Why can't I be just a mother??!! "AP vs.Mainstreem Parents" - Page 7 - Mothering Forums

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Old 04-12-2004, 01:36 AM
 
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it's okay, britishmum, I'm just in need of some therapy on this particular topic. :

But since you are enjoying the debate, I'll pose this question to you:

Quote:
If someone chooses to formula feed, and doesnt want to hear in discussions that people believe that it is substandard nutrition, they need to inhabit mainstream boards not mdc.
If someone chooses to FF because they have to (& I think everyone's got their own definition of 'have' to) why should they have reinforced in their heads over & over again how poor a substitute cow's milk/formula is? My point is that many of the mamas here already know that- how could you miss it?!?!?

And I don't wanna go to a mainstream board!! They're boring & I'm so not mainstream I wouldn't last more than a post or two anyway before getting kicked off!

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Old 04-12-2004, 01:38 AM
 
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Love Beads- you & I are speaking the same language. Thank you. And a great big to you too!

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Old 04-12-2004, 01:38 AM
 
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And for those that assume formula feeding is mainstream, I would venture to guess that you have never opened a package of formula which has literature stating, "breastfeeding is best for your baby's health. If you must use formula, please consult your doctor...."
Actually, all the moms IRL that I know - including everyone in my family - who chose to formula feed scoffed at anyone or anything trying to tell them that "breast is best". Of course, they would never come to a place like MDC, either. It's a place for those whacko hippie moms:

I understand that most moms, like yourself, who come to MDC tried to breastfeed. I don't think anyone here is talking about women who tried and didn't succeed. Hugs to you mamas, that must be really rough. It could've happened to me, and I could be the one writing your posts right now.
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Old 04-12-2004, 02:13 AM
 
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Aussiemum, you ask "If someone chooses to FF because they have to " - I dont really understand. If you have to, it's not your choice, it's necessity. So, it's not a question of choosing, is it?

I hope you realise that I wasnt in the slightest bit meaning that you personally should go to a mainstream board. I meant that if someone really wants to read about mainstream stuff like formula being good, cio working and spanking, they will not fit at mdc. Rather like you and I certainly wouldn't fit at a mainstream board.

I guess your perception is that judgements about formula are reinforced here over and over. I don't see that, but I do realise that the underlying assumption is that the majority of women here are knowledgeable about breastfeeding being best. (really best, not lip service) But its rather like how you notice a type of car on the road 50 times in a 10 mile journey if you are researching buying one of those cars. If you weren't vested in that model of car, you wouldnt notice the ones that drive past you. So I guess I don't notice the references that you notice, or I process them differently. I do think though that very few people here would intentionally wnat to upset those who can't breastfeed. And I know that I've read the caveat about 'choice' vs 'necessity' many many times here.
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Old 04-12-2004, 02:18 AM
 
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Aussiemum, thinking soem more about this. For a while last year I simply couldnt open many of the posts on mdc where people were blissfully raving about their new babies or their pregnancy. I was especially sensitive about those threads where people were complaining about pregnancy issues or lack of sleep from a new baby.

Yet I knew logically that none of them were the slightest bit aware of my feelings, having just lost a baby. Why should they be? But it seemed that every time I opened a thread, there it was. The baby, the complaint, the 'poor me' syndrome.

So, LoveBeads, I do understand how it feels to have my body 'fail me'. I'm especially living with it these few weeks as my due date is imminent. I also know though that this is my issue, not that of people who innocently post about their tiredness or aching legs or whatever........I'm sure that those who post about formula are not meaning anything personal either.
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Old 04-12-2004, 03:09 AM
 
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".......there is a big difference between someone who doesn't bedshare and doesn't respond to their kids, and someone who doesn't bedshare but is 100% responsive to all of their kids needs, all of the time......"


Just jumping in with a very humble thought on my part.........

Why can't the essence of the above quote be applied to all the different aspects of AP parenting? With my first I had very little knowledge of natural childbirth and AP parenting. I sort of fell into it when my first was 3weeks old. It solidified all of my instincts and I have learned so much in the last 6 years, mostly through trial and error and lots of research.

I can't believe that there is anyone out there who has done "perfect/100% " AP parenting.

We have all had to compromise on one thing or another. However, because of the compromise we all have an emotional scar, so to speak, due to the fact that we all intelectually know what could be best but were not able to achieve the pefection.

I had unexpected twins the second time around. I am extremely proud of how well I have been able to AP twins.

I am still BF ( 1-2 times a day the twins are 2.5 yo).

We still co sleep when the children wander into our bed(hopefully not all three on any one night). Never used a crib.

I use a stroller to this day, even though they are 2.5, it keeps them safe and they are very entertained by the outside world (always have been).

I never used a sling but I used a Bjorn and carried the other whenever I could. Interestingly enough I used my bouncy seats and swings much less with the twins then with my singleton.

I use disposable diapers.

My son is not circ.(but would have been if he was my first).

I have done selective, timely vacinations

I reached out into my community to help me raise my twins and older daughter, and I still depend on the kindness of others.

I never turn down an offer for help.........................

*Be it holding a door so I can get my side by side stroller thru

*distracting one of the very tired twins while picking up the older sibiling from Montessori school,

*pushing my stroller to the car so I can deal with the melt down of one of my children at the playground,

*pushing two of my children in the swings so I can play hide and seek with my older daughter and her best friend while at the playground the list goes on and on.......

I don't think AP / mainstream is about following a set regiment of slings, BF, co- sleeping, cloth diapers, non vacinating, non circumcision etc. etc.

I think it is being aware of what is best ( throught research and the inner voice) and doing what you can within your reality of day to day living. The ideal /perfection is something to strive for not neccesarily always attain.

If you give someone the benefit of the doubt it will be returned.

Who really knows why peole in grocery stores do the things they do?

What happens on the playground may be a one time thing/learning experience for all involved.

I try to be less "judgemental" and more helpful/suportive based on the circumstances of the particular incidence.

Julianne
to everyone who tries to maintain the best they can be
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Old 04-12-2004, 03:19 AM
 
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Britishmum,
We must have been posting at the same time..........I am sorry for your saddness. I respectfully acknowledge the loss and upon reading your post wish my post could have been later.
Julianne
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Old 04-12-2004, 05:54 AM
 
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I was about to quote someone because I think there is some really crappy stuff written here but to highlight a hurtful thing right now seems inappropriate.

I sympathize with the dilemma some of you have with expressing your views and avoiding hurting people who don’t share your views. Like I said, I think it’s something to be worked on, not justified.

I can tell you that if you want to get involved in activism – if you want to stop “preaching to the choir” – you’ll be much more successful if you can figure out how to stop hurting the people you are trying to reach. It’s great to be proud of your opinions but if you can’t express them in a non-hurtful way they just won’t be heard.

MDC has the potential to be a huge activism tool. But you can’t have it both ways, IMO. You can’t have this place be a haven for careless expression AND have it be a safe place for people to come and learn.

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Old 04-12-2004, 07:39 AM
 
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Once again, ICM -

I can understand wanting to come here to vent. And I can understand feeling that those who ff out of necessity, rather than choice, shouldn't feel guilty and/or defensive.

But when we write negative opinions about formula - that is what a ff feeding Mom gave their child. Whether through choice or through necessity - so of course those Moms feel badly when we talk about how awful formula is.

It's really hard, I know - and I want to vent about certain issues as often as anyone else. It's just how and when and why. But especially how.

It seems to me that there is a world of difference between the statement: 'It was/is very important to me that I don't supplement with formula'

and

'Formula is crap, I can't believe anyone would choose to give that to their child'

Because whether or not you 'chose' to give formula, that's still what you gave (even if it was given out of necessity).
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Old 04-12-2004, 11:36 AM
 
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aussiemum-

ITA with ICM that some very hurtful things have been posted here and I also am choosing not to highlight them, but suddenly I am able to see clearly what the OP was talking about.
Venting is one thing, going off the handle in a way that has the potential to really hurt others feelings is quite another- and I've been guilty of it too. I am making a couple of decisions based on having read this thread- I am really going to try to be less judgemental of moms I see out and about, I'll assume that all mamas are doing their best and love their children just as much as I love mine. I'll remember that only kind, loving women who take the time to understand, listen and assume the best- can really make a positive change. So, I am thankful to have read all of this, and to have the chance to work on the woman/mother/advocate that I am.

:Patty :fireman Catholic, intactalactivist, co-sleeping, GDing, HSing, no-vax Mama to .........................:..........hale:
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Old 04-12-2004, 12:41 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by IdentityCrisisMama
I can tell you that if you want to get involved in activism – if you want to stop “preaching to the choir” – you’ll be much more successful if you can figure out how to stop hurting the people you are trying to reach. It’s great to be proud of your opinions but if you can’t express them in a non-hurtful way they just won’t be heard.


ICM, I seriosly think that you should post this on every single board & forum. It should be a sticky for all to see; this is a point which I have tried to make over and over again, in every thread I've participated in. "If you can't express your opinions in a non-hurtful way, they just won't be heard." Short, eloquent, and brilliant! Thank you.

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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Old 04-12-2004, 12:51 PM
 
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---------------------> IdentityCrisisMama

Yes, yes, yes, yes! Having opinions is not the issue, it's bashing others for their supposed "wrong" choices which turns people off of AP (or any good cause).

Remember, communication is not what we say, it is the information that we receive from someone else.
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Old 04-12-2004, 01:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by IdentityCrisisMama
I can tell you that if you want to get involved in activism – if you want to stop “preaching to the choir” – you’ll be much more successful if you can figure out how to stop hurting the people you are trying to reach. It’s great to be proud of your opinions but if you can’t express them in a non-hurtful way they just won’t be heard.
Quote:
Originally posted by LoveBeads
Yes, yes, yes, yes! Having opinions is not the issue, it's bashing others for their supposed "wrong" choices which turns people off of AP (or any good cause).
Perfectly said!

This thread was really starting to make me question whether I wanted to be a part of MDC any longer and it’s ideas like those above that remind me why I love this place.
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Old 04-12-2004, 03:20 PM
 
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Just thought I would share this quote from a book on "judging". It's really about judging yourself but you can totally turn it to be how you view others...I thought it was good.

"Judge without being judgemental. Be gentle and compassionate with yourself. Your kindness toward and acceptance of yourself despite all your imperfections will, almost paradoxically, allow you to make more humane choices"

It's from a book called Above All, Be Kind by Zoe Weil.
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Old 04-12-2004, 03:49 PM
 
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I'm not going to quote you for the fourth time, ICM (wink!) but yes, I heartily agree with what you said about kindness being a much better platform for advocacy than hurling insults.

aussiemum...big, big hugs to you. My comment, taken within the context of my post, was meant to illustrate the difference between the convictions we hold within ourselves that are part of our experience, the "armour" we build up around ourselves to be strong in those convictions, and how those convictions can affect the others around us. As Britishmum said, it's not practical to write a "disclaimer statement" every post, and I thought I'd made it quite clear by now that I would *never* judge a woman who feeds formula, that formula is a life-saver for all those babies who can't get breastmilk for whatever reason. It's not my place to decide who had valid reasons to FF and who didn't. I don't care. I look at excessive FF rates as a societal issue. I don't consider it useful or necessary or the least bit compassionate to go around blaming mothers.


Enough of that. Back to our discussion....ICM, you said something about the greatest activists you know being the least judgmental...can you expand on that some more?

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Old 04-12-2004, 03:54 PM
 
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Originally posted by IdentityCrisisMama
I was about to quote someone because I think there is some really crappy stuff written here but to highlight a hurtful thing right now seems inappropriate.
Sigh. I want to follow your lead, ICM. I admire your tact. But that McDonald's comment really hurt me. I don't see why you would say that here, Piglet. Like ICM said, if you were to tell that to a "mainstream" formula feeder, they would just think you are a militant nutcase and you would get no farther with them. To say it here, where everyone *knows* breast is best and those of us who used formula were making hard and heartbreaking choices - well, that is just cruel. Period. How would you like it if I told you that vaxing is like giving your child a cup of rat poison? Or that you are neglecting your responsibility as a mother by choosing to work outside the home?

Thank you everyone who has posted on the last page or so of this thread. I too was seriously starting to wonder whether I should remain here or not. I guess we really opened up a can of worms on this one, huh? :
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Old 04-12-2004, 03:57 PM
 
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We cross posted. I do not want to brow beat you over this. But I do think that the mandatory disclaimer tacked on to the end of every judgemental thing said about formula and FF does not help to ease the sting. "Well, you are basically feeding your child harmful junk but I guess you had no choice." Thanks, I feel a lot better. :

I do not expect to be patted and told everything is OK - but let's keep the hurtful rhetoric to a minimum, please.
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Old 04-12-2004, 04:21 PM
 
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Originally posted by famousmockngbrd
How would you like it if I told you that vaxing is like giving your child a cup of rat poison? Or that you are neglecting your responsibility as a mother by choosing to work outside the home?

That's just it though - I would respect that this is what lay behind your choices. If a mother has the bravado and wherewithall to refuse vaccines in a vaccine-dominated society...they obviously have some pretty strong opinions on the issue. I think it is 100% consistent with choosing not to vax to hold the opinion that it is dangerous stuff. I don't take it the least bit personally. In fact, I would find it hard to believe that a mother would go through the uphill battle of not vaxing and yet hold the opinion "hey, vaxes aren't so bad". Of course you think they are poison! That's why you made the choice you did! That doesn't affect me in the slightest.

Same thing with WOTH, or my cesarean birth. I personally, find it rather easy to remove the conviction of one's choices from personal attacks. That is what I was trying to illustrate in my post. What the heck do you care whether I think formula is junk food or not? And why is MY reality of going into birth with that attitude any less valid then anyone else's reality of formula being a life-saving fluid that saved their child?

I guess I"m just not explaining myself very well....sigh!

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Old 04-12-2004, 04:27 PM
 
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I think the difference Piglet is that those of us who formula fed believe that breastfeeding is best, we just didn't have the luck of our bodies cooperating so that we could follow through with our convictions. Being reminded of the fact that breastfeeding is best is not hurtful, being told that we have fed our newborns something akin to McDonald's is hurtful.

Those who vaccinated did so out of choice. Those who co-sleep do so out of choice. Those who couldn't breastfeed did not do it out of choice.
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Old 04-12-2004, 04:37 PM
 
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Right, LB.

Also, I can think that not vaxing is a better choice without going so far as to think that vaxes are "poison". I know some people do think that. I am not one of them.

I don't know why I care. I guess I felt judged.
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Old 04-12-2004, 04:37 PM
 
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Originally posted by Piglet68
...In fact, I would find it hard to believe that a mother would go through the uphill battle of not vaxing and yet hold the opinion "hey, vaxes aren't so bad". Of course you think they are poison! That's why you made the choice you did! That doesn't affect me in the slightest....
Why do you have to think vaccines are "poison" to not use them? Can't you just think they do more harm than good? Why does using formula have to be "abuse" or "junk food", can't breastmilk just be better?

I understand that some people actually do think vaccines are "poison" and formula is "junk food" but I disagree. A mother can give her infant poison (antifreeze, cleaning products) and/or junk food (soda, candy). In my opinion, mothers who choose to vaccinate and/or feed their baby formual are not giving their child poison and/or junk food.

I fed my son formula over a decade ago. It used to really hurt when I heard words like "junk food" applied to the food I fed to my infant. But time has changed my perspective, now when when I hear people using such extreme language about things like formula (junk food, abuse, etc.), it usually makes me think that maybe they are speaking more about their own insecurity than my choices. It's as if the choice they didn't make has to be the worst thing possible to make them feel superior about the choice they did make.

Breastmilk is best. I didn't give my son the best possible infant food, but I didn't feed him junk food either.
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Old 04-12-2004, 04:38 PM
 
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Thanks, PMM - you said it better than I did.
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Old 04-12-2004, 05:21 PM
 
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Hey, I did NOT tell anybody here that they feed their children "junk food". Please read my words again, in the context of my post. I said that this was the attitude I went into birth with, to steel my shaky-resolve against what I perceived may have been an uphill battle. The whole point of that post was to say "if my personal convictions (based on my experiences and for my own unique situations) are this way, but I treat those with different convictions with the respect and lack of assumptions they deserve, does that make me judgemental?". My comment about McDonalds was the "voice in my head" (and I think I was very clear about that) - it was most certainly NOT a statement to FF mamas that you are feeding crap to your babies and it was not meant as an "educational sound bite" either.

Look, if I were a mama living in a famine-laden country with my kids starving to death and someone offered me a lifetime supply of chicken nuggets and kraft dinner don't you think I'd be dancing in the streets that my children can grow and thrive? OTOH, if I am a mama in the local Piggly Wiggly and I'm picking KD over wholesome foods, then it's a different story right? As a BFing mom, I have the "luxury" (and I know it's due largely to good fortune!) of having the attitude I do towards formula. I don't expect, nor would I presume to impose, that attitude on anybody else, b/c I believe strongly in the "walk a mile in their shoes" principle.

Check out the PG board and see the amazing extents women are going to to avoid an U/S. Then there's me, who was pregnant while we had an U/S machine in the lab, and hopped up on the table every chance I got to take a peek at my babe. I have nothing but respect and admiration for mamas making tough choices based on their convictions, and I simply do NOT take it as "directed at me" when they post that they would rather risk not knowing that their baby has heart defects than do ONE TEENY TINY LITTLE U/S (something I did many, many times over and admitted to up front). I'm finding it nearly impossible to understand why some people cannot remove someone else's personal convictions from an attack upon themselves.

However, with that said ... it's obvious from the posts here that feelings were hurt, and for that I deeply, truly apologize. It was honestly not my intention to hurt people, and to each and every one of you who was "stung" by my words, please accept my sincerest apologies.

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Old 04-12-2004, 05:36 PM
 
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Heres Piglets quote:


Quote:
example: I am so passionate about breastfeeding that I basically went into hospital with the attitude "you are feeding that garbage to my baby over my dead body" (life threatening situations notwithstanding, of course) as I felt that gave me the strength and determination I might need to counter the Supplement Police (I tend to buckle under in confrontational situations). How can I possibly convey that and then not come across as judgemental about those who FF even though I would *never* dare to comment to some poor mama about her choices? I struggle with this: I think formula is crappy, substandard, processed food on the level of McDonald's-with-added-vitamins (there! I said it!)....yet my heart goes out to mamas who can't BF - how does hearing my rant make them feel? Pretty crappy I would guess. Does it make me judgemental? I don't know...
Its pretty obvious to me where she was coming from. Not from a place of saying that those who FF are giving their dcs crap.......just an opinion from her, a person who is a bf advocate and someone who had the choice/ability to bf and chose to . Not someone who looks down on someone who FF, or, especially on someone who cant thru no fault of their own.

Guess we need a disclaimer button next to the spoiler and quote buttons.
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Old 04-12-2004, 05:46 PM
 
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Old 04-12-2004, 05:59 PM
 
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Okay. What's the matter with that? I'm not trying to sound antagonistic here, but really -- why is it right to refrain from judging people's decisions? To me, speaking for myself, this is about as impossible as suspending my ability to think -- I just can't help BUT make a judgment about darn near everything. And really, though many people's different decisions may be worthy of respect and certainly are worthy of being given the benefit of the doubt, the bottom line is that you can't agree with or respect *every single* point of view. The best we can do is make our decisions for what we hope and pray are the right reasons.
Can we get back to this conversation....or is it done?
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Old 04-12-2004, 06:19 PM
 
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I think it is impossible to avoid judging our own and other's decisions. About parenting, or what to wear to church, or whatever. I know that I use my reactions to what I see others doing to help me make future choices about my life, so its good for me to analize my reactions.

But, it is possible, and desireable, to express those judgements without hurting other's feelings. Going a step further, it should be a goal of posters here to express themselves AFTER thinking things through. Have I really given someone the benefit of the doubt? Have I said anything that can be easily taken out of context (for example, I still have trouble reading Piglet's quote and getting her stated intent). Have I made a general statement ("blue cars are are bad") when I really meant a more limited statement ("chosing to drive a car that pollutes because it doesn't have a muffler is bad"). If we remember those sorts of guidelines, I think everyone would feel better.

I don't think being "judgemental" is all bad, its the way that it makes a third party feel that is bad. For example, I judge the woman at the grocery store (which is normal), then come here and make a general statement about what I saw and why it's bad. A totally innocent person then reads the statement and feels judged. I've just created a problem where there shouldn't have been one.
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Old 04-12-2004, 06:35 PM
 
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Originally posted by Piglet68
I struggle with this: I think formula is crappy, substandard, processed food on the level of McDonald's-with-added-vitamins (there! I said it!)....
I am taking this out of context, but only because rainsmom quoted the entire paragraph in her post. FTR, this was the part that made me take offense. If I misinterpreted it, I am sorry. I have to admit that I still don't think I did but I am willing to give you the benefit of the doubt.

Piglet, you said the following:
"I'm finding it nearly impossible to understand why some people cannot remove someone else's personal convictions from an attack upon themselves."

I'm sorry, I don't understand what you mean.

I would like to state again that going on and on about how horrible X is and ho they would never do that to their children and people who do should be beaten with a stick, etc. etc. and then adding a disclaimer to say "but you, well, you HAD to do it, that's different" does not make the previous rant any less offensive! I guess you have to experience it to understand how this is true.

I will stop harping on this now to get out of the way of the bigger discussion. I have some thoughts on that but the boy is busily at work destroying something in the other room....
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Old 04-12-2004, 06:41 PM
 
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Originally posted by famousmockngbrd
I would like to state again that going on and on about how horrible X is and ho they would never do that to their children and people who do should be beaten with a stick, etc. etc. and then adding a disclaimer to say "but you, well, you HAD to do it, that's different" does not make the previous rant any less offensive!
I agree. But that is not what I did...

anyways, I'm certainly willing to admit that I failed miserably at trying to get my point across, and in the process hurt peoples' feelings. the frustration you hear in my last post is not just directed at those who seem to be taking my words out of context and taking them personally when they were about *me*, but most especially at myself for writing volumes and still somehow managing to be clear as mud. I don't like upsetting people like that.

but yeah..I, too, would like to try to return to the original discussion...what rainsmom said...and also I wanted ICM to elaborate on the "activism without judgement" topic as I'm interested to hear more...

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Old 04-12-2004, 07:57 PM
 
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Piglet, I completely understood your point when you first made it, although I took a deep breath and knew that it was going to get some strong reactions. I guess if its a sensitive point, then the word McDonalds would leap at you and the overall meaning becomes less significant than the emotional impact of the words.

I understand that it is common for us to equate personal statements of belief about a product or a procedure with an attack on ourselves if we made that choice or had to do so. However, I also think that the problem is often within ourselves for feeling attacked, more than with the person who made a statement of belief.

As I said in my earlier post, when I lost my baby, I felt hurt every time I read here or heard a mother complain about her pregnancy or her lack of sleep or sore nipples or whatever. But that hurt belonged to me. None of those people made their complaints or jokes or comments about their babies meaning to upset me. They were stating facts or beliefs. I chose to be hurt. I own my feelings.

That's not to say that some things are not tactless and unnecessary. And often when people feel hurt, words are taken out of context. For that reason the choice of an analogy to McDonalds was imo tactless. (although no doubt some of what I have said would be viewed as tactless or hurtful too).

My choice when I was hurting over my baby and not wanting to read baby moans, was to either not come to mdc, or to deal with it, scroll on by if something hurt, and understand that nothing personal was meant.

I understand that maybe sometimes someone posts something here about formula without the disclaimer, but cant we assume that 99.99% of members here don't believe that formula is wrong for those who have to use it. They believe it is a bad choice not a bad product. There is a big difference. I tend to make that assumption about any post about the evils of formula, because we are here with AP parents who are going to almost exclusively be breastfeeding advocates.

Back to topic (I think LOL) "why is it right to refrain from judging people's decisions?"

There is a big difference between judging people and judging people's decisions. Isn't there?
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