I feel that my parenting journey is distancing myself from family member and friends... - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 25 Old 02-26-2011, 11:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I feel so ridiculous getting upset over crap that happens on Facebook.  

 

Long story short- I posted a rant about being upset because I saw a pregnant person registering for formula at the store I was in.  My mood that day was craptastic, and I put up a little blurb saying 'I will not flip out on this person registering for formula.  Not even going to TRY to breastfeed?  I just don't understand.'

 

I realize that this post was a rant, not an educational opportunity, and I realize that this person may not be able to lactate, and so she was registering for formula because of a million reasons, none of which I know.  I was judgy, but I'm human and I am working through my issues like anyone else.  Most of my posts (the ones that aren't about funny stuff my kid does) are helpful links about co-sleeping, breastfeeding past infancy, etc.  I feel as an attached parent, I have a responsibility to spread the love through knowledge, to advocate.  This was not one of those times, it was purely a rant.

 

A cousin got mad, because she is a formula feeding mom, who I believe is projecting her baggage upon me.  Chaos ensued, more family members got involved.  I can honestly say that I stayed respectful in the discussion while not compromising my beliefs, and when it got too ugly and I saw that my point was not going to get across to anyone, I stepped away.

 

I then decided that in order to maintain peaceful in real life relationships with family members (whom I don't see terribly often anyway), that it would be best to remove them from my friend list, so that my strong beliefs and passionate views on controversial subjects doesn't lead us into altercations.

 

I feel that finding out about AP, and learning to parent in a gentle, responsive manner has been so personally gratifying, I feel like this is something I am exactly in tune with, I see how well the tools I get from here and other resources (my local tribe, especially) work in my family and I want to share them with everyone.  I'm proud to be passionate about things like extended bf-ing and babywearing.  I'm having a hard time reconciling the fact that my strong opinions and passionate beliefs can be seen by others as me being 'selfish, self-centered, rude' (some of the words that were used to describe me).  

 

I am as of late, stating an intention to be more peaceful.  As part of my own personal growth, I am growing in my spiritual life with God and my family, I am getting a healthier body and embarking on yoga for the first time, I am trying to make a calmer, more peaceful path for myself, to remove all stressors, to set healthy boundaries.

 

Gosh, this is getting long.  Getting my words out in print is helping me work through my thoughts, and so I thank you for that.  Any advice or stories about how you achieve the balance between the two worlds (the one that thinks I'm a kook for parenting this way and for advocating for it, and the world that embraces me for those reasons) would be greatly appreciated.  I'm feeling fragile and out of sorts, and I'm thankful there is a forum such as this where I can discuss it without fear of judgment.  

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#2 of 25 Old 02-27-2011, 03:44 AM
 
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This is something that I truly struggle with too. I'm trying to be a positive person, and I take a daily mental inventory to try and make sure I'm doing that. Sometimes I'm a nonjudgemental peacemaker, and sometimes...I just can't help myself. Anyway-hugs to you.

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#3 of 25 Old 02-27-2011, 11:20 AM
 
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Since I have a lot of people I don't hang out with IRL on Facebook (but know from childhood), I don't post any personal rants on there that are terribly controversial. However, I do send out links sometimes - not usually very controversial ones, but they could seem so to some people. I am very aware of my audience.

 

I also try to be more reserved in my judgment about why people are doing things. I once saw a lady feeding her infant formula and inwardly cringed. The baby was adopted. I know of people who are not comfortable in the female gender and feel like they will carry a child but have a hard time breastfeeding. I know of people - like me - who have had to supplement and might not have done so if I'd known about milk donation and if I had been perfectly healthy at the time. So I try to give information but not feel angry about that person's choices. I just don't think that feeling angry about all of those choices that I feel are wrong really moves things in a good direction in the end. I'd rather support people in making good, informed choices.


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#4 of 25 Old 02-27-2011, 11:24 AM
 
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Vent and rant here, but not on facebook.

 

On FB, post positive things about *your* choices, not negative things about other choices.

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#5 of 25 Old 02-27-2011, 11:33 AM
 
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I understand feeling like your choices distance you from others. Everyone I know IRL is very 'mainstream'. My choices for my family (parenting and household wise) are things that I do and honestly don't know anyone else that does. It has distanced some people that judged my choices but most just don't talk about it. I don't talk about AP or 'natural living' much because no one here cares about it. For the most part they know my choices and just write me off as being crazy LOL. I come to this board a lot for inspiration and community that supports my choices.


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#6 of 25 Old 02-27-2011, 11:58 AM
 
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The thing that is distancing you is not your own parenting, it's your feelings about the way others parent.  It's when you get upset that someone else makes a choice different from you that upsets others. 

 

How would you have reacted if your cousin had posted something like "why can't she just TRY formula?"

 

If you do not want others to advocate for formula, spanking and other non-AP choices, why would you believe that you should be an advocate for AP parenting?

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#7 of 25 Old 02-27-2011, 01:09 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rizzosanders View Post

Long story short- I posted a rant about being upset because I saw a pregnant person registering for formula at the store I was in.  My mood that day was craptastic, and I put up a little blurb saying 'I will not flip out on this person registering for formula.  Not even going to TRY to breastfeed?  I just don't understand.'

...

A cousin got mad, because she is a formula feeding mom, who I believe is projecting her baggage upon me.  


You think that your cousin was projecting *her* baggage on *you*?


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#8 of 25 Old 02-27-2011, 01:16 PM
 
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You think that your cousin was projecting *her* baggage on *you*?


And why would a formula feeding mom automatically have baggage anyway?
 

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#9 of 25 Old 02-27-2011, 01:37 PM
 
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I agree-post positive messages about your choices on FB, but reel in the negative ones.  I understand how frustrating it can be, it makes me sad when mom's seemingly choose to formula feed for reasons like "it's easier" or "my sister couldn't BF, so I probably can't either".  But ragging on them isn't going to help.  Posting things like "Man I love BFing, we were out a lot longer than planned, and I didn't have to worry about bringing enough milk!". 

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#10 of 25 Old 02-27-2011, 02:33 PM
 
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Leave Facebook? Really, I get by without it all the time.

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#11 of 25 Old 02-28-2011, 06:07 AM
 
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Being self righteous about your choices and trash talking other people's choices isn't the way to influence people.  If I were your cousin I would have been offended as well. Who are you to sit judge and jury for my choices?

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#12 of 25 Old 02-28-2011, 08:34 AM
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by rizzosanders View Post

 

I feel as an attached parent, I have a responsibility to spread the love through knowledge, to advocate.  This was not one of those times, it was purely a rant.

.....

A cousin got mad, because she is a formula feeding mom, who I believe is projecting her baggage upon me.  Chaos ensued, more family members got involved.  I can honestly say that I stayed respectful in the discussion while not compromising my beliefs, and when it got too ugly and I saw that my point was not going to get across to anyone, I stepped away.

 

I then decided that in order to maintain peaceful in real life relationships with family members (whom I don't see terribly often anyway), that it would be best to remove them from my friend list, so that my strong beliefs and passionate views on controversial subjects doesn't lead us into altercations.

 

I feel that finding out about AP, and learning to parent in a gentle, responsive manner has been so personally gratifying,....

I'm having a hard time reconciling the fact that my strong opinions and passionate beliefs can be seen by others as me being 'selfish, self-centered, rude' (some of the words that were used to describe me).  

 

I am as of late, stating an intention to be more peaceful.  As part of my own personal growth, I am growing in my spiritual life with God and my family, I am getting a healthier body and embarking on yoga for the first time, I am trying to make a calmer, more peaceful path for myself, to remove all stressors, to set healthy boundaries.

 


hello. I'm a seasoned APing mother -- my oldest is now 14 -- and a yoga teacher. One way you could choose to look at the next step for you is to globalize that "gentle, responsive manner" from just your kids to everyone else you come in contact with. Just as you don't expect your children to learn from being yelled at and shamed, those tactics don't work well on adults.

 

Since you are starting yoga, I'll share a little with you about yoga philosophy. There are 10 ethical principles taught in yoga as paths to having a peaceful life, and the very first one is "ahimsa."  It means non-harming. If you started looking at just this principle and seeing ways to apply it in your interactions and facebook posts, your life would change. Right now your interactions are about You Being Right. Being right is nice, but being Kind is actually higher. It is more likely to lead to peace.

 

The path of yoga isn't about removing all stressors. If you have some stressors that you can remove and simplify your life, then go for it, but attempting to removed all stressors, believing that you will have peace if you do, is unrealistic. Yoga is about finding a peaceful place inside yourself in spite of what is going on around you. Warrior pose, for example, is a metaphor -- in it, you pull your body in opposite directions, but find a place a balance and equanimity in the middle. And then you just stay there and breath.  It's really a great metaphor for what you are going through right now -- this sense that what is right for you is out of sync with what is going on around you, and being pulled by different forces -- your desire to be the best mother possible, your desire to share what you have been lucky enough to learn, and your desire to have harmony with your extended family.

 

Namaste (the divine in me greets the divine in you)

Shanti (peace)

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but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#13 of 25 Old 02-28-2011, 09:33 AM
 
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I think the most important thing to remember is that it isn't your place to judge. Make the decisions that are best for you and your family. Let others do the same for theirs, even if you know that their choices aren't the "best." I know it is hard.

 

I remember the feeling of wanting to shout from the rooftops when I was at the beginning of my natural parenting journey. "If only people KNEW what I know they'd make the same decisions I make because to not do so is just so WRONG! So I must make sure everyone KNOWS!!" 

 

Shockingly, people don't respond to that method so well. shrug.gif

 

The best way to facilitate change is to just live your life. Other people ARE watching. You are making a difference just by being you and making the choices you make. 

 

 

 

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#14 of 25 Old 02-28-2011, 09:59 AM
 
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Facebook and personal growth tend not to go hand in hand. smile.gif I love using it b/c I want to stay up to date on the lives of my friends and family, but wow is it an amazing medium for creating drama. I think it's a good rule to stick to positive status updates b/c there's already so much negative energy from everyone who uses FB to do their venting. It's possible to use FB as a challenge to become more peaceful by not engaging or getting upset by other people's status updates and comments and just accepting that they are on their own life path. I practice this all the time with some of my family members who parent radically differently from me. MDC is definitely a better place to come to vent or for support. And I would be really careful about unfriending people b/c it might create more drama.

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#15 of 25 Old 02-28-2011, 10:16 AM
 
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I find it very distasteful when people use FB for such personal issues. I finally unfriended my nephews wife because of her rants on FB. She "collects" FB friends so many are people she doesn't even know and then shares every detail of her "beliefs", often causing such uproars that *I* was getting stressed out just reading them on my page. Ugh. I Often wonder if she would say these things to the same stranger if she met them on plane or at a party. 


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#16 of 25 Old 02-28-2011, 10:46 AM
 
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This however is part of the problem

 

 

Quote:
 , even if you know that their choices aren't the "best."

 The belief that a particular choice is the best or right choice.  There is no one right choice for anything or anyone in life.  Even when statistics favor a particular option, that doesn't make it the best choice for any one particular person.  In addition, it is even ok if someone makes a choice that isn't going to be THE BEST for the them anyway, provided those choices aren't dangerous to the kids.  Just because a choice isn't THE BEST, that doesn't necessarily make it a WRONG choice. 

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#17 of 25 Old 02-28-2011, 10:49 AM
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Interesting thread. I don't deny the OP her upset feelings, but do think that said feelings are better directed at the toxic corporations that perpetuate misogyny/lactophobia/etc in the interest of profit. This is a win-win, OP can rant a bit for catharsis/clarification of position, and not dump it on any individual who may or may not be ignorant of said toxic corporate practices. Anyone wanting to know more can ask, anyone secure in their own choices/situation does not have to care if it does not apply. Those who ARE bypassing something normal in favor of something more complicated/ecocidal/expensive can once in a while have their minds blown if they are ripe for it, and the ranting is done in a coherent manner.

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#18 of 25 Old 02-28-2011, 11:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for all of the replies, they are appreciated and very helpful!

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#19 of 25 Old 02-28-2011, 11:36 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by happysmileylady View Post

This however is part of the problem

 

 

 The belief that a particular choice is the best or right choice.  There is no one right choice for anything or anyone in life.  Even when statistics favor a particular option, that doesn't make it the best choice for any one particular person.  In addition, it is even ok if someone makes a choice that isn't going to be THE BEST for the them anyway, provided those choices aren't dangerous to the kids.  Just because a choice isn't THE BEST, that doesn't necessarily make it a WRONG choice. 


You saw my quotes around the word 'best', right? 

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#20 of 25 Old 02-28-2011, 12:18 PM
 
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You saw my quotes around the word 'best', right? 


Yes, I did, but my post was really more in general, rather than directed specifically at you.  I only quoted you becase that statement was a good example, quotes or not.  I apologize that I made it seem like I was specifically directing my post at you.

 

The reality is that in a lot of AP circles, a large number of people really do feel that AP choices actually are the best/right choices, and that other options are wrong.  That's why people think things like "she's not even going to TRY BF?" and "she wouldn't even TRY the sling, she had to have the latest and greatest stroller" and "why on earth would ANYONE turn their child FF before age 4 when RF is SO much safer?"  (and yes, I know RF and FF on not specifically AP principles, but a lot of AP folks also do extended RF) I find that a lot of moms who lable themselves as AP are so passionate about that lable that they tend to see choices as the right/best way and then not, vs just simply different.  Breast is best, therefore those who don't choose the best aren't doing the best for their babies and it's wrong not to do the best we can for our babies-that's the type of thinking I experience a lot in AP circles. 

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#21 of 25 Old 02-28-2011, 12:24 PM
 
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Yes, I did, but my post was really more in general, rather than directed specifically at you.  I only quoted you becase that statement was a good example, quotes or not.  I apologize that I made it seem like I was specifically directing my post at you.

 

The reality is that in a lot of AP circles, a large number of people really do feel that AP choices actually are the best/right choices, and that other options are wrong.  That's why people think things like "she's not even going to TRY BF?" and "she wouldn't even TRY the sling, she had to have the latest and greatest stroller" and "why on earth would ANYONE turn their child FF before age 4 when RF is SO much safer?"  (and yes, I know RF and FF on not specifically AP principles, but a lot of AP folks also do extended RF) I find that a lot of moms who lable themselves as AP are so passionate about that lable that they tend to see choices as the right/best way and then not, vs just simply different.  Breast is best, therefore those who don't choose the best aren't doing the best for their babies and it's wrong not to do the best we can for our babies-that's the type of thinking I experience a lot in AP circles. 



No apologies necessary...I just wanted to make sure that you didn't misunderstand my statement. Thanks for clarifying. 

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#22 of 25 Old 03-02-2011, 02:44 PM
 
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First, LindaOnTheMove, your post was beautiful and something that I will think on a lot. Thank-you.
Quote:
Originally Posted by happysmileylady View Post

 

The reality is that in a lot of AP circles, a large number of people really do feel that AP choices actually are the best/right choices, and that other options are wrong.  That's why people think things like "she's not even going to TRY BF?" and "she wouldn't even TRY the sling, she had to have the latest and greatest stroller" and "why on earth would ANYONE turn their child FF before age 4 when RF is SO much safer?"  (and yes, I know RF and FF on not specifically AP principles, but a lot of AP folks also do extended RF) I find that a lot of moms who lable themselves as AP are so passionate about that lable that they tend to see choices as the right/best way and then not, vs just simply different.  Breast is best, therefore those who don't choose the best aren't doing the best for their babies and it's wrong not to do the best we can for our babies-that's the type of thinking I experience a lot in AP circles. 


I love this thread, because this is something I am working out, too.

I am one of those APers who does see my choices (or at least the choices I am striving towards as a mother) as better. Not just better in a 'ha, my clothes are better than yours' kind of way, but in a fundamental, societal, universal kind of way. Like, I would lobby politically to impose higher RF ages for kids in cars, I do often lobby for breastfeeding rights (and by extension, the right of children to breastfeed, regardless of the mother's 'choice'). Also the correlating supports for mothers and families that would need to be in place to make that work. I support legislation to ban circumcision. Not because I feel that I don't respect a parent's right to parent, but because I believe in fundamental rights for children, despite their parents. I'm a weird homeschooler who actually supports the UN's Convention on the Right of the Child and would very much like to see it ratified here in the US.

So. I completely understand that political beliefs and aims ought to stay out of social situations sometimes in the interest of harmony. I also get that it is not my job to go about righting every wrong, especially when the wrong is perhaps a matter of opinion. I want to be a gracious and warm person and friend. I'm not sure just how to balance these things in the right way in every situation, so I am sometimes at odds, too.

Of course, I also find that I am at odds even when I say *nothing*, just because of the way I parent. Not necessarily in conflict with someone, but definitely on the receiving end of a weird look, an uncomfortable vibe. For instance, a parent at church once asked me about breastfeeding, because i was breastfeeding at the time. I forget the question. The follow-up question was about how much formula I had used. I replied that I had never used formula. Another mother, a close friend of mine, was standing by and she jumped in and said, "well, MammaG stays at home, so she can do that". I felt as though I was being reprimanded for even admitting that we had never used formula somehow. It hadn't been a judgy conversation, you know? It hurts sometimes.

All that said, I sort of wish I had known a few AP mothers who were vocal about their choices before I had my first baby. I very quickly came to find this AP path for me and my family, but it would have been an easier path if I had had someone to talk to about it before my oldest was a toddler! I guess I hope to be that voice for someone. I also hope that in being vocal I can avoid hurting anyone. Tough line.

Anyway, I will follow this thread. It is something I am thinking about a lot.


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#23 of 25 Old 03-03-2011, 01:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MamieCole View Post

I think the most important thing to remember is that it isn't your place to judge. Make the decisions that are best for you and your family. Let others do the same for theirs, even if you know that their choices aren't the "best." I know it is hard.

 

I remember the feeling of wanting to shout from the rooftops when I was at the beginning of my natural parenting journey. "If only people KNEW what I know they'd make the same decisions I make because to not do so is just so WRONG! So I must make sure everyone KNOWS!!" 

 

Shockingly, people don't respond to that method so well. shrug.gif

 

The best way to facilitate change is to just live your life. Other people ARE watching. You are making a difference just by being you and making the choices you make. 

 

 

 

 

This, pretty much word for word. Lead by example, and give people advice or information when they ask for it, but don't assume your way is the only way or even the right way for anyone else. It's just your way.

 

That doesn't mean you shouldn't pass judgment, IMO. Judging right from wrong, good from bad, smart from stupid, etc. is what helps us to make better decisions and choices for ourselves. But no one wants to be preached to and people get really resistant when you try to educate them "for their own good". I have found much inner peace by keeping my opinions to myself unless asked for them. The only exception to this, for me, is on the matter of circumcision, which I gently ask about/offer information on exactly one time and then let go after that. This is because my own son is intact thanks to some careful, gentle questioning by an intact friend, to whom I feel forever indebted. love.gif

 

Incidentally, this sort of thing is precisely why I no longer have a Facebook account. Seeing other people's status updates or political/social rants and the drama that ensued was too stressful for me. I found my heart racing and blood pressure rising on a daily basis, almost always when a friend posted something that was intended as a harmless rant but turned into some ridiculous snark war. No thanks!


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When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty. --George Bernard Shaw

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#24 of 25 Old 03-04-2011, 05:30 AM
 
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First, LindaOnTheMove, your post was beautiful and something that I will think on a lot. Thank-you.


I am one of those APers who does see my choices (or at least the choices I am striving towards as a mother) as better. ....All that said, I sort of wish I had known a few AP mothers who were vocal about their choices before I had my first baby. I very quickly came to find this AP path for me and my family, but it would have been an easier path if I had had someone to talk to about it before my oldest was a toddler! I guess I hope to be that voice for someone. I also hope that in being vocal I can avoid hurting anyone. Tough line.
 


Thank you! loveeyes.gif

 

what about taking REAL action? what about starting an AP support group, or becoming a LLL leader, or training to be a doula?

 

I hear all the energy in your post, and I think it's wonderful, but that it should be channeled in a positive direction.
 

Channel the energy into helping people who want help rather than trying to convince people who don't!


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#25 of 25 Old 03-04-2011, 07:18 AM
 
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Originally Posted by rizzosanders View Post


Gosh, this is getting long.  Getting my words out in print is helping me work through my thoughts, and so I thank you for that.  Any advice or stories about how you achieve the balance between the two worlds (the one that thinks I'm a kook for parenting this way and for advocating for it, and the world that embraces me for those reasons) would be greatly appreciated.  I'm feeling fragile and out of sorts, and I'm thankful there is a forum such as this where I can discuss it without fear of judgment.  



I don't bother having a facebook account or a blog. I also pick my battles.

 

I know the whole don't judge philosophy aka moral relativity thing is popular now days but frankly some things are flat out wrong and we need people to stand up for them.

 

Also some people are insecure over their choices, as I learned with my BFF when she was so defensive over my HSing. Even though I would never have suggested she HS and I know it would have been a very bad idea for her kids but we would end up having to drop the subject because no matter what I said about what I was doing she turned it into being about her and what she wasn't. Sometimes that can't be avoided no matter how you put it.

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