|Originally posted by Piglet68
I would like somebody to please post a link to a post where somebody claimed that mothers who feed formula (especially adoptive, physically-disabled, mentally-ill, etc. mothers) or who use sposies, or who vax LOVE their children less.
At any rate, I don't feel that it makes me any less of an AP. I pay attention to my child's needs, and I work hard to meet them. Sometimes I'll notice a difference between my parenting style and that of someone else, and it will stick in my mind, but it certainly doesn't lead me to believe that I'm a better mother than they are, or a better person. To the contrary, I try to inform and lead by example, as well as asking people why they do what they do. I don't expect other people to make the same decisions I've made, and I don't accuse them of loving their children less just because they're not hypervigilant researching types like I am.
Piglet......I totally agree......and youve spoken eloquently throughout this thread.
Can I point something out?
If you dont cosleep, (lets use this as an example), and you come to MDC and post here and post there.......how is anyone here EVER going to know that fact? I know, some people put it in their sig line all the AP things they do.....but really, know one s going to know unless you bring it up. And frankly, I believe that most people are in agreement........you do what works for you. Period. You come here to laugh, share experiences, ask for advise......Ive even seen people start threads with "I DONT BFEED, BUT..........LOOKING FOR SUPPORT REGARDING........." And people are pretty respectful about that.
I think this thread has put everyone on the defensive about MDC and AP...when really, I personally dont feel I have to defend this place. (OR my AP choices) Im so greatful to have this community, I cant tell you!! Alot of us feel that way. Im sorry the OP doesnt......but its how she feels. I think we could carry this thread on and on and NOT convince her of anything she feels to be true. Ive been praying a mod would come along and put a lock on it already...........we aint gettin no where......
Also, I think the OP’s experience is somewhat common for new members. Lots of people have said that they felt a similar vibe when they first came here. I also stressed over the “AP” thing. Personally, I still don’t like the term but I use it for lack of a better word. And, like someone said so well, I don’t like to label other people so I never (I think) use “mainstream” out of quotes.
Then when you’re new here you also have to learn the ways of communication that are best received. I’ve seen threads that were basically the same turn out very differently just because of the tone.
OP, I would say that you should really listen to what people have said to you here. I’m coming from a place of understanding and I hope you can work things out and stay to contribute and receive from this community. Lots of people have put their precious time into this thread. Maybe it would be best for you to focus on the many supportive and encouraging messages you’ve gotten.
The best advice I’ve gotten here is to really, really think of your motivation before you post. OP, were you looking for encouragement to continue on here at MDC or were you looking for an argument? Did you want to help the community to get to a better place or did you just need to vent?
Another idea if you want to stay is to focus on helping others for a while. If I’m feeling pulled into negativity, I usually can pull myself out by using my MDC time searching for threads that I can be helpful on. I’ll go back to the infant or breastfeeding threads or anything I think I have some good advice/encouragement on. Maybe that would empower you to stay.
|Originally posted by newmommy "Mainstream says formula versus breastfeeding is simply a lifestyle choice and that formula is "just as good" as breastmilk."Piglet, honestly where in the world are you getting this information? I have not heard 1 single doctor NOT encourage a mother to breastfeed. Including the AAP. Seriously...have you ever heard of Promoting National Breastfeeding Awareness Week? And WHO is Mainstream. Please tell me who this person is or who they are? Also can you find me some information that says this? Formula is a LAST LAST resort and for mamas who feel horrible to have to resort to it (for reasons beyond their control) They (the formula companies) say that they have tried to get formula (or the ingredients) as close as they possibly can to breastmilk 'but buyer beware, it will NEVER be the same so please try to breastfeed your baby'. This is promoted by most formula companies. Period.|
The single most popular and best-selling book is What To Expect when You're Expecting. I don't happen to have this book on hand here (ha ha!), so I will quote from the Kellymom (http://www.kellymom.com/reviews/revi...ttoexpect.html) review:
|"... this series gives lip service to breastfeeding in the early months (though much of the info is quite outdated), but gets less and less supportive of breastfeeding as babies pass 6 months. Weaning is suggested well before 12 months. The authors also advocate letting baby cry (to do otherwise is "cowardly") and are very much against co-sleeping. Many moms I know have found that they have gone to the book with a question and come away feeling worried, inadequate and guilty. Here is a quote from What to Expect the First Year:
"'By the end of the first year, however, scientists tell us that breast milk ceases to be adequate--not only is its protein content is insufficient for the older baby, but it suffers from a decline in several vital nutrients including zinc, copper, and potassium. In the second year, infants require the nutrients in cow's milk, and the mother who is still breastfeeding should recognize that although both she and her baby may still be enjoying the experience, breast milk can't be considered a major source of nutrition for her baby. Nor do babies past a year appear to need the sucking breast feeding provides. In spite of much speculation, there's no solid evidence that nursing past the first year--or even well into the second or third or beyond--hinders a child's emotional development. But it does seem that prolonged breastfeeding, like prolonged bottlefeeding, can lead to dental decay.'"
The other highly HIGHLY successful book series is "The Girlfriend's Guide." I myself actually read "The Girlfriend's Guide to Pregnancy" from cover to cover during a particularly low point of my pregnancy and I can attest quite firmly that this book makes the choice between breastfeeding and formula feeding sound like the choice between two blouses to wear. I am throwing this in here because this is likewise one of the MOST POPULAR PREGNANCY/PARENTING book series out there. Americans are basically scarfing down the information in these - yes - mainstream books.
|Because these are just a FEW "AP" practices here. Consider this... What if she does not co-sleep? What if she vaccinates...ALL of them? What if she feels the urge to have some *her time* Is she still welcomed here? I really don't think so , again because of this STRICT adhered to label/term Attachment Parenting. I get the feeling here it is either ALL or nothing.|
In short, I might fail, might pass the "AP entrance exam" if there were such a test. But my point is, I don't really see anyone here suggesting that we administer such an exam to keep the "undesirables" out. It's more that we need a forum of our own and, yes, a haven from the overwhelming world of mainstream ideas to discuss the ideas *we* embrace, ideas for the most part given very short shrift outside these webpages. Even if we all embrace slightly different ideas from one another - I think this diversity of thought is important, too!
Most of all, I come here because the people here are smart and funny and committed to a way of life that puts children first (and I DON'T think that has to mean "no time for Mommy, no me-time ever at all"!), that respects children, that is a "thinking woman's" (if you will) approach to raising kids. I come here because these boards are populated by people who live out their consciences, who trust their instincts and are constantly trying to figure out what the best thing to do is so they can do it.
Yeah, people - in isolated incidents - can be judgemental sometimes. I have seen that happen in threads, I have seen people fly off the handle, take offense, get their hackles up ... and attack other posters. But, hey, that happens in real life, too. Because we're not perfect. Because we can't sit across the living room or the park bench from one another and look each other in the eye while we speak. Too bad! I wish we could - I wish that 98% of you on these boards lived just down the street from me so we could have these talks while walking down the street or sharing a drink.
Well, rambling on here despite NAK. Let me just close by adding, Newmommy, that I hope you stick around. I think the groundswell that your OP and especially your updates inspired should convince you that this is a good, well-meaning, loving, thoughtful place to spend time. I'm sorry if you haven't felt welcome. If I, with all my faults and vices, can simply plop down and make myself at home, I don't see why you can't! Please reconsider.
I'm not going to add anything more to this thread now, since I seem to be repeating myself and I can't seem to keep my posts shorter than several paragraphs.
I will say, that I have thoroughly enjoyed this thread, although I admit to getting very frustrated at having to defend this board and AP against all the stereotypes and misconceptions about AP. I'm just so tired of being told that AP is a "laundry list", that AP parents are somehow more judgemental, that the concept of "mainstream" is all in our heads, etc. But mostly, I'm just very protective of this community b/c it is SO unique!
And now, for a little totally off-topic diversion, I have to thank melixxa for posting the following excerpt from What to Expect...
|By the end of the first year, however, scientists tell us that breast milk ceases to be adequate... In the second year, infants require the nutrients in cow's milk...|
I would be laughing my proverbial AO if it weren't so incredibly sad that this information is peddled to unsuspecting parents in the name of "expertise".
Is it any wonder that some of us just have to ask what some parents (read: anybody who would actually believe this) are using for brains?? Can nobody in this country think for themselves anymore? sigh.
Homeschooling, Homesteading Mama to DD ('02) and DS ('04)
Rainsmom- As far as I am concerned, I made my point perfectly well. You.. and many others... are rejecting what I have to say. And that is your prerogative. I could just as easily send you a "shrug" emoticon, or a head-banging emoticon... or imply that you are the one that just doesn't get it... but I don't find that a very productive way to communicate. I respect your right to voice your opinion, and I don't feel a need to belittle you just because we disagree.
I can assure you.. and Piglet68, that I find much of what you are saying as frustrating as you apparently find what I have said.
Piglet68.. you did refer to being tired of "being told that the concept of mainstream is all in our heads," which I assume refers to my rejection of the term.
Well, you are the scientist.
You go ahead and find me objective, empirical evidence that all "mainstream" parents are exactly the way YOU characterize them. Find me proof the term is anything but a construct used to describe "the other." It IS in all our heads. It is an agreed-upon term used to define those who are not like us.. us being, of course, the AP parents. Some people apparently find it useful. But I don't. I am sorry you are tired of being told that... but it is MY truth. I am sure tired of everyone telling me that everyone here is always supportive and wonderful, when they aren't.
I am tired of people who are totally unwilling to look at their words and judgments and even CONSIDER the idea that they are sometimes unproductive and ugly.
I don't mind being the maverick on this one.
I am always willing to admit my flaws and my insecurities.. and always willing to acknowlege that I can be harsh and unfair if I am acting from those things, instead of from my higher self.
I see NOTHING wrong with a little self-examination.. and a willingness to at least CONSIDER how we might come off to others.
You, Piglet68, are one who talks a lot about how defensive other people are. You often say with such certainty that it is because others are insecure about their parenting choices.
Well, this thread is FULL of defensiveness. I wonder why that is?
I really really don't want to be part of this discussion anymore.. and it is not because I am in some kind of snit because I "can't make my point."
It is because I simply feel it is unproductive for me to continue to participate. I am obviously in the minority in my beliefs, and I am not going to convince anyone of anything. I have spoken my truth, and I feel perfectly at peace with it.
But.. if people are going to send me shruggy emoticons.. or make reference to MY words.. I will respond.
I will not allow others to distort what I am saying... or to write me off as someone who "can't make their point."
|I will say, that I have thoroughly enjoyed this thread, although I admit to getting very frustrated at having to defend this board and AP against all the stereotypes and misconceptions about AP. I'm just so tired of being told that AP is a "laundry list", that AP parents are somehow more judgemental, that the concept of "mainstream" is all in our heads, etc. But mostly, I'm just very protective of this community b/c it is SO unique!|
Yes. This is what my tongue tied typing fingers were trying to say.
|I am tired of people who are totally unwilling to look at their words and judgments and even CONSIDER the idea that they are sometimes unproductive and ugly.|
|I see NOTHING wrong with a little self-examination.. and a willingness to at least CONSIDER how we might come off to others.|
Very, very well said asherah and I totally agree with you.
I am OUT of this dicussion.
Michelle- INSTINCTIVELLY parenting my 3yo dd and 11mo ds... a little bit of AP and a lot of NFL And no Girlfriend's Guide or WTEWYE... I threw my copies away rather than risk a susceptible mom reading them!
asherah, for what it's worth now, the comment that you quoted from me was NOT directed at you. in fact, I was unaware you had made such a statement. My comment addressed the OP's suggestion that there is no such thing as "mainstream" (and admittedly, her experiences with "societal parenting norms" turned out to be highly non-representative of the experiences of the vast majority of parents here). I thought the points you were making was "what is the value of these distinctions", and also that you were upset about the "I can't believe what this woman did" type of threads (at least, that is what I was understanding you to say). Anyways, I apologize if you felt I was directing my post at you. I can see how that would make you feel attacked. I can assure you that was not my intention. I value your contribution to this thread (after all, a discussion where everybody agrees with each other is pretty boring, isn't it? ).
As for the definition of mainstream, there is no such "empirical" thing, except the dictionary definition which someone else here posted. We've already discussed how societal norms (aka: "mainstream") practices can vary from region to region. Actually, I think you are the one who provided the most accurate definition in your last post: "It is an agreed-upon term used to define those who are not like us".
Well, isn't that what we've been saying all along? My contention is with the notion that we are "all the same". We are most decidedly not, and AP has a certain degree of uniqueness. Now, whether categorizing parenting into these two camps is of any use whatsoever...I suppose that is truly a subjective opinion. I find it eases communication. Others may find it divisive.
FWIW, I thought you made your point very well. I didn't agree with it. You don't agree with mine. Again, that is what makes discussions like this interesting and educational. Someone coming here isn't hearing a lot of "preaching to the choir". They are getting different POV. That's why I thought this thread was really good.
newmommy: I'm sorry you are leaving the thread. Seems that we've been unable to change your opinion that AP is about doing certain things on a list. I suppose if one goes into it with that attitude, one is bound to feel excluded. I think enough people here have welcomed you and encouraged you to stay. If that isn't enough to make you feel like sticking around, I hope you find a community more to your tastes.
Homeschooling, Homesteading Mama to DD ('02) and DS ('04)
I know I engage with you a lot in various threads, but it isn't because I have a problem with you personally or with what you say.
I just think we are passionate.. and have a lot to say!
And, while we don't always have the same world-view.. we can speak the same language, which makes for good, strong debate.
For the record, I did not feel personally attacked.. more intellectually attacked, which is fine... I just can never resist defending my positions.. probably a character flaw lol.
You are essentially correct in your understanding of what I have been trying to say.
|Its a shrug............meaning when one person cant get their point across...
Asherah......by that I meant both sides of this arguement......not one side or another. Im sorry you took it as a direct hit on you......I was commenting on the thread and how neither side was getting their point across. I wasnt saying YOU werent getting it........just that NO ONE was getting it.
Like I wrote in my other posts............this thread has gotten frustrating and emotions are running high. We are all on the defensive...... The title of the thread starts out on the defensive "MAINSTREEM VS AP" So by the very start we are all getting off on the wrong foot. I dont think we are getting anywhere pointing fingers at eachother.
I do feel the need to get away. I have two under 2 and it is very hectice at home at times. I go to school part time and work part time. I work out of need and to get away too and talk to other adults. I still feel perfectly comfortable here.
Also, while I have certain feelings about formula, CIO and other things, I do not expect everyone to think like I do. But I do get sick of having to make a disclaimer every time I vent my feelings. I do avoid formula unless it is ABSOLUTELY needed. I personally think it is gross, but I understand when there is a NEED for it. I would never expect others to feel the way I do and I get sick of other people on the "mainstream" feeling attacked for the way I personally feel about giving MY OWN KIDS formula. So I come here to vent to likeminded people. I do not feel any less ap for not practicing every single aspect of it, and I do not beleive the other ladies here would expect me to. I rarely visit as I have little time and alot of boards to visit. But I take what I can use from here and leave the rest.
|Originally posted by asherah
We are cool, Piglet68....I know I engage with you a lot in various threads, but it isn't because I have a problem with you personally or with what you say...I just think we are passionate.. and have a lot to say!
I was gonna PM you and basically say the same thing, lol.
Homeschooling, Homesteading Mama to DD ('02) and DS ('04)
And that's a good thing, right??
Yes, sometimes I come here to vent, and I know a lot of other posters do, too. This is the source of those "You can't believe what I saw at Walmart today!" threads. I guess I'm just here to defend these types of exchanges. I think the fact that we have them here, and need sometimes to have them, is tied to the "defensiveness" that it has been pointed out is coloring some of this thread. The crux of it is that most of us, in the ways we parent, are out there on our own in real life. I know that I for one certainly can't call up my mom or even my sister and ask for sympathy or empathy because my baby kept us up all night and I'm dropping on my feet. "Why isn't he in his crib in his room??" they would ask. So I come here. Some days - when I'm not looking for information or ideas - I just need that bit of affirmation, that connection. I need to tell a story and have someone say, "I totally agree with you!" or "I see what you mean, but look at it this way...." I mean, it's just human nature that "we freaks," once we've found each other, will celebrate this fact by delineating just a little how we're different from "the others." But I don't think this line is carved in stone or even drawn in the sand. All I know is, it isn't in my head that I am doing things differently from most of the people outside my walls - what is so wrong about talking about the ways in which these differences manifest themselves, and how that makes me feel, and why I'm doing what I'm doing, and 'oh, do you believve that? i believe this'?
I don't even open the obvious venting threads on days when information rather than commiseration is at the top of my list. Other days, I look only at the vents. Because I'm in need of a good venting myself. And nothing else will do.
Wait, I just realized I am totally rambling (and possibly ranting!) here again. So sorry. I'm a bit sleep deprived, it's true. Allow me to sum up in the manner of a good high-school essay:
In short, please, friends, reconsider your knocking of the venting. I think it has its uses, though I completely agree that vent threads can run the risk of coming off as *exclusive* rather than inclusive, that people can get their feelings hurt (it is in the nature of the vent to be highly emotional and not completely thought out beforehand). I think this is unavoidable sometimes - because we all have unique views on everything, and unique ways in which we draw that line - but that's OK as long as our apology buttons are not broken and we use them wisely.
Bowing out to caffeinate ... I think this is the problem here ...
I've been into it, then frustrated with it and now I think I'm beginning to get my head around it...
I think, for the most part, we can assume that most parents make decisions based on what they feel is best for their needs, circumstances and family. I think we can also assume, again in general, that parents make decisions that they feel are in the best interest of their child. How we decide those things are individual and personal based on a whole slew of factors (community, upbringing, etc.) When someone seemingly questions your judgement... it immediately would put people on the defensive as they believe to be making decisions in the best interest of their child. Perhaps that is why these 'types' of threads often get heated.
I must say I also agree that venting is a very valid thing to do.
|Originally posted by pugmadmama
The thing is, you can only breastfeed, babywear and cloth diaper for so long. Then you've got over a decade of active parenting left. I think it's really important to let people know that you can adopt an AP lifestyle at any time during a child's life.
I formula fed my son, didn't co-sleep, didn't baby wear and used cloth diapers because he was allergic to disposables. But, as strange as this may sound, I've been an AP parent from the very start. I've always strived to treat my son with dignity and respect. I've never hit him, I rarely yell at him and we are very closely bonded.
If I'd not been "let in" by some AP Mamas, inspite of my "lousy" credentials in the baby years, then I might not have become the mother I am. As my son comes up on the teenage years, I think AP actually becomes more important. And so, in my opinion, "excluding" (intentionally or unintentionally) people because of what they did or didn't do in the first five years of parenting seems a bit hasty when there is such a need to spread the message of AP with older children.
It's important to be mindful and careful and lay a sturdy foundation. But there's a lot more work when Mama starts moving from the center of baby's universe. It gets harder.
I may say things that either are or at least sound judgmental about the baby years stuff. However, I'm only really really angry at the parents of older children in my neighborhood who just aren't paying attention.
I know a very loving mother who couldn't breastfeed her sons. They are 10 and 16 and are just the most pleasant kids to be around. I know another mother who nursed all four of her children. Three of them are struggling to keep it together as adults. The fourth had a bunch of therapy and is getting better. That fourth one has a daughter who is taking great strides to break the cycle of abuse the breastfeeder kept going.
In general, this community would probably have been much more accepting of the latter because she did one thing "right".
We know what works for us as individuals. We can feel sad for someone that they won't know the joy we find in babywearing/co-sleeping/breastfeeding/diaper stalking. That doesn't mean we're better or happier. Share, put the information out there. But don't insist it work for everyone. I was doing this myself and have really cut myself off from some pretty neat women. That's the saddest thing of all.
|Originally posted by melixxa
I know that I for one certainly can't call up my mom or even my sister and ask for sympathy or empathy because my baby kept us up all night and I'm dropping on my feet. "Why isn't he in his crib in his room??" they would ask.
Why did I feel the need to say that? I don't know! I guess I have spent one too many nights rocking my crib-sleeping boy in my arms at 3:00 AM to not respond, lol!
When I was pg with Lucy, I lurked on the AP forum on another site. I thought those folks were the biggest bunch of freaks. Same with LLL. After I had Lucy, those were the same people who gave me "permission" to follow my instincts and allow Lucy to sleep with us. When I thought I was strange because I didn't want to be away from her, they supported me and I didn't feel so alone. And they are the same people that support me when I get grief from my mom about the way I parent. Same with LLL. Now, I "get it", KWIM? And it just makes me want to shake my pg friends by the shoulders and show them the light. Sigh.
|Originally posted by Piglet68
Ignorance is, literally, "not knowing". Too many women are never taught the TRUTH or the FACTS about babies and they get their parenting practices from the local doctor or what "everyone else" is doing.
AP parents, almost by definition, have to do research and make concious choices because, for most of us, that information is not readily available. Thus, whatever an AP parent does, is almost always done WITH KNOWLEDGE, and as a concious choice to do what is best for the baby. NOT what is most convenient for the parent. And that is why so many of us differ in our individual practices, and yet still come together under the auspices of AP.
Let me see if I can clarify that.
Let’s use the example of a parent who decides to use CIO to get their baby to sleep through the night.
Perhaps that parent has a stronger need for uninterrupted sleep than I do and values that over the baby’s need to be close at night or wake up for night feedings. Maybe that parent values independence more than I do. Maybe they want they’re child to be able to sooth themselves to sleep rather than to be parented to sleep.
I may not believe my child needs to be independent at night, but that doesn’t mean another mother is ignorant for wanting that. And I bet you that mother could have read many “experts” that would back up her opinion, just as many of us have read plenty of “experts” who feel contrary.
Is she ignorantly making the choice to CIO? No. Do I agree with that choice? No because it doesn’t mesh with my values and goals for my family. Is she wrong and I am right, am I smart and she’s ignorant? IMHO no, we just hold different beliefs and values.
I think that is what upsets me on the boards sometimes. It is the attitude that we are right and “they” are wrong. I don’t think there is a right or wrong in parenting (of course that does not include blatant neglect or abuse). I think everyone has to do what’s right for his or her family and it is of no benefit to point our fingers at people who parent differently and disparage them.
I have friends who are very AP, more so than me, and friends who would fall under the category of “mainstream,” but all of those moms I see are making intelligent decisions for their family and raising their children with as much love as I raise mine.
|I have friends who are very AP, more so than me, and friends who would fall under the category of “mainstream,” but all of those moms I see are making intelligent decisions for their family and raising their children with as much love as I raise mine.
I agree.....so would alot of people here. Is that being disputed?
|Originally posted by rainsmom
I agree.....so would alot of people here. Is that being disputed?
How many crib-sleeping mamas do you know who think that it is dangerous to sleep with your newborn (heck, it was all over the news a while back with that ridiculous "study" from the CRTC). How many think it is fostering dependence, that your child will "never want to leave", etc. It's one thing to try cosleeping, decide it doesnt' work, and crib-sleep. I honestly do not beleive that the majority of crib-using parents do that. They just think crib-sleeping is "it".
Sorry, but that's ignorant. The facts are out there. I don't see the majority of parents getting access to those facts unless they dig a little.
Homeschooling, Homesteading Mama to DD ('02) and DS ('04)
Now I dont dispute that many of these people are "and raising their children with as much love as I raise mine." Indeed, I have a friend who spanks her children because she 'loves them' and she truly believes that she is doing a better job of raising and disciplining her children than I am doing with mine. You can love someone but still make some very bad choices.
However, at the end of the day, I personally feel that I need to make judgements, not of people, but of practices. My judgement is that someone who chooses to cio, or to spank, or to circumcise (sorry, I know that one is the most contentious, which is ironic imo) or to formula feed, is not making an 'intelligent' decision. They might not have searched to find the facts, or they might have found them but rejected them. But I cannot see how choosing to do any of these things is intelligent.
Like, its intelligent to refuse to feed your child the best possible nutrition. It's intelligent to leave him to cry because your need for sleep is greater than his physiological need for comfort. It's intelligent to mutilate his genitals. It's intelligent to hit him.
None of those, imo, are intelligent behaviours. And I dont see anythng morally wrong in being honest about something wrong, and calling it 'wrong'. That doesnt mean that we can't sympahtise with someones problems that lead them to make wrong choices, or support them in their quest for knowledge, or forgive them their mistakes. But I dont believe it is honest to fudge the issue and say it's judgemental to call a spade a spade, in the appropriate place of course. And to me, mdc should be that place.
That doesnt mean that we can't ....... forgive them their mistakes
Oh my : ! I was with you until then!
Trying to do the right thing with three kids and a hubby.
ds20, dd18, ds16
|Originally posted by Britishmum
I'm struggling with this concept of others who choose cio and other non-ap practices such as spanking or crib sleeping or formula feeding as being people who are "making intelligent decisions for their family" and that if we call this either ignorant or wrong, we're being judgemental. In fact, I struggle with the whole judgemental issue.
All I feel like saying after reading some of the posts is that parenting choices are not made in a vacuum and the extent to which a person freely chooses a parenting practice varies greatly from family to family and situation to situation. It is important to remember that especially if you decide that it’s okay to judge. Does anyone really think the choices we make are as simple as “to breastfeed/not to breastfeed” or “to spank/not to spank”? If so, may I say that I think you live a very fortunate life and really shouldn’t judge because for most people the choices are not that simple.
To say that a person didn’t make intelligent choices implies that you know what their choice was about - that you know all of the factors that went into it (some of which, I think are highly abstract and hard for even the individual to identity – like whether or not you were inundated with “bottle images” growing up creating a subconscious attraction to bottle feeding)
I can tell you that my parenting choices usually involve much different issues than another person even if we end up choosing the same “practice”. I can only wonder what I would have “chosen” if any of my “AP” practices were challenging for our family. I know that many parents struggle and up hill battle for the choices they feel are best for their family but I think that those of us who came "naturally" and easily by our choices it’s very hard to judge others choices.
Maybe those of you who pumped in the ICU for a month, followed by painful nursing, mastitis, thrush, combined with a lack of support and a whole host of other things I’ve actually heard of people overcoming in order to continue to nurse can feel justified in judging others who don't make the same "choice". I certainly can not. And, I wager a guess that most women who have overcome challenges in breastfeeding wouldn’t call another women’s decision to give up "ignorant" or “unintelligent”.
Jeez, I mean sometimes it’s not even about what you choose. Sometimes it’s about what’s left when a family factors in all that they have.