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

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#1 of 115 Old 03-16-2004, 04:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm not totally sure why I'm posting this now -- other than just to get it off my chest. I don't post here (or anywhere for that matter) all that often because I'm a terrible "nak-er", but I do spend a lot of time reading and learning. We moved recently and my DD has reacted by needed to nap while latched on --- so I've been spending more time here than usual.

I'd really like to share something that bothers me about many of the posts I see here at MDC (as well as other AP sites). A sizable number of posts seem to take aim at examples of "poor" or "mainstream" mothering seen in stores, restaurants, or other people's homes. Whenever I read a post of this nature, I think of all the times I might have appeared to me one of "those" mothers.

The most recent example was about a month ago when the kids and I had to run to the grocery store. It was *freezing* cold outside, but we really had to go (DH had a late meeting that night and we really needed milk and other essentials). DD was still in the bucket carseat -- something we decided to do because it would be easier to keep her warm during the nasty New England winter. Unless she was sound asleep in the bucket, she always went right into the sling as soon as we got inside. Anyway -- we get to the store and it's freezing (-10 with the wind). I get DS loaded into the cart. He's angry because we were at the store, so he's crying. DD was crying because she was strapped into the bucket and didn't want to be. The only open spot was pretty far away from the store, so I zipped the bunting over DD's head until we get to the store. We get in the store and the large automatic doors are stuck open, so I decided to navigate somewhere away from the draft/wind before I took DD out of the bucket. Both kids are crying the entire time. Of course, as soon as I got to a warm place, I took Zoe out of the bucket and popped her in the sling. Ean got a bagel, calmed down, and we chatted about the bird that was flying around the store. Both kids were happy and the outing was fun (albiet cold!).

So, if you had seen me in the store, you would have seen a mother with an upset toddler and a crying baby in a bucket and totally enclosed in her nanobag bunting. You might have looked at me and thought "please pick that baby up" or " what a terrible 'mainstream' mother". You might have even come here and posted about what a horrible thing you saw at Stop & Shop!!

Then there's the time (also in Stop & Shop -- lol!) that Ean was really needed my full attention. He was sitting in the cart and I had Zoe in the sling. Zoe was tired and fussing in the sling a bit. I was trying to nurse her to sleep in the sling as I was walking around the store. Ean was getting more and more frustrated and angry that I was paying attention to Zoe, so he started kicking the sling. I knew it wasn't the time or place to reason with him, so I decided to try to put Zoe in her bucket (which was in the big part of the cart) and give Ean my full attention. She wasn't thrilled about being in the bucket and was fussing (not crying). I kept offering her a pacifier while I attended to Ean. We were in line already, so there was no point in leaving the store. So, that day, you would have seen a baby in a bucket and a mom who was "pushing" a paci. Again, I could see myself being the subject of a critical post here at MDC.

What you wouldn't have known about me is that I am a responsive, loving mother who left a fancy-schmancy career as a neuroscientist to be a SAHM. We co-sleep, sling, breastfeed on demand, and cloth-diaper. I don't ever spank and do my level best not to raise my voice. I work hard and do my best to meet the needs of my children.

Nearly every time I log on to MDC, I see another post about the horrible things that someone saw happen in the grocery store/mall/library/restaurant. These posts tend to get lots of views and have lots of responses. Sometimes the incidents are truely outrageous and horrifying, but, frequently, they could easily be about someone like me. How do we know that the mom with the crying baby isn't a wonderful AP-- or heck, a wonderful 'mainstream' (don't like that term!) mom who was having a really bad day? Or just a mom who was doing the best she could?

I guess it just upsets me to come someplace like MDC (a wonderful place for both support and education) and feel like I could be the subject of such harsh and blind judgement. I've always thought that compassion and empathy were the 2 corner stones of AP, but, it seems like AP moms are some of the harshest judges.

I'm not trying to start a huge arguement and I really hope I don't get too horribly flamed --- I've just been thinking about this for a really long time and needed to unload.

Thanks for reading!
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#2 of 115 Old 03-16-2004, 04:15 PM
 
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I have often thought the same thing. I'm sure many of the moms here would think I was "one of those moms" if they saw me with my highlighted hair, fake nails, full face of makeup, and designer clothes at my suburban utopia mall, pushing my dd in a stroller while she eats Chick-Fil-A nuggets. Most probably wouldn't guess that I am a homebirthing, extended nursing, co-sleeping, slinging (when she'll have it), cloth diapering, homeopathy-using mama. But you know what? I really don't care. I used to, but now, I have developed the attitude that if people want to brand me a "mainstream" or "unattached" parent because of the way I look, fine with me. It's their loss.

When I see a mom doing something in a store or whatever that causes to me make a kneejerk judgment, I try to remind myself that I don't know what kind of day she has had and that I am only seeing a snapshot of her life.

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#3 of 115 Old 03-16-2004, 04:17 PM
 
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I totally agree you with you. I am fairly new to the boards, but I have been bothered by the way people judge others' parenting! It is amazing how a lot of these commentaries are judging others based on a tiny glimpse of their lives!

I have never been one for being part of a group, and I'm still not. I don't consider myself AP, because I don't want to put a label on my lifestyle and how I raise my daugther. (maybe you've noticed by I refuse to use the abbreviations everyone uses... my daughter is not a 'dd', she is my daughter!).

Anyway, it seems that for some people, they need to be a part of a group or click. Just because someone follows an 'AP' methodology towards child rearing doesn't mean that they are not judgemental. It seems that people are too quick to judge others based on very little information. Maybe it makes them feel superior to put other people down.

I personally focus on doing the best I can in raising my daughter, and I don't worry about others unless they ask for my help/advice.

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#4 of 115 Old 03-16-2004, 04:29 PM
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Hey, I thought I was the only one who didn't do those abbreviations...

I've decided that the "stuff" isn't really what matters, to me anyway. If modifying what you eat or wear or watch helps you parent more mindfully, then by all means, do it, but I don't see those things as the important thing. The important thing is how you treat your children, pure and simple. If you're responding to their needs, treating them with gentleness and respect, and being a thoughtful parent, and you think about issues and make conscious decisions, then I don't think it matters if you decide that McNuggets work for your family, or shirts with Rugrats on them.

YMMV,

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#5 of 115 Old 03-16-2004, 04:42 PM
 
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I know that I have appeared to be one of "those" mothers very frequently. Not only that, but I never did get a hang of the sling and so my kids were always strollered, held in the snugli, or most often just plain held.

I try not to pass judgement based on little things like crying kids in the store (heaven knows it happens to me often enough), or tantrumming toddlers, or anything like that (I'll try to help if I can - ask if I can hold a baby or watch a bag or something). But ocassionaly something will happen, like a mom will slap her child hard on the back of the head, and then I just get angry. I tend to reserve my judgement for moments like that.

Anyway, just wanted to let you know you're not alone - I certainly look bad enough a lot of the time.

Mama, homeschooler, midwife. DD (13yo), DS (11yo), DD (8yo), DD (3yo), somebody new coming in November 2013.

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#6 of 115 Old 03-16-2004, 04:55 PM
 
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I try not to pass judgement based on little things like crying kids in the store (heaven knows it happens to me often enough), or tantrumming toddlers, or anything like that (I'll try to help if I can - ask if I can hold a baby or watch a bag or something). But ocassionaly something will happen, like a mom will slap her child hard on the back of the head, and then I just get angry. I tend to reserve my judgement for moments like that.
Yep, me too. As much as I try to take the "I don't know what kind of day she's had" attitude, there are some times that I do make a judgment because IMO *nobody* could have a day bad enough to excuse the behavior (like hitting the child or, as I saw one mother do, scream at the child and call her a retard).
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#7 of 115 Old 03-16-2004, 05:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by morgan's_mom
I have often thought the same thing. I'm sure many of the moms here would think I was "one of those moms" if they saw me with my highlighted hair, fake nails, full face of makeup, and designer clothes at my suburban utopia mall, pushing my dd in a stroller while she eats Chick-Fil-A nuggets. Most probably wouldn't guess that I am a homebirthing, extended nursing, co-sleeping, slinging (when she'll have it), cloth diapering, homeopathy-using mama. But you know what? I really don't care. I used to, but now, I have developed the attitude that if people want to brand me a "mainstream" or "unattached" parent because of the way I look, fine with me. It's their loss.

When I see a mom doing something in a store or whatever that causes to me make a kneejerk judgment, I try to remind myself that I don't know what kind of day she has had and that I am only seeing a snapshot of her life.


EXACTLY!
I never understand on this board when women judge other women based on a few minute's snapshot of their life. (and yes that could be interpreted as me judging those posters-- I have no particular poster or instance in mind, btw )
It is best to give the "benefit of the doubt" and think about others judging us, and the possible ways that any mother, even an ap one could end up looking "bad" for a few minutes in public.

Mom of 5 boys- 13, 10, 8, 2 : and newbie Aug. 24th, '09 . babywearing advocate . Cook, baker, homemaker, wife to a man with another woman's kidney (live altruistic, unknown donor).
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#8 of 115 Old 03-16-2004, 05:12 PM
 
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Right on! I totally agree, and it kills me to see so much judgement passed when we're all doing the best we can.

However....

This is also a place where people can come and vent about those things. In my limited experience, people ardent about mothering to the best of their ability also tend to be pretty passionate. I think that's where alot of the judgement comes from, in folks wanting to cry out in a supportive atmosphere of mostly like-minded women when they see a foul.

I'd *love* to see less judgement on these boards, but I also love them as a place where I can come vent, too...

Well-worded post, Mindful Mom!
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#9 of 115 Old 03-16-2004, 05:18 PM
 
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I've realized in the past few years that there is a fine line between activism and elitism. I believe that the way I parent is activism-- I'm actively doing something that I believe will change the world.

Those threads that are nothing but lists of things that "other" parents do that annoy the poster are elitism, nothing else. They accomplish nothing other than to showcase what perfect, wonderful parents the posters are. I try not to read them and I certainly don't post in them. As a matter of fact, those threads are a big part of why I've never been able to get totally immersed in this community. The judgement and negativity does nothing to help or uplift anyone, which is what activism should be about.
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#10 of 115 Old 03-16-2004, 05:18 PM
 
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Mindful Mom~thank you! we all need to be reminded once in a while that all of us moms are on the same team

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#11 of 115 Old 03-16-2004, 05:20 PM
 
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Excellent points made.

Every baptized Christian is, or should be, someone with an actual (disturbing) experience, ... a close encounter, with God; someone who, as a result, becomes a disturbing presence to others. - Fr. Anthony J. Gittins, A Presence That Disturbs
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#12 of 115 Old 03-16-2004, 05:22 PM
 
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Well, I can be very judgemental in my private head. But I try to quell that internal judgemental voice when I'm at the grocery store, because it doesn't take much to see that grocery shopping is pretty stressful for a lot of children.

I've praised other moms for keeping their cool and I've had praise from other moms for keeping mine, in the grocery store. If you were one of the moms I praised or one of the ones who praised me, thanks for your positive modeling.


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#13 of 115 Old 03-16-2004, 05:25 PM
 
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I agree with both the spirit and the letter of your OP, Mindful Mom. There have been several posts of late commenting on the judgemental quality of MDC, and its good to see that so many other people have noticed, and resisted, too. It raises my hackles to see so many posts complaining about what people have seen perfect strangers do in public places. I sometimes think, when will my bad day be broadcast on MDC?
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#14 of 115 Old 03-16-2004, 05:30 PM
 
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Wow, I am glad I read this post. I have come to this site several times, and left feeling like I am a bad mom for things that I may or may not choose to do. I always shop with my youngest in the infant carrier, unless dh is with me. Gwen hates her sling, but she really enjoys being in the carrier, so that is where she sits. I also have been known to bribe my older children with the promise of a treat, to get them listen to me in the grocery store. The absolute worst thing that I do though, is feed my dd formula. I feel embarassed every time I make her a bottle. But why is she on formula? Because as soon as my period came back, she went on a nursing strike for over a month, then I got pregnant again and my milk supply decreased even more, and she was done. I think if I was seen on the street, I would easily me mistaken for a mainstream mom, but I am not. I cloth diaper, cosleep, use GD, BF for as long as my baby would allow it. I am glad to see I am not the only mom on these boards, who is not perfect.
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#15 of 115 Old 03-16-2004, 06:00 PM
 
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Good thread.

I am a mix of mainstream (in some respects) and AP (in many respects), but I get funny looks from both sides! :

At least my Goo still loves me at the end of the day!
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#16 of 115 Old 03-16-2004, 06:16 PM
 
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I'm one of "those" mothers too....I wear makeup, my baby has plastic toys, and we *gasp* vax....but I also co-sleep, sling, breastfeed, cloth diaper, cloth mama, and spend 24 hours a day with my baby playing with him... Am I a bad mother? Nope...and neither are you. We all pick the form of parenting that works best for us and our babies.

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#17 of 115 Old 03-16-2004, 06:26 PM
 
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Thank you for bringing this up. I feel compelled to defend what ever mom is being bashed because i think perhaps they are talking to me. I see scenes in a store and have nothing but sympathy or the poor mom and baby. Ava would cry if the cart went too slow. seriously, I would have to run through the store grabbing stuff and dodging people without going beloow the minimum speed requirement. it is just easier in Soiuth dakota if you can leave your child in the bucket with thier cumbersome snowsuit on., It is no picnic gettingin and out of those. She was hungry. I wasn't yet adept at feeding while walking. I was going to quick grab some toilet paper for our store, a snack for me and the girls and the run to our store (across the street from the store I was shopping at) where I could sit in a comfportable chair and nurse while my older children ate. IT WAS A GOOD PLAN.So I am running through the store like a lunatic (because we can't go slow : ) my older children are crying because they are hungry and having a hard time keeping up because we are running and then out of nowhere this somewhat familiar looking woman comes up to see the new baby. I am sure I knew her from somewhere but couldn't place her face (ILs know everyone in town and the people they don't know dh does). So she chats about the baby, makes an attempt to sooth her and then makes some comment about her being hungry. I may have rolled my eyes and said "yeah, but it is hard to feed her while standing here" In the meantime the only reason she was screaming was because this lady had cornered us to judge us and state the obvious. So in a few short minutes we were sitting in the bike shop eating pretzles and drinking milk and I was feeding my hungry baby. BUT THEN a few days later my friend mentions that she had talked to this lady and she said somehting to her about me l;atting my baby scream and not feeding her. God bless mary who said "That must not have been Sandra, she can nurse her baby while walking and shopping and tending to her other children all without breaking a sweat or being the least bit self conscience. She would never just refuse her baby. She must have had a good reason" But dang, that woman, was judging me and talking about me behind my back. I was so mad. She had no idea what kind of mother I was and she was a huge part of the problem that day. It turned out, she hunted me down from across the store. She heard a newborn crying and had to come see what the deal was :

And there are lots of other not so shining moments in my life :LOL especially at grocery stores. In the end I try to do what is best for my family. And if that isn't Ap enough for the AP elite then so be it.

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#18 of 115 Old 03-16-2004, 06:29 PM
 
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OK, I agree about not judging, but OTOH, writing about something you saw someone do in the store isn't exactly passing judgement, either.

Of course everyone has a bad day, or several of them. And of course you can never be certain what kind of mother a person is by one brief glimpse into that woman's life. However, writing about it here isn't the same as calling a mom out in public for her "poor" parenting, or painting a scarlet "M" on her plastic baby bucket.

When I see posts here about something someone saw at the mall, etc, I just take it for what it is. A situation that rubbed the poster the wrong way. If I see someone whose baby is crying in the plastic seat, it bothers me. I probably don't assume that the mom never picks up the baby, unless I hear the same baby crying the whole time I'm there. Even then I am aware that there could most certainly be a good reason for the mother's actions. I'm aware it could be me on any given day. It still bothers me.

So perhaps we are passing judgement on the MDCers a little quickly as well. Perhaps they are commenting on the situation and their reaction as much as on that particular person. If they didn't actually tell that mom she was a lousy mom, and just whined about it here, then no real harm was done, IMO.

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#19 of 115 Old 03-16-2004, 06:39 PM
 
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Originally posted by mothersong
If they didn't actually tell that mom she was a lousy mom, and just whined about it here, then no real harm was done, IMO.
I kind of agree with this, since IMO if you vent online it is much better than getting in a mom's face when she's having a bad day. If it has a cathartic effect, go for it, but I think that we should attempt to make it more of a self-examination thing sometimes - why does this bug me? why do I feel so bad about it? do I really think she is a bad person, or am I just having a bad day and crying is rubbing me the wrong way? I think a lot of times it is all in the wording (often, how we word things is a subconscious expression of how we are analyzing the situation) - "I couldn't believe she did that!" is worlds different from "I felt so bad when I heard that" even if they address the exact same situation.

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#20 of 115 Old 03-16-2004, 06:44 PM
 
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Well said Mindful Mom. I am sure there are times we all look like one of those moms. We all can't be perfect!
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#21 of 115 Old 03-16-2004, 07:07 PM
 
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Originally posted by mothersong
If they didn't actually tell that mom she was a lousy mom, and just whined about it here, then no real harm was done, IMO.
I disagree with this. Obviously, based on the responses in this thread, there IS harm being done. You might not be telling the mom you observed in the mall that she is lousy to her face, but hundreds of other women here are reading that you thought she was a lousy mom. LOTS of us find ourselves reading those "I can't believe how awful this mother is" posts describing a situation that we've found ourselves in. And by "you" I mean anyone posting, not one person in particular.

More than once a perfect stranger has suggested that my baby needed to be held, fed, whatever. Well, no shit, sherlock. Telling me that my baby needs to be held while I have a grocery cart full of food, a toddler that keeps running away from me, and a six-year-old begging for four different boxes of cereal does not help me. I think the answer is just to get to a place in our own heads where we don't automatically assume that someone is neglecting her kid when we see a child crying, sitting in a carseat, stroller, or whatever.

Also, notice how all of these threads are about mothers and what mothers do wrong? It is divisive and does nothing to empower other women or create unity to "whine" or "vent" about what other mothers do wrong.
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#22 of 115 Old 03-16-2004, 07:11 PM
 
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I feel that way too. I can't use a sling because it hurts, and I have a VERY hard time with my ds. I have one of those voices that can sound upset when I am not, and I get stressed out easy. I can just imagine the things people would say about me.
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#23 of 115 Old 03-16-2004, 07:27 PM
 
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As for me..i can't afford to pass judgement on anybody because i have a spirited/high maintenance /indigo daughter and she has made quite a bit of scene in public and i have had people whom i don't know come up and comment to me that i don't know how to raise my daughter. The first thing that comes to my mind when a mother is frustrated with her child and yells and loses it in public , i feel for her and understand that she must be having a tough day because that is what dd puts me through so many times.
It might be easier for parents who have calm easy children. I have been the victim of gossip and was told that i would not be a good girl scout troop leader by people who did not know me and only saw me walking my daughter down the street as she refused to go to school and was crying. Odd..i am good enough to get paid and be a special ed teacher and work with children but i am not good enough to volunteer...anyway...just want to share about how judgement has hurt me in the past.
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#24 of 115 Old 03-16-2004, 08:55 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mothra
LOTS of us find ourselves reading those "I can't believe how awful this mother is" posts describing a situation that we've found ourselves in.
Why do you care, though?

I mean seriously, when I read people slagging vaccinations I don't take it the least bit personally. They are passionate about something - good for them. Since I'm totally secure in my choices it really doesn't bother me. I love reading about homebirths, and the cracks about women scheduling C-sections often make me laugh, too. And guess who scheduled her C/S? So why should it bother anybody? I just don't get it. I feel that (and maybe I'm wrong) if you are secure in your choices and your parenting then it just shouldn't affect you.

I do totally see the point of the OP. I think a reminder to be less judgemental in our hearts is always good for us. Like someone else said, I might find myself judging another woman but lord knows I would NEVER say anything to her face. Maybe I needed to boost myself up at her expense (in my head). I work on my judgementalness alot and I have to say that in the last year that I've been on MDC I have changed alot in my inner reactions to things.

Sometimes it gets tiring being the minority in my choices out there in the "real world". The unique thing about MDC is that here, we are "normal" whereas out IRL we are not. You can complain about seeing babies in buckets left crying and how much that distresses you, b/c people here aren't going to feed you the "babies need to cry - it's good for them" line. People here will understand why it upset you. No need to bash the mother or pass judgement on her - but sharing how it made you feel is understandable IMO.

ITA with what mothersong wrote.

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#25 of 115 Old 03-16-2004, 09:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mothra
I disagree with this. Obviously, based on the responses in this thread, there IS harm being done. You might not be telling the mom you observed in the mall that she is lousy to her face, but hundreds of other women here are reading that you thought she was a lousy mom. LOTS of us find ourselves reading those "I can't believe how awful this mother is" posts describing a situation that we've found ourselves in. And by "you" I mean anyone posting, not one person in particular.
Maybe that is something moms reading the posts should look at in themselves. I have to think that most people here have been in bad situations with their kids, who hasn't? If reading something that someone you don't even know wrote about someone else you don't know, (and *they* don't even know) makes you feel like a lousy mom, is that really the problem of the poster?:

I don't know, I'm just playing devil's advocate. I have never written or responded to a post like we're discussing. I do have 5 kids, some of whom are very spirited, high need, sensitive, downright difficult children. I consider myself pretty darn AP, as do most people who know me. I've had my share of horrible experiences in public, though I've never had anyone criticize me to my face.

I would never judge a person by one or even a few incidents in the grocery store or the mall. I might tell my friend about it, though. We might talk about how we would do things differently, or how glad we are that we already do things differently. Sometimes those things make us feel good about our parenting skills, help reaffirm to us that even though we are out of the mainstream, we are doing a good job. I see it as being the same thing if you come and post about it here, where you can presume that there are like minded people.

In the meantime, the woman at the mall or the grocery store has no idea. I still don't see that any harm is done, as long as you aren't telling some poor person to do a better job when you have no idea of the reality of that person's life or circumstances.

For that matter, I know people I think are truly not good mothers and they all think they are fine, and talk about how strange I am all the time. I am not offended by that. We have obviously made drastically different choices, and I wouldn't expect them to think mine are correct. I for sure don't worry about my own parenting skills based on someone else's opinion of them. I know the truth, and I know which times I really was doing the best I could, and which times I probably could have done better.

Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible---St. Francis of Assisi
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#26 of 115 Old 03-16-2004, 09:40 PM
 
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This whole "like minded" thing-- thousands of women read these boards every day. I read things here that make me nod my head and say "right on" and then click on another thread and read something that makes me feel nauseated.

This doesn't bother me on a personal level. From time to time it does hurt when someone lets on that they don't feel as though I'm genuinely doing the best I can for my children. Reading that on a bulletin board, as in when I read comments about how women who have bottle-fed or had their children in hospitals are neglectful at best and child abusers at worst, really doesn't bother me anymore. What does bother me is the "us" vs. "them" attitude. We'll never acheive equality without unity, and in case you haven't noticed, mothers are not equal in most of Western society-- not equal to other women and certainly not equal to men.

And let's assume that woman in the mall with the screaming baby in the mall doesn't know any better. What does that say about our society that she doesn't have the resources she needs to efffectively and safely parent her child? What does that say about us if we sit here and rip her apart? What else could we do that would actually help the situation?

It hasn't happened to me here, but I can remember once logging on to a bulletin board that I relied on for support as a young, poor, clueless mother of an active child. I had just gotten home from the mall where a woman said of my one-year-old child who would not sit still in the food court, "Why don't you just spank him? Whatever you are doing obviously is not working." So I logged on and read an entire thread about how someone had gone to the mall and saw a child climbing on the tables, singing loudly, and disrupting everyone else. She seriously could have been writing about my son. The thread turned to discuss how this child was obviously not being raised in an AP environment and was probably spanked or something. Great. I felt really supported.

So is the purpose of this community to unite, empower, and support mothers while enabling them to parent with their hearts and minds against the conventional wisdom, or is it to bash other women who don't appear to make the same choices? Because I've seen both here and I prefer the former.
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#27 of 115 Old 03-16-2004, 10:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Phew -- thank you all for not flaming me!! I honestly wasn't sure what type of reaction I'd get!

Quote:
Originally posted by mothersong
If they didn't actually tell that mom she was a lousy mom, and just whined about it here, then no real harm was done, IMO.
I think it has the potential to do a lot of harm. Society as a whole does a pretty crappy job of supporting AP choices, so many women come to places like MDC to seek advice and inspiration. Posts that are made for the purpose of highlighting less than ideal mothering are neither supportive nor inspirational and may actually wind up alienating people who are in dire need of communion with like-minded mommas.

Instead of coming here and complaining about "the poor crying baby in the plastic bucket", maybe we could come here and share what we did to help mom and baby. That sort of action would certainly be way more in-tune with the AP lifestyle -- don't you think?
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#28 of 115 Old 03-16-2004, 10:36 PM
 
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Originally posted by Mothra
And let's assume that woman in the mall with the screaming baby in the mall doesn't know any better. What does that say about our society that she doesn't have the resources she needs to efffectively and safely parent her child? What does that say about us if we sit here and rip her apart? What else could we do that would actually help the situation?
Just FWIW, I meant that the mom at the mall wouldn't know that I was talking about her, not that she didn't know any better ways to parent.

If I am having an issue with one of my kids in the mall, and someone sees and misinterprets what is going on, then goes home and talks about what a terrible mom I am, what do I care? I don't know I'm being talked about. If I heard her, on any given day I wouldn't even know it was me she was talking about. I know I'm not a terrible mom, and I know I'm not perfect. That about covers it, really.

Also, I really don't interfere much with other parents. If I see someone who is obviously in need of assistance, then I offer it. If I see someone screaming away at a child, or dragging a toddler along too fast, something like that, I usually don't say too much. I've lost it, I've had friends loose it, having someone in your face pointing out that you have lost it doesn't usually help. I was also with a friend who got screamed at herself, in front of her own children, for offering to help an out of control parent once. Made a lasting impression on me.

I recently gave a mom a ride that I picked up on the side of the road. It was raining, and she was walking, tugging along a toddler who was trying hard to go a different way, and carrying a baby. That same day, I walked away from a mom who was yelling at her preschooler in the grocery store, because I didn't think it was my business. I guess we all draw our own line when it comes to where to help and when to leave it.

I still don't think if I had come here and posted about how sad and irritating it was that the one mom was screaming at her child that I would have been doing that mom a great disservice. For all I know she is also a great AP mom, just having a bad moment. I didn't tell her to her face I thought she was being rude to her own child, and she would never know that I came here and said that she was.

What's more, if you should see me screaming at my own child in the mall, and come here and post that I wasn't being a good mom, I would agree with you. I wasn't being a good AP parent at that time, I wasn't working with my child the way I should. That doesn't mean I am never a good mom, does it? That doesn't mean that if you screamed at your child yesterday at the mall, and you read about me that you should feel that you are also not a good mom, does it? Or that if you weren't your best right then that you are never a good mom? IMO it shouldn't, anyway.

Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible---St. Francis of Assisi
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#29 of 115 Old 03-16-2004, 10:51 PM
 
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yup, you just never know what is going on with that parent @ that time.
what about when you have to have to teach your child that, " NO, you can't have everything @ the checkout counter"
(or something similar) & the kid pitches a fit ??
IMHO - raising your voice (not screaming & NOT belittling the child) is not so bad.
Saying NO sternly is not a bad parent.
I rarely let my baby cry but @ times getting from the stroller to the car can be trying when he's fussy & tired.
I think we can all decipher mistreatment from just being a parent & human at times.

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#30 of 115 Old 03-16-2004, 10:56 PM
 
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Count me in as one of 'those' mothers. I just try & do the best I can, day by day. Some days are better than others.

It used to bother me a lot, reading about how bad a mother I must be, bottle feeding, not co-sleeping, etc. etc. I left the boards for a few years, in part because I just didn't need to feel bad about something else in my life. I am quite good enough at tearing myself down- don't need anybody else to do it for me. But I have become more comfortable in my own skin lately, & more comfortable about my family's parenting style (tho not entirely!). It's a learning process- for life. And I think it's a good idea to remind each other gently when we think we're being too hard on each other....... I personally do it, prolly to the annoyance of others on the boards. Oh well.

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