feel that they *are* more AP than others. And they make other people, the ones that do use a sitter or don't cosleep, feel like crap.

The above examples are somewhat extreme (although very real ones from this site), but this happens every day here, in subtler forms.
This must be where we differ. (red part highlighted by me) I do not find it clear that because they do something different or have a different idea that they "think they are more" anything than me. I used a crib and we use sitters all of the time. I have been in those discussions. I know where I stand in the line-up, have reasons that are good for me, and am completely happy with my choices. They are right for me. I have explained why they are right for *me*. But if someone else feels like a crib is a cage, I respect that opinion and think it only makes sense that they choose not to use one. Is it automatically "holier than thou" to take one thing to an extreme if it is very important to that parent? I agree completely that attacking someone that does something different or name calling in the spirit you are describing would be "holier than thou". But I do not think that feeling compelled to do something and not being afraid to say why should have any inpact on me, even if it is extreme.

Should people that feel strongly that they need to "do it all" for whatever reason automatically be considered "holier than thou"? Should they just be quiet about thier choices? Where is the cut-off? While I do not "do it all", I do learn from people that do. I do not even want to do it all, but talking to people who do gives me perspective. I do not find it theatening. And frankly, I do not care if they look down on me for my choices, although it is rare that I feel that is truly the case.
post #50 of 327
Something I find a little amusing is that what we are discussing here varies so much by persepctive. On MDC, I am in the middle of the road somewhere. I will not list my "qualifications" but I do many things AP/NFL, but also do not do others. IRL, though, I am considered the "do it all" type. Breastfeeding past one year gave me that title. Maybe people think I am "holier than thou"? I am guessing a lot more would think so on a Babywise club, eh? We cannot hit a moving target. I do not think we can even sum up the profile of a "holier than thou" person as it differs from everyone's persepctive.

I really really hate when people bring up the "no one can make you feel bad unless you want to feel bad" argument, but this is one case where I feel it applies. When I start to feel like another person is "holier than thou" it is usually because *I* feel like I could do better. I feel threatened. Usually I recognize this, gather my thoughts, re-evaluate my own decisions, and either decide to change or decide I was wrong and am still happy with my original stance. Take cooking. I liek to cook. I am pretty good at it. When i talk to someone what makes everything from catsup to falafel from scratch, those familiar feelings creep up......"she thinks she is so great.....". Well, the fact is, *I* think she is so great. I want to do that. I am limited by time, resources, and experience. I do the best I can. After I think about it, I realize I have come a long way and I am still on a journey. It has nothing to do with the great cook. Then I can get past the garbage feelings and start to appreciate what she does and allow myself to learn from her. OTOH, the sitter argument does not even hit my radar. I KNOW I am confident in my decision to use them and while I appreciate persepctive, the "holier than thou" feeling does not even stir up in me because I know I do not need to reevaluate.
post #51 of 327
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
Something I find a little amusing is that what we are discussing here varies so much by persepctive. On MDC, I am in the middle of the road somewhere. I will not list my "qualifications" but I do many things AP/NFL, but also do not do others. IRL, though, I am considered the "do it all" type. Breastfeeding past one year gave me that title. Maybe people think I am "holier than thou"? I am guessing a lot more would think so on a Babywise club, eh? We cannot hit a moving target. I do not think we can even sum up the profile of a "holier than thou" person as it differs from everyone's persepctive.

I really really hate when people bring up the "no one can make you feel bad unless you want to feel bad" argument, but this is one case where I feel it applies. When I start to feel like another person is "holier than thou" it is usually because *I* feel like I could do better. I feel threatened. Usually I recognize this, gather my thoughts, re-evaluate my own decisions, and either decide to change or decide I was wrong and am still happy with my original stance. Take cooking. I liek to cook. I am pretty good at it. When i talk to someone what makes everything from catsup to falafel from scratch, those familiar feelings creep up......"she thinks she is so great.....". Well, the fact is, *I* think she is so great. I want to do that. I am limited by time, resources, and experience. I do the best I can. After I think about it, I realize I have come a long way and I am still on a journey. It has nothing to do with the great cook. Then I can get past the garbage feelings and start to appreciate what she does and allow myself to learn from her. OTOH, the sitter argument does not even hit my radar. I KNOW I am confident in my decision to use them and while I appreciate persepctive, the "holier than thou" feeling does not even stir up in me because I know I do not need to reevaluate.
Well said!
post #52 of 327
Quote:
Originally Posted by asherah View Post
I know a lot of people feel that way. And I have certainly "vented" myself, though I do not anymore. Why? Because I have learned it simply does not accomplish anything positive. It may make me feel momentarily vindicated, but in the long run, all I have done by my "venting" is spew out negativity.

And when the other people do come into commeriserate.. well, it sometimes looks like a mob-mentality cyber-space stone-throwing gang. A gang all mobilized to turn on some random mama at wallmart, or some mama from a playgroup, with metaphorical pitchforks and torches. And it is ugly as hell.

And maybe other mamas need that kind of commiseration to feel okay about themselves. But I don't find it healthy or helpful at all.

I know people will defend the "venting" to the death.

But I recently edited a "venting" post of my own for exactly those reasons.
Un-mindful, angry, judmental words accomplish nothing positive. And sometimes I really shudder at what gets said around here in the name of ap/nfl.
ITA. I've not been here long, but I have seen SO many threads crowing about some "mainstream" parenting behavior <insert "oh no, how awful, that poor baby, crying/throwing-up smiley"> right alongside a thread talking about how attacked a poster feels for their AP beliefs.

I can only speak for me, of course, but it's incredibly off-putting, and makes me think differently of the forum as a whole.

I'm rather sure this post will be deleted, but oh well.
post #53 of 327
What bothers me the most is that so many AP/ NFL'ers will say "I'm doing it because its right for my family", but "mainstream" parents say it and they get treated like child abusers. While I may not agree with the "mainstream", I'm not going to trash them like I see happening so often here and other places. They have just as much of a right to raise their families how they see fit as we do. I think both sides could benefit from realizing that.

For us, many of our NFL tendencies have come out of sheer financial necessity. We could *not* afford disposable diapers, especially not for two kids. Add to that the gasoline and wear and tear on the car driving to and from the store to get them- it just wasn't possible. It just so happens that cloth dipes are way better for the kids, the earth, etc...And thats great!
I would have breastfed my kids regardless of our money situation, but even if I had wanted to ff once again we would never have afforded it. It was bad enough when I lost my supply during pregnancy and we had to sign up for WIC, lest my baby starve. I felt like the lowest, most horrible piece of white trash on the planet the day I went into the office to sign up. I had too much pride. "Me? On public assistance? This is not my life." So needless to say, you wouldn't find me getting free formula unless there was a REAL need....
Even when it comes to things like say, household cleaning stuff. A big box of baking soda and white vinegar and a bag of lemons goes WAY farther than a can of scrubbing bubbles, and won't make you choke when you're cleaning with it. We're NFL because we're broke and cheap

With regards to AP, my biggest inspiration for raising my kids that way is to directly counter how I was raised. My mother and I don't speak, but when we did she would say "Oh so the way I raised you wasn't good enough?" No, it wasn't. Deal with it.
post #54 of 327
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mama Poot View Post
What bothers me the most is that so many AP/ NFL'ers will say "I'm doing it because its right for my family", but "mainstream" parents say it and they get treated like child abusers. While I may not agree with the "mainstream", I'm not going to trash them like I see happening so often here and other places. They have just as much of a right to raise their families how they see fit as we do. I think both sides could benefit from realizing that.
Thank you for expressing this much more eloquently than I could.
post #55 of 327
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mama Poot View Post
For us, many of our NFL tendencies have come out of sheer financial necessity.
We were actually introduced to many NFL type ideas due to financial reasons. Even before becoming pregnant, I got my "foot in the door" so to say into natural living by using vinegar and baking soda for cleaning products and many other choices came from this starting point, like cloth diapers, for example. For me, it was really interesting to learn about things that have not only wound up being a necessity, but have come to be very appealing, as well as things I may have never been exposed to if I had not been brought to the "crunchy side".

Much of attachment parenting has always seem wonderful to me, as has breastfeeding, but much of our more NFL type lifestyle choices were learned along the way to parenthood.
post #56 of 327
I do tend to question anyone who follows a parenting system "by the book." That gives me the impression that they may not be following their own parenting instincts and confidence but that instead they have chosen to follow a certain ideology because they feel they need instruction from someone else or maybe they feel the need to fit in. When it comes right down to it, it's none of my business. Parenting is a very personal thing but since the question has been asked, that is how I think about it.

I think I'm fairly middle of the road but like others have said, I guess it all depends on what group you ask. I use what works for our family first and foremost. I always lean toward choices that are ecofriendly and more natural because those are very important aspects of my lifestyle. I'm also all about simplifying life and a bit of frugality. I'm no saint and I try not to sound preachy or act like I have an edge on something somebody else doesn't. Those choices simply reflect my personal values. So besides what works for us as parents I choose many "crunchy" options because they resonate with our family's moral value system. Having said that, I am again, middle of the road, and I do plenty things that have and will, I'm sure incite other AP'ers.

I do think AP/NFL has caught on with a bit of trendiness but I guess everything does. When you see the cost of cloth diapers, slings, and organic crib bedding, you can see why the well to do have caught on to this and maybe made it seem a little less authentic.
post #57 of 327
Quote:
What bothers me the most is that so many AP/ NFL'ers will say "I'm doing it because its right for my family", but "mainstream" parents say it and they get treated like child abusers. While I may not agree with the "mainstream", I'm not going to trash them like I see happening so often here and other places. They have just as much of a right to raise their families how they see fit as we do. I think both sides could benefit from realizing that.
I agree, but it does go both ways. Mainstream mothers may be ostracized here for spanking their children, but on many mainstream boards I've been a part of, the AP mothers are accused of sexually abusing their children by breastfeeding them, or emotionally abusing them by leaving them intact (think of how they'll be made fun of as teens!)

As for the comment about "difficulty for difficulty's sake", there may be a reason for it. For example, I use cloth diapers - definitely more work than disposables - but I don't use them "just to be different" or to be a martyr or to make life harder. I use them because 1) it's cheaper; and 2) I hate creating garbage. I didn't get an epidural when I gave birth. Yep, this made it more painful. But again, I wasn't trying to prove myself to anybody. I knew that overmedication had contributed to my c-section during my previous birth, and didn't want to repeat that incident because c-sections are no fun.

I'm in the planning stages of moving out to a farm, where I will be growing my own food, lugging water up to the house until we get a well, and possibly even milking goats and having chickens for eggs. This is obviously more difficult than just going to the corner grocer. But for me, doing things for myself is much more fulfilling and rewarding than walking into a store and filling up a shopping cart.

Let people be. And let people live their own lives without mocking them or judging them. Again, this goes both ways. A woman who chooses to sew her own clothing isn't "better" than a women who buys her clothes at the local department store. And neither woman should judge the other.
post #58 of 327
I wanted to add that I think some of it might have to do with how new someone is to AP. When I first came to MDC, I was trying to get pregnant and just learning about AP, Bfing, etc. I cringe when I think of some of the stuff I posted while I was pregnant and when dd was a newborn (okay, she's only 8.5 months...but still!)--I was especially critical of my sister who is completely mainstream, but, y'know, a good parent with good kids. I think when you first take on an (often life-changing) philosophy, you have that convert's zeal--I feel like I was the same way when I first became vegan. Over time, you mellow in your beliefs a bit, as the "fit" becomes more comfortable.
post #59 of 327
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mama Poot View Post
What bothers me the most is that so many AP/ NFL'ers will say "I'm doing it because its right for my family", but "mainstream" parents say it and they get treated like child abusers.
yes! Argh that drives me insane!

When I read "difficulty for difficulty's sake" I wasn't thinking of cloth diapers or natural childbirth so much as less evidence-based things, so to speak, like babywearing when your back is killing you, or going way beyond your household budget to make sure all the baby's clothes are organic cotton, or the dilemma threads where it's like "my baby fusses in his sleep for 1 minute sometimes...if I leave him alone, he goes back to sleep and is happy, if I pick him up, we're up all night, wwyd is this cio?" And some people say yes it's cio, stay up all night or you're damaging him. *brickwall*

Babywearing and organic cotton are nice, but they're not as central to health and wellbeing as say breastfeeding. And the idea of keeping mom AND baby up all night so the baby doesn't make noise for 60 seconds is ridiculous, IMHO.

But some people look down their noses at anyone who doesn't go that far, so the pressure's on. Especially online where I suspect many pretend to be more orthodox AP than they really are. : Yeah you know who you are, sitting at the computer with a cupcake...

Some things that I feel I shouldn't share here about my parenting...it's truly absurd. Like we've been using the stroller a lot lately. We walk everywhere. I love the ergo but I messed my back up during pregnancy and birth and don't have the cash just now to see a chiro (soon I hope!) and it was getting to the point where going anywhere HURT like nobody's business. I realized I was going to develop PPD and start gaining back pregnancy weight if I didn't let myself get out WITHOUT having a 20 lb weight strapped to my front. She likes her stroller, oh sorry, her detachment parenting tool/baby containment device. She likes being able to look at the scenery oh sorry "people's knees and crotches." And I am feeling so much better! And I think we'll still be friends when she's 30. :

Why should this be something to apologize for in AP circles? Honestly?
post #60 of 327
Quote:
Originally Posted by BelgianSheepDog View Post
yes! Argh that drives me insane!

When I read "difficulty for difficulty's sake" I wasn't thinking of cloth diapers or natural childbirth so much as less evidence-based things, so to speak, like babywearing when your back is killing you, or going way beyond your household budget to make sure all the baby's clothes are organic cotton, or the dilemma threads where it's like "my baby fusses in his sleep for 1 minute sometimes...if I leave him alone, he goes back to sleep and is happy, if I pick him up, we're up all night, wwyd is this cio?" And some people say yes it's cio, stay up all night or you're damaging him. *brickwall*

Babywearing and organic cotton are nice, but they're not as central to health and wellbeing as say breastfeeding. And the idea of keeping mom AND baby up all night so the baby doesn't make noise for 60 seconds is ridiculous, IMHO.

But some people look down their noses at anyone who doesn't go that far, so the pressure's on. Especially online where I suspect many pretend to be more orthodox AP than they really are. : Yeah you know who you are, sitting at the computer with a cupcake...

Some things that I feel I shouldn't share here about my parenting...it's truly absurd. Like we've been using the stroller a lot lately. We walk everywhere. I love the ergo but I messed my back up during pregnancy and birth and don't have the cash just now to see a chiro (soon I hope!) and it was getting to the point where going anywhere HURT like nobody's business. I realized I was going to develop PPD and start gaining back pregnancy weight if I didn't let myself get out WITHOUT having a 20 lb weight strapped to my front. She likes her stroller, oh sorry, her detachment parenting tool/baby containment device. She likes being able to look at the scenery oh sorry "people's knees and crotches." And I am feeling so much better! And I think we'll still be friends when she's 30. :

Why should this be something to apologize for in AP circles? Honestly?
You shouldn't apologize. You are doing what works for you. When someone posts and asks if something is CIO, they should to expect to get a range of answers. That is, afterall, the point of a *discussion* board, right? Some people might not be comfortable with only 1 minute of crying. Others think those people are "ridiculous" as you say. Who is to decide? You might think it is really "hard" to stay up all night with a non-crying baby. Someone else may think it is equally "hard" to hear a baby cry for one minute. I really do not know anyone that will do something hard just to do something hard. There are reasons behind people's choices. Just because one does not agree or thinks it is too "hard" should others not be allowed to believe it is the right choice for them? I ask questions on here all of the time that get a range of answers. Some I agree with, others I don't. I thank everyone, take what seems useful to me, and leave the rest. No one is "gospel" in my book and therefore does not have the ability to make me feel bad about a well thought out choice.
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