Being one of "those" mothers... - Page 4 - Mothering Forums

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#91 of 115 Old 03-19-2004, 01:50 PM
 
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Good heavens, I'm certainly not so karmically balanced that I never pass judgement on people. I also cringe when I see babies with coca-cola in their bottles, or turkey hill iced tea (that's a big one around here-- many children start kindergarted literally addicted to that stuff ). Even strawberry milk in a bottle tends to get my shorts in a twist. What I try not to do is make someone feel judged. I don't think it would help that mother if I came here to vent about it, and I don't know if I would help the child if I said something to his mother. Unless it's someone I know, in which case they're likely to get a full on rant.

My sister tends to go on rants about carseats. I've seen her give away carseats to people who didn't have them, because it drives her insane to see a small child unrestrained in a vehicle. She spent a lunchbreak with a co-worker's mother and boyfriend showing them which carseat they would need and how to install it for a baby they were going to pick up in a few hours. When her daughters' cousin needed a different (read: adequate) carseat to come home from the hospital (they wouldn't release her with the one she had) my sister took my younger niece's carseat to the car and installed it for them. In other words, she's *very* judgemental about this particular issue... but instead of coming home and whining about it, she *does* something.

I'd like to *do* something, too. And I feel like if I can't do something constructive, then it's better for me to keep my mouth shut. I have offered to pump for people who didn't have enough milk, because nursie-nursies are important to me. I have given people my phone number so they could call me day or night with questions. I have shown people the ease of cloth diapers. I even listened to my brother's fiancee's concerns about co-sleeping with my nephew, and was non-judgemental enough in my comments to convince her that it was the right thing for him and worthwhile for her. (Turns out the issue wasn't my nephew at all, but the fact that my brother sleeps diagonally when the baby is in the bed, so there was no room for her. : Whole different story, but you get it all when you actually listen!)

That's my problem with the "what a nast parent" threads: I don't feel like I have a right to complain about something if I'm not making an effort to change it.

About the sig lines: I understand what you're saying, but isn't MDC all by itself a place for people like us? It's true that I don't feel so isolated irl in terms of my parenting. Even though I'm one of three people I can think of who uses cloth diapers, even though I've met one tandem nurser outside of LLL, even though people think I'm a snob because I don't give my son turkey hill iced tea or soda or candy, I don't feel terribly isolated in my decisions. In large part, that's due to this community. It's nice to log on to a website where lots of people have decided that TV shouldn't be a babysitter, or that their child can sleep with them, or to nurse for more than a few weeks. I come here and I feel much less alone, even though irl I know only one other AP and I met her here! :LOL I see the sig lines as, if nothing else, divisive.

When I first got here, I lurked for a while because I was made very nervous by those sig lines. I thought "Gee, my son has had vaccinations, and he's had a bris... does that mean I don't belong here? I don't own a sling.. should I log off?" The more posts I read, the more confident I became that I did indeed belong here, and that there were other women on these boards who were much like I was. It feels to me like those signature lines create a bit of an 'underground' here... a group of women who very quietly go about their business loving and caring for their children in the way they feel is best, taking and leaving great advice and just not discussing all the non-ap things they do/don't do. I guess that's okay with me; I've always been a bit of an outsider. But there are other people who want to feel accepted by most (if not all) who are really put off by those threads, and who often don't discuss it for fear of flaming.

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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#92 of 115 Old 03-19-2004, 02:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Rynna ---

You're saying everything I've been trying to say -- only much more clearly!!

Thank you!!!


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#93 of 115 Old 03-19-2004, 03:57 PM
 
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I actually just noticed this thread because I spend all my time over in "I'm pregnant". So I'm quite late on the uptake, obviously!

I stopped coming to MDC for about a year because of all the flaming that was going on (and because it was addictive!). But it's nice to see that for the most part, many mamas here agree that less judgement would be nice.


After having two very spirited boys and now with another on the way, I've finally mellowed. Basically, my attitude is that all mothers regardless of how they parent are part of a sisterhood. As motherhood is such an incredibly demanding vocation, all of us members of this sisterhood need to band together and support one another. If you see something is wrong, or a mom is having a bad day, help her! And if she doesn't want any help, chalk it up to stress. I can't tell you how many times my mother friends have seen my kids misbehave and instead of judging me, said "I'm so glad it's not just me!" That feels good. Being made to feel like godzilla mom is not.

Who was it that posted her story about her three little ones misbehaving and driving her crazy in a store, and feeling judged by all those who looked on? Well that's me to a T. My kids are unbelievable at times, and of course in many people's minds, it's my fault. And heavan forbid if I get frustrated with them though! What saint of a mother could possibly stay calm at all times? (unless of course her children were perfect angels at all times).

I guess my point is that all children and all mothers come with their own unique temperaments. Our temperaments sometimes determine how we are able to cope with stress. So if you put a couple of high strung kids with their (surprise, genetics!) high strung mother, there will be tense situations. Couple that with the fear many mothers have of being judged in public, and you have a very tense and probably not very objective mother. And I know some have said "Well why do you care what others think? Just do your own thing and forget about 'them'". Well that's easier for some than for others. We all have certain tendencies which may make life either easier or more difficult for us. The tendency to care a lot about what other's think is not so easily overcome for some as for others.

So in a nutshell, respect, support, and tolerance for diverse personalities, strengths, and weaknesses, that's what we need.
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#94 of 115 Old 03-19-2004, 04:16 PM
 
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I'm relatively new to MDC. I just found this thread and it's very thought provoking.

On the one hand, I came here to find some respite from another board I frequent, to find people who could offer advice or commiseration about specific "AP" topics like not doing CIO, co-sleeping, and BFing. It was refresing to not be the most crunchy person in the room! And I wanted an outlet to criticize things I am opposed to. As much as I enjoy multiple points of view, sometimes it is nice to let it all hang out, especially about areas where I really feel there is a right and a wrong answer. It's exhausting to be 100% polite all the time and I think can keep you from being true to yourself.

And while I see the point about driving away potential MDC readers, how inclusive do we want to be? The checklist, while far from the end-all, be-all of attachment parenting, does serve as a nice barometer. And there is a huge difference between, for example, "I tried to breastfeed and due to XYZ problem we ended up FF" and "I can't be bothered to BF so we are FF."

Frankly, there are a lot of bad parents out there, and there is tons more thoughtless parenting done by basically good parents. Being a mother does not (and should not, IMO) make one immune from criticism. Sometimes the best way to be supportive is not to enable negative behavior. Sometimes, being judgmental is not a bad thing!

I also agree that there is a big difference between venting about a behavior and venting about a person.

But on the other hand, I know I am not the "classic" Mothering reader. I have at times felt that others would judge me for some of the choice I made, but I am comfortable with those choices and made them based on a lot of though. I see both points about the sig lines. And I agree that the ultimate that we should strive for is to identify areas where others need help and try to help them.

Either way, I think this is an excellent thread and hopefully will help temper opinions on both sides of the spectrum.

ETA: I also think sometimes that a little guilt, etc. (like idenitfying yourself in a vent post) can work to your advantage. I sometimes think I need a little reminder not to get lazy in my parenting.

Shannon, mama to Jack :
: : : : : :
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#95 of 115 Old 03-19-2004, 06:03 PM
 
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I think one of the reasons that this thread hits a nerve is because maybe we do have a higher standard of conduct for AP moms. Yes, on mainstream boards I read plenty of things that make me sick but I have to say that one of the things I pride myself on is not getting sucked into the nastiness of differing opinions.

For me it comes down to this: if my daughter came home from school and she was complaining about something that someone did (which had NO effect on her, just something she observed about the way they were conducting themselves), I would urge her to be tolerant and empathetic. That's what I think the crux of this is for me - I don't participate in those types of threads because I am trying to teach tolerance to my daughter and it all starts with me.

But how hypocritical am I? I'm the first one to want to lose my lunch if I see a kid being hit in public although I do warmly welcome any women on the GD board who are trying to stop spanking - I think that takes enormous guts. What if these women were one and the same?

Ah, more food for thought.
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#96 of 115 Old 03-19-2004, 08:49 PM
 
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It was only yesterday that I was thinking about the exact same issue as I was littlerally dragging my tantrumming 21 month old son out of the grocery store. I kept thinking "how AP do I look know?" There I was with a screaming toddler in one hand and three bags of groceries in the other. I was at my wits end, hungry, tired, and pregnant desperately trying to just walk the 1 block to my home and feed my son. I knew that a huge source of his frustration was that he was hungry. I must've looked quite the sight.

I know that I too am guilty of snap judgements. It is something that I've tried not to do but it's a habit I can't seem to break. This thread has given me more to think about.
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#97 of 115 Old 03-20-2004, 03:20 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by LoveBeads
I don't participate in those types of threads because I am trying to teach tolerance to my daughter and it all starts with me.



Very well put, LoveBeads.

Yesterday we were in Ikea and witnessed a few parenting styles that both Dh and I cringed at. But as he was about to launch into criticism we got talking about how little information and support most families have, and how most people just model the way they are raised. It is very hard to break those patterns when we don't live in a context where elders are respected and pass on valuable life lessons.

Judgement may be something we humans leap to quickly and without thought, but so is war and aggression. It doesn't make it right. Clearly looking at this thread it is something we all need to pay more attention to in ourselves. I think that's a lifelong practice in itself, but for me it starts with watching my speech (or writing) and aiming to not use it to hurt, criticize, attack or blame. The thoughts may be there but I don't need to say every thing I think, and I can work with those on my own.
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#98 of 115 Old 03-20-2004, 03:32 AM
 
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I havent read through this thread, just the OP. One thing I have noticed is that, if I were to post on here to say that I was having a bad day adn I really yelled at my kids, someone would post back to say what a good mama I am, even though that person doesn't know me, just reads my post. But, if we see someone in the store, maybe having the same sort of day, we rush to judge, even though, again, we dont really know tht person or the circumstances.
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#99 of 115 Old 03-20-2004, 04:34 AM
 
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j
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#100 of 115 Old 03-20-2004, 04:42 AM
 
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And I'm going to go out on a limb here (is this where I say, "don't flame me, but...")

I think we're all here because of something we do differently. Yet we are all different from each other. There probably isn't one, single common thing that we all share in practice. But there is one thing that we do all share in conviction. We are all willing to do things differently. We are all open to new ideas. We all have strong beliefs about how we parent.

The question then, the question for each of us to ask ourselves, is, is it about being superior? Or is it about being open? Is it our conviction that how we ourselves do it is right, or is it our conviction that we each do it right for ourselves?

One of my passions is homebirth. And I was a heroic homebirth mother. But when I hear mothers talk about hospital births and praise epidurals, I can't let myself feel superior. I can feel sorry that they can't and won't experience the empowerment I felt from my beautiful natural births. But I also respect their choices. My way is not the way for everyone, no matter how much I believe in it, no matter how right it is for me.

Should mothers scream at babies? No. Should they feed them fruit punch? No. But who am I to judge? Because who would I want to judge me?

Not the people who think my child's life was at risk when I birthed at home.
Not the people who think my child was at risk of suffication in my bed.
Not the people who think my child's teeth could have decayed as she nursed through the night.
Not the people who think my son's forskin could become infected.
Not the people who think my child is at risk of catching measles or pertusis because she is unvaccinated.
Not the people who think my child was spoiled when I came to him whenever he cried.

I truly believe my way is right. But they truly belive their way is right.

I want to practice my way of parenting. But I want to tolerate all ways of good parenting -- no matter how much I might disagree. Because, after all, that is what I am asking them to do for me.

Maybe some of you are here because you believe your way is the only right way. But for myself, I will try to refrain from criticism, and be tolerant of all my fellow mothers.

Yes, I have wrath. But shouldn't it be saved for the abusers, the users, the molesters, the destroyers? For my fellow loving parents, I want to feel nothing but tolerance, and love.
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#101 of 115 Old 03-20-2004, 09:57 AM
 
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THANK YOU for starting this thread. I usually hang out on the diapering board b/c sometimes I feel not so "AP" -more "mainstream" to post in different forums - I hate the labels too.

This thread has inspired me to stop lurking over here :LOL

I appreciate all the different ways we choose to parent as a community
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#102 of 115 Old 03-20-2004, 10:20 AM
 
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Did anyone check out the link I posted? (Just curious because no one commented and I thought it was very appropriate for the discussion.)

Here's the link again I curbed my judgments -or- you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar and I'll post the test:

_______

Originally posted by Gr8flmom:

THe other night I was at work in a restaurant and I noticed a young girl (about my age- 23) sitting in a booth at the end of the bar sucking down a cigarette while her baby (in his carseat) sat beside her.

As I began my mental tirade I realized how judgmental and mean I sounded. I also noticed I was scowling. By the time I had gotten my emotions in check she had finished eating and I found myself in that part of the bar once again.

Instead of saying something rude, giving her a dirty look, or even just ignoring her and thinking, "How can people smoke so closely to their precious babies," I just smiled at her and the baby. She smiled back and I inquired about the baby.

She told me he was 6.5 months old and I said, "I know you don't know me or anything, but I was wondering if you would like me to hold him so that you can have an after dinner cigarette."

She said, "That would be wonderful, I really hate smoking around him."

He was a really sweet little fellow weighing as much as my 11 month old. I walked aroung until she finished smoking then I returned him and we talked about our babies. Soon, I found out that she had been hospitalized for 2 weeks when he was a newborn due to post partum psychosis. I have PPD, so that led to another conversation. Also her husband is in jail in PA (we live in NC) and has never met his son. I gave her my # and told her to call me if she ever needed a babysitter or just someone to talk to.

I could have come away from the situation feeling anger, but instead I feel really good about myself and the whole experiance.

____________

This post made me and it seemed to really address some of the issues that we have been talking about.

~Erin
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#103 of 115 Old 03-20-2004, 10:31 AM
 
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nak

live and let live ladies

someone needs to vent, let her vent
someone needs support, support her
someone writes stuff you don't like, ignore it [or articulate your criticism]
someone wants to finally feel justified in her 'ap checklist' choices, let her

this is a pretty long thread judging those 'judgmental' members. i sometimes read these vents thinking 'wow doesn't she have anything else to worry about' and then the next day i'm totally rooting. sometimes we're all 'those' mothers, sometimes we're all the 'judgmental' posters.

oh and piglet you're one big reality check ma'am
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#104 of 115 Old 03-20-2004, 01:50 PM
 
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I think that deep down we are all more compassionate women that our posts reflect when we are passionate about something. That's a nice story about the restaraunt. Because without chioce I must do things for My baby that I wouldn't prefer to do( formula feeding ect....) I have to be more open to the idea that other mothers might not be doing what they would rather but what they must. I shudder at the thought that someone sees formula in our diaper bag and thinks that I wasn't determined enough to breastfeed. I have actually had women comment on how bad formula is and how I should have tried harder, that it gets easier..... What they don't know is that for me formula was harder to feed her. I desperatly wanted to breastfeed and was unable to. My daughter couldn't grow on 20 cal breastmilk and now over a year later while I would give anything to breastfeed still she gets high cal formula in a feeding tube every 4 hours. It hurts me and makes me so sad when people say things though. It's not like I don't question myself enough, (could I have tried harder, pumped longer?).
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#105 of 115 Old 03-20-2004, 08:44 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by simonee
this is a pretty long thread judging those 'judgmental' members...
Yeah. That's kind of how I see it, too.

Now it's bad to call yourself AP b/c it's a "label".

If people think AP is about performing a laundry list of parenting practices, and that you can't "qualify" if you don't do them all, then they are just ignorant of what AP is, so why should I have to justify the term when people insist on misinterpreting it?

JMHO.

teapot2.GIF Homeschooling, Homesteading Mama to DD ('02) and DS ('04)  ribbonjigsaw.gif blogging.jpg homeschool.gif

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#106 of 115 Old 03-20-2004, 09:01 PM
 
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I found the quote I put in my sig the other day. Although I put it here for me and what I am trying to accomplish personally, I thought it was appropriate to highlight it here.

Peace.
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#107 of 115 Old 03-20-2004, 09:22 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by coleslaw
"To speak ill of others is a dishonest way of praising ourselves."
Beautiful quote coleslaw. Thanks for finding that.
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#108 of 115 Old 03-21-2004, 12:01 AM
 
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I say
You Rock
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#109 of 115 Old 03-21-2004, 08:16 PM
 
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Dharmama, I read your link & I thought it was a great story. I don't know, I guess I personally don't see this particular thread as 'judging the judgers'. I think it's just a chance for some members of these boards to be able to say 'Hey, what someone said really hurt my feelings.' Even if it is Internet land, don't you think people should know that they've hurt someone?

Being judgemental seems to be part of humanity for some reason....... all we can do is try & work on it, right? I mean, if you feel that particular issue needs working on in your life. I know it does in my life. : Heaps.

And Piglet, I most heartily disagree! It is not bad to call yourself AP because it's a label (I think you're being a bit cheeky there!). And I think that this thread is all about not having to justify yourself- to anyone. Not your friends, not your rellies, not your boss, not faceless names on a dotcom board.....

Aussiemum (43), DH (42) DD (16), & DS (14).
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#110 of 115 Old 03-22-2004, 12:16 PM
 
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I have been "lurking" sporadically on these boards for about a year. Usually I get excited about AP (in waiting for my baby's birth in August), I come and check out the boards, and then I get disgusted with all the judgment and self-aggrandizing that I read.
I think it *does* cause harm to post these "vents" because people come to this site and are driven away by the judgmentalism.
I don't think being secure in yourself makes it all okay... I am very secure, and when I read the judgment threads I think what a yucky karma community MDC is, and I log off fast. There is waaaaaaaay more sniping about what people have seen than there is constructive support or information sharing.
The weirdest thing is that you read all the criticism of moms whose baby is crying in a carseat... and then you see a thread that is 7 pages long on "have you too been reported to child services?" (and all those pages of child services bashing). The irony of that one blew me away!

I have so much respect for the original poster. Thank you for sharing your view.

Also, why not throw this in here too, LOL. WHY does the Queer parenting board seem to be a "hook-up" spot for married/male partnered women whose hubbies have said it is okay to have a chick on the side? It's what 90% of the posts are.... "I have a three month old baby and my husband said I could pursue relationships with women. I would love to meet other people..."
First of all, how in the world do you pull that off with a 3 month old baby that is EBF etc? And isn't attachment parenting about also being attached to your partner? LOL
As an expecting lesbian couple, we just roll our eyes every time we open the "queer parents" thread
Not being judgmental, just pointing out to me what is puzzling
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#111 of 115 Old 03-22-2004, 12:41 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kincaid
I come and check out the boards, and then I get disgusted with all the judgment and self-aggrandizing that I read.
I think it *does* cause harm to post these "vents" because people come to this site and are driven away by the judgmentalism.
Welcome Kincaid. Well, it's A) too bad that people are driven away but B) while some posts are judgemental "I get it." I understand why. (Sometimes, there is no excuse though.) Though for me a handful (probably less than that) get me upset in a month because they are too harsh/judgemental. A vent thread usually doesn't because it's just that - a vent. Just like yours is.

Quote:
Originally posted by Kincaid
I don't think being secure in yourself makes it all okay... I am very secure, and when I read the judgment threads I think what a yucky karma community MDC is, and I log off fast. There is waaaaaaaay more sniping about what people have seen than there is constructive support or information sharing.
Hmmm, kinda like your post???

I am not Gay, so I don't lurk on the Queer parenting board... I wouldn't know.

But I do visit other boards (because they are relevant to my life) and the information is great! That's why *I* love the MDC community. I focus on the good (the majority is good) and avoid the bad (vent threads... are usually a waste of my time)

In the last 3 weeks, I noticed a thread/poster that really upset me. I chose not to post (and get sucked in) because of time constraints. Does that mean that ALL MDC posters are judgmental and . No, some are on certain issues. But it certainly isn't enough for ME to taint the whole community as judgemental and self-aggrandizing. BUt that's just me.

Quote:
Originally posted by aussiemum
Dharmama, I read your link & I thought it was a great story. I don't know, I guess I personally don't see this particular thread as 'judging the judgers'. I think it's just a chance for some members of these boards to be able to say 'Hey, what someone said really hurt my feelings.' Even if it is Internet land, don't you think people should know that they've hurt someone?

10 - boy
5.5 - girl
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#112 of 115 Old 03-22-2004, 12:58 PM
 
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Tanibani,

Of course, I didn't say all MDC'er are judgmental, etc.... don't know how you drew that one.... just that "all of the threads in that vein" make me not want to participate in the community.

Seriously, some day sit down and count threads and see how many are info exchanges and how many are "can you believe this other person, let me describe her so we can all chime in on what she was doing wrong..." threads. I think the ratio speaks for itself.

And my question about the Queer Parents thread, I am really just trying to humourously say where's the lesbian or gay AP'ers (not that partnered people who are pursuing relationships additional to their primary hetersexual one aren't "queer" or whatever). Just where are the two mommy AP'ers? Seriously? We are having a boy, so these two mommies are gonna need help! Of course that is not relevant at all to this thread
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#113 of 115 Old 03-22-2004, 01:43 PM
 
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Some bi mamas have enough trouble finding acceptance in the gay community without being bashed here, too. Fie, for shame! :

If someone is having CPS issues, should they be afraid to post, too?

Good grief.

LOTS of opinions on who should post what. So... if asking the admins to delete negative threads is not an option most wish to pursue, & just ignoring the vents taints your karmic atmosphere anyway, what are people suggesting? Self-policing? (The word 'self' in there implies a certain subtle something...) Shunning (a la lapsed Jehovah's Witnesses) repeat offenders, so when they ask how to get poop stains out of their Fuzzibunz they are on permanent 'ignore'?

Please, be sweet all day long if you choose, I'm not crying out for *more* negativity, but I do rankle at other people deciding (within the bounds of the user agreement, which is pita enough) what I or anyone else should say. If I need to vent, I'm gonna guiltlessly, happily, shamelessly vent.

I would venture the say the number of people choosing to avoid MDC because of other people's vents as their primary issue (check out other boards I am not allowed to mention, if you want nasty & negative) is small indeed.

There is a nice thread y'all have going elsewhere here, way cool, I'll dip in for some serenity when I need it; making a board at EZ Board is an option if you want to have an entirely vent-free home base, but please. Enough posting rules here already.

JMHO, Suse
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#114 of 115 Old 03-22-2004, 01:46 PM
 
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T T T

Quote:
Originally posted by Kincaid
Of course, I didn't say all MDC'er are judgmental, etc.... don't know how you drew that one.... just that "all of the threads in that vein" make me not want to participate in the community. .
Did you read your first paragraph? You wrote "the boards." And then I was wrong in writing ALL, perhaps you think it's just "most."

Quote:
Originally posted by Kincaid
Seriously, some day sit down and count threads and see how many are info exchanges and how many are "can you believe this other person, let me describe her so we can all chime in on what she was doing wrong..." threads. I think the ratio speaks for itself.
Why???? would I want to do that? Unless I was out to prove "scientifically" that this was the case. Which I don't really care to. Because as I said, I don't see MDC as a whole as judgemental. I don't focus on that. I focus on the support I get, need, and can give to other like-minded mothers. I generally ignore anything I find that doesn't add value to my life.

I used to post on mainstream parenting board. I liked it. I go back and visit occassionally. There was one particular board that used to make me run in the other direction (WAH vs SAHM) it was particularly nasty and I never bothered to lurk (why put myself through the pain ) let alone, post. Thankfully, that topic was removed. Overall, it's a good, supportive place (sure there are judgemental posts here and there - just like everywhere else) but I prefer MDC.

10 - boy
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#115 of 115 Old 03-22-2004, 02:47 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by suseyblue
LOTS of opinions on who should post what....

Please, be sweet all day long if you choose, I'm not crying out for *more* negativity, but I do rankle at other people deciding (within the bounds of the user agreement, which is pita enough) what I or anyone else should say. If I need to vent, I'm gonna guiltlessly, happily, shamelessly vent.

I would venture the say the number of people choosing to avoid MDC because of other people's vents as their primary issue (check out other boards I am not allowed to mention, if you want nasty & negative) is small indeed.

teapot2.GIF Homeschooling, Homesteading Mama to DD ('02) and DS ('04)  ribbonjigsaw.gif blogging.jpg homeschool.gif

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