My Feelings Towards My Old Friends Are Changing - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 1 Old 12-29-2001, 06:12 PM - Thread Starter
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My feelings toward my old friends are changing due to parenting decisions

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Author Topic: My feelings toward my old friends are changing due to parenting decisions
Member posted 01-29-2001 02:48 PM
I am finding that my feelings toward old friends are really changing now that I know what their parenting values are. For example, many of them let their children cry themselves to sleep (for naps and for bedtime!) It just breaks my heart! I feel like such a snob or self-riteous B@!!%*@ for judging them. Although they seem to be quite respectful of our decision to have a family bed, breastfeed for a long time, only eat unprocessed foods, wear him, and love him when he cries, I find that I can't feel respectful of their decisions. My feelings towards these women is drastically changing where I sometimes don't even know if I like them anymore. Isn't this awful?? I do feel that each parent needs to make their own decision about what is right for their family though. So why am I judging them so harshly?
I have been meeting other women who are like-minded and it will take time to develop friendships with them. This is quite fine. I just feel so darn guilty about not wanting to continue my friendship with my Ferber and formula mom friends. Especially when I believe that their children are suffering for their decisions.

I feel horrible. Has this happened to anyone else?

[This message has been edited by happymama (edited 01-29-2001).]

[This message has been edited by happymama (edited 01-29-2001).]

Moderator posted 01-29-2001 03:02 PM
I know how you feel. I have this problem with my MIL. She has said so many things that go against the AP style of parenting that we practice, that I find myself angry with her all the time.
It is upsetting to say the least, and I wish I could get over these feelings of anger towards her.
I haven't found a good way to resolve it yet, but I do spend less time with her.
It's sad because my husband and I moved over 2000 miles so that our daughter could be closer to her grandparents, and I don't even want to take her to visit!

I wish I had some advice for you, but I'm still looking for answers to these questions. HOw can we be tolerating, and loving without compromising what is important to us? And what could be more important then our children?

Sierra M-
Moderator posted 01-29-2001 03:56 PM

Originally posted by happymama:
I am finding that my feelings toward old friends are really changing now that I know what their parenting values are. For example, many of them let their children cry themselves to sleep (for naps and for bedtime!) It just breaks my heart! I feel like such a snob or self-riteous B@!!%*@ for judging them.

This is a subject that as a board moderator, I have seen come up again and again here. We have had, at times, complete folders where we try to hash out our judgements against others, understand where these feelings come from, and learn how to avoid judgement. While I agree that trying to learn to avoid judging others is a *crucial* and soulful process, I've been thinking lately that there is more to this subject than we, as a community, have looked at so far. I think your post is a good way to look into another angle of this dilema.

The angle I've been thinking about lately is our ability to tolerate actions that are hurtful. I'll try and explain. See, as humans, we are inherently equiped with sensitivities to help ensure the survival of our species. The cry of an infant is othersome because it is intended to get our attention and to get us to do something, for example. We feel the urge to pick up and cuddle our children because we are programmed to do so. However, Western society has undergone hundreds of years of re-programming ourselves, and without extensive support of extended families and tight communities, we have even come to the point where many of us feel the urge to hurt our children when they cry rather than help them (though most of us do not actually *hurt* our children according to the common usage of the term).

Our society is so deeply wounded, and most of us only have a subtle awareness of what has happened.

I guess in my mind, it is somewhat unnatural for us to not feel pain when our friends and family let their children cry themselves to sleep in dark rooms all alone, etc. If we were, in our original human habitat, to let a child cry him/herself to sleep isolated from his/her community, that child could easily become victim to a number of killers. Even the parents who have ended up making the choices you've described seem to struggle on some level, even if without conciousness, about their decisions. Ever see that episode of "Mad About You" where they, for the first time, put their baby alone in a room in a crib?

I truly believe we can not address our own impulses to judge, no matter how noble the goal, until we honestly look at the deeper issues involved here. What do you all think?

I know I'm not expalining myself very well. I'll think on this some more and try again later if it seems like I didn't really come across to people. In the meantime, happymama, I can say I relate, and I wish you the best .


Moderator posted 01-29-2001 04:40 PM
happymamma--i was just going to post this very same topic!!!! My best friend since i was 5yrs old have very different parenting styles!! She is totally "Baby Wise" mom and lets her boy cry to sleep while she locks his door and he bangs on it until he falls asleep on the floor. She spanks him a lot and wonders why he has terrible temper tantrums. She has never let him in her bed and feeds him terrible food choices. And she wonders why he hits,bites, yells and is alot of the time "out of control". We used to spend lots and lots of time together but ever since the birth of my second son i don't want her around anymore. Her son hits, bites, etc my son... not to mention reaks havic on the home. I used to could handle it better but now that i'm lugging around an infant i can't do it anymore. AND it's gotton worse because she is preg. with her second and it seems she has giving up on disciplining her son. I'm totally like you too, in that she laughs and loves my parenting style (i do exactly all the things you described that you do). And she thinks my son is the sweetest thing...but she doesn't connect it with the way he has been raised in comparison to the way she raised her son. I guess with all my rambling i haven't helped you at all. But i just wanted to let you know i'm in the same boat and i don't know what to do either. I wish i could find a friend with my parenting style, but i feel like i would be betraying my best friend of over 20 years!!!

Member posted 01-29-2001 05:27 PM
I think it's natural to grow out of some friendships as we mature! Especially during life changes such as marriage, children, or moving.
That said, one of my good friends and I had to have a heart-to-heart and she stopped spanking her daughter when she was around me. Now her daughter is 9 and she has slowly realized that she wants to be a different kind of parent! It's cool to know that I had some positive influence on someone I care about.

On the other hand, there were many friends I kind of let "drop out" of my life... I just couldn't handle their parenting styles and felt so sad for their kids. I felt guilty for a while but have no regrets! I just don't want to be around people who have no regard for the health and mental well-being of their kids, or who gave me a "jokingly" bad time about my parenting choices.

sweet bunny's mama
Member posted 01-29-2001 07:26 PM
i find that i can tolerate lots of different parenting styles amongst my close friends. because, while AP, family bed, cloth diapering, BF on demand, etc. are the right choices for our family, i can acknowledge that there are lots of other choices out there that are not harmful to children. that said, i have serious problems with certain things: ferberizing, scheduled feedings, & physical punishment (i'm sure there are more, i just can't pin point them right now). it's really hard to keep my mouth shut when i think something a friend is doing is hurting their child. while my friends don't agree with me that ferber is child abuse/neglect, thankfully, none of my them are actually doing it. if they were, i think i'd have to say something. (probably something gentle to the effect of "trust your instincts, if this feels wrong to you, it probably is").
funny thing is, i feel that my views of natural childbirth and pregnancy have really influenced many of my friends, so hopefully i could effect them on these topics, too.

[This message has been edited by sweet bunny's mama (edited 01-29-2001).]

unregistered posted 01-29-2001 07:44 PM
I have come up against this too. It's difficult isn't it? I just find it really hard to be around that kind of parenting. And I know several of them think bf beyond a few months is unnecessary. One woman i've been friends with for 10 yrs thinks bf is incestous or " it just feels gross". How do I keep a smile on my face with that crap?
Making new friends is cool.

Linda in Canada
Member posted 01-29-2001 07:45 PM
For me it is really a matter of how extreme the other parent is. We moved last summer and haven't meet any AP moms here. If I couldn't be a little tolerant, I'd have no friends at all. My favorite new friend here weans her kids at 6 months and spanks as a last resort, yet she is a good mom. She is very involved with her kids and I know they feel her love. And she is a heck of a good time to hang out with.
But, I've dropped friends who are more extreme. Ezzo rears his ugly head in odd places. It isn't a matter that I'm judging their parenting style, it is because I can't stand being around them and their kids. I'm not going to subject my kids to children who are out of control and hurtful. I don't expect other kids to be perfect, but you know the sort of acting out I mean.

I can't take listening to parents justify being cruel or lazy. My neighbor has 3 kids with number 4 on the way. Every time I see her she explains to me that BF just isn't for her, that she thinks it is unnatural etc. It is like she is asking for my blessing for her decision. Yuck.

I don't expect others to parent the same way I do, but I don't see the point in spending my time with people whose company I don't enjoy.

Member posted 01-30-2001 05:54 AM
Thank you all for your responses. It is reassuring to read that others have similar experiences. First i'd like to address Sierra's point. You've really hit on something there. Definately the deeper issue is that our society has mutated into a society where we as a whole resist meeting the needs of infants and children. I say resist because of all the experts to whom parents have to look in order to justify their actions (ferberizing, schedule feeding, formula feeding, spanking or other cruel forms of punishment etc.) (Am I saying this clearly? aagh.) I think some of it comes down to the flavor of society today which is do moro-get more-achieve more which then leads to laziness and indirect cruelty toward our children. Why are there so many angry children...teens...adults for that matter? Anyway, I'm not sure if I am putting all of this into words very well.
I want continue with more of this but speaking of son seeds me. I'll be back later when snoozes.

Thanks for all of your posts so far.

Member posted 01-30-2001 12:33 PM
I agree with everything you'll are saying. It is hard to speak up, and sometimes we don't want to speak up. Be it because we don't want to rock the boat with friends and family or because we are shy or don't want to be seen as judgemental. But let's think about it...when people tease, even lovingly, about our parenting syle and we don't stanfd up for our selves no one wins. Not only are they juding us but they are still continuing to detach their children. Not to mention we are quietley allowing it to happen. There is no one better to share the benefits of AP than us. We see the rewards each and everyday. By no means am I perfect or do I say something everytime, but I have decided not to stand by and let the "experts" continue to rule the world with their cruelty towards our children and our instincts. Thanks for listening
PS my sil is due March 5th, with her 3rd Babywise child. This will be the 1st infant of hers since i"ve been in the family, it will be a true test on my patience and my committment to everything i said above.

[This message has been edited by AnnaEzra (edited 01-30-2001).]

Member posted 01-31-2001 03:54 PM
My closest friend and her husband have been resorting to name calling toward my husband and I. We no longer take it as just cute sarcasm or jokes. They parent their son quite differently from us, and he has been formula fed, vaccinated and eats rather poorly. He's not poorly behaved but is sick ALL the time, and they roll their eyes at the "granola" we eat, and wonder why our son is so robust, big and healthy. They call us "yuppies" and this is what is really demented to me since it's like they want to typcast us into some "category" that does not even exist! She says "oh, organic food is just too expensive for me!", or "those shoes (my son's good walking shoes-I feel it's important for him to have good quality shoes) are just out of my league.
My husband and I are struggling, and they know it! We take our son to a parent and tot trampoline class because he is really active and it is freezing outside , and needs time to burn off energy, and they call us, again "yuppie parents", just because we want to do something fun with our son.
They mock our use of cloth diapers, and basically I get the impression that they really resent us, for no good reason!
I just don't really want to be freinds any more and I also regret that. But perhaps what I need is more tru freinds, and not people who are going to mock us. It makes me sick. Sometimes it feels like everything I do is against the current, even when I am tolerant of others.
We all need support, and real freinds.

Member posted 01-31-2001 04:43 PM
With friends like that who needs enemies? Not simply because you make different choices, but because it sounds like they pick on you and insult you all the time.
Life is too short to listen to that!
I've been through something similar...

unregistered posted 01-31-2001 06:31 PM
You know what that just screams to me? They must put you down to make them feel better about their own ( lame in my opinion ) choices. This has happend to me. It became obvious to me that they felt somewhere in side themselves that they were not putting in the effort they should and seeing the way
my dh and I parented just mirrored that fact.
Don't let them get to you.

unregistered posted 01-31-2001 10:48 PM
I have actually been thinking that you all are my best source to help me solve a problem I've been having, thinking how to title it so people would see & hopefully help, and then here you are, already discussing it so beautifully.
My sil is expecting in June, so that makes her the expert I guess. She has made some really snotty comments about nursing past 6 months, other things we have done as parents. My husband has spent a lot of time talking to his brother, who is genuinely interested and wants to be a good parent, but she might not let him do anything that isn't absolutely mainstream. It really gets me that she doesn't even know yet! I mean, when I was pregnant with dd, I knew I would nurse for 6 months. Then when she was born, I said, ok, a year. Then at 9 mos I thought, where did I come up with this arbitrary one year figure? I'll nurse till she's ready to stop. It broke my heart to think of denying her something she'd had all her life. So until she sees that baby, she doesn't know what she'll do. How can I get her to parent the way she should, the way we do?? (ha ha, only really half joking)

It will be so hard to be around her, I can be very hotheaded and I am afraid family gatherings will become spiteful hatefests. My dh says just let them compare their sickly brat with our healthy, happy three, but they rarely see the connection, as posted here earlier.

How to make peace when it feels wrong and I think it's just ignorance? It seems like if they only KNEW, they would want to do the right thing, but it hasn't helped most of America. An analogy I heard was with car seats. We wouldn't say, ok, she doesn't like to use a car seat, she thinks it's gross and inconvenient or whatever, so that's an acceptable choice. Well, we know that BF is best for babies, we know the health and other benefits for mother and child, we know the drawbacks and hazards of BF, so why isn't formula by prescription only? A lot of mainstream practices (I cringe to even hear the descriptions here) sound like child abuse to me, yet everyone but us seems to thing Ferber and Ezzo are great when they should be locked up!

I'm sorry, it's very late and I'm barely coherent and I'm afraid this isn't coming out well but I float it out there, trusting you all know what I mean.

Linda in Canada
Member posted 02-01-2001 06:56 AM
Try not to be too hard on your SIL expecting her first child. When I was pregnant with my first, I said that I would NEVER bf past a year, NEVER let my child sleep in my bed, that I would spank so my kids would be well behaved, homeschooling was for weirdos, and that good parents vaccinate.
I've changed a lot.

Just be good example of AP and do whatever you can to help her get off to a good start BFing. Tell her she has to do what she feels in her heart. I believe that if moms would trust what they feel in their hearts, they would never leave their babies to cry or hit them. The hard part is learning to listen to our instincts.

Member posted 02-01-2001 09:36 AM
Jakes Momma, Oh, this is so sad. Especially since they are/were your closest friends. I totally understand your not wanting to be friends with them anymore. Not only does their name-calling (no matter how "in fun" they may think it is) hurt you, it also sets a bad example for your own boy to hear someone labeling you and making snide remarks. I agree with Kelts in that this is most likely a reflection of their poor self-esteem and guilt for making whatever poor decisions they are making. have you ever noticed that we who are making what we firmly believe to be the best choices for our families, are so reluctant to voice our opinions? How, even though we know we are "right" we are super-cautious about making the ferberizers and formula feeders feel bad or uncomfortable?
Hey, I like the idea of making formula avail. by prescription only to keep those who are doing it out of laziness (we all know bf is easier though), or for lack of proper guidance away from it.


Linda in Canada has some good advice - encourage her to "Follow her heart." Then start slipping in copies of Mothering into her mailbox. Just joking but I do think if she were enouraged to do what feels natural, there is the best chance that she'll maake at least a couple of the kindesd choices for her new one.

Bye for now

Member posted 02-05-2001 01:19 PM
I find myself scowling at strangers in the drugstore who are buying formula! I think "that poor baby will never know the closeness my baby does. Never know sweet mama's milk" We have friends who parent the oposite way we do. But somehow we are respectful of each other's ways. Sometimes the dad and I have play-dates and we'll go over philosophies of parenting and he is interested in my opinions. When he defends his philosophies(like a baby must learn independence and learn how to put himself to sleep.And the way to teach that is letting him cry it out) I pipe in how ridiculous that is. It doesn't even make sense- babies ARE dependent and need us to soothe fears so they will become strong and confident toddlers and kids. We're old friends and he can take my opinions. I'm not willing to drop them as friends because they feed their baby formula and make him cry it out. I am not responsible for them. Their kid is doing fine and my kid loves him and they play great together and my friends are wonderful to my child,as well. It is so hard to be the only one who believes in this method of parenting. If they could know the joy of seeing their childs shining,smiling face first thing in the morning,right there next to their own, they would be happier people. Life's too short-it's so much easier this way. It breeds lovely,happy children.

Moderator posted 02-05-2001 02:40 PM
Conflicts over parenting styles? This happens with us from time to time, and judging by the flaming folder icon, to lots of other people.
"Why am I judging them so harshly?" Well, because their actions are WRONG. You're watching what amounts to a low-grade child abuse/neglect being manifested in front of you -- naturally you feel upset.

Multiplying the upset is the fact that these are your friends, and you would not like to appear rude. You're being pulled between your courtesy and your beliefs -- always a toughie.

It will hurt to break with your Ferber friends, because of what you've been to one another. So why not try to convert them first? Most people do not intentionally do bad things, such as mistreat their children, and are amenable to changing their ways once given the facts. If they can't handle the facts, well, you'll stop socializing -- which was going to happen anyway.

However you decide to handle it, don't feel sorry for having critical judgement. It is a product of brain activity. You are really in an excellent position to judge your friends' parenting:

a) you are a parent;

b) you are informed on developmental issues or your would not have undertaken the AP style of parenting;

c) you have access to their home life.

So really, you would be worse off if you had no reaction whatsoever.

unregistered posted 02-07-2001 08:00 AM
This topic is EXACTLY why I started coming to this board daily. Women I will never meet face to face have become the supportive friends I have lost due to my AP styles. My dh isn't even as supportive as I would like him to be but he has come almost full circle since the birth of our first son nearly nine years ago. Back then I had never heard of "attachment parenting", I just knew what felt right in my heart and my gut when it came to raising my son, regardless of what the "experts" said. Thank you friends for being there for me!

Member posted 02-07-2001 09:55 AM
To bad that "follow your heart" doesn't really work. If that was the case, then that would be all you would have to tell someone and they wouldn't circumsize, they would spend more time with their children than a nanny does, and they would breastfeed until their toddler/child said he didn't need it anymore.
Unfortunately for most their natural instincts have been lost. Either through lack of a good role model or the brainwashing of "medical" and "psychology" experts or BOTH.
Maybe something more productive would be to tell her about how the research shows that a year is a MINIMUM. And would anyone knowingly choose to do the minimum for their child when they could possibly do better? Their is really great info. on all thereasons to breastfeed. Print it off for her and show her how it is not only beneficial for the baby, but also for her (ie reducing her chance of bresatcancer, etc).
The same would apply to any of these "issues". And if you don't print it off, she certainly will not go look for it, when the dr is right there with all his great medical wisdom and he does not tell her how wonderful it is and necessary and how much she will ne hurting her baby by using formula.
Getting her a sebs. to mothering would also be a big help.
Maybe I just thimk most are lost souls, especially since she already says only 6 mos., and that it will take a major effort to bring her back to the living.
Too pessimistic maybe, but sure has been proving to be reality in my life as even the info i give them is not enough to change their path.
Good luck with your SIL. Hope you have better luck than I have been having!
As for friends with opposite opinions, it may be ok to get together once in a while, but once you find friends with the same views you will really enjoy and feel at peace with the time spent compared to the turmoil you feel with others.

Try LLL meetings, etc. in your area. Or start an AP group of your own, posting at health or natural type stores etc.

Kim in NYC

Member posted 02-07-2001 04:08 PM
Well, I've seen people frown at me when I give my son a bottle (of breast milk) when we are out for dinner-he's so interested in everything and anything that nursing him in public is just too difficult. I know they are thinking that he's getting formula...well, they don't know what they are judging, do they? That said, I agree that it is difficult when one sees babies being neglected, and I truly believe that ferberizing and scheduling are neglect. As far as formula feeding goes, well, I wouldn't want my baby to have formula, but some women can't br/feed for whatever reason, or don't want to-and br/feeding is a BIG commitment and I don't think someone who doesn't want to do it would be very successful. It infuriates me most when my own (childless!) sister says that "the time to wean [from the breast] is when they get teeth'" (how ignorant!) and that at 5 months my son "should be sleeping in his crib". I try so hard to be paitient with her, and explain why my DH and I are AP parents, to no avail. Luckily, her fiance is the father of 4 kids who were raised AP, so he is a good influence on her. I hope he can sway her to the Democratic party, while he's at it!

unregistered posted 02-07-2001 07:24 PM
Thank you Jazzymom1999 for your thoughtful advice, I agree with Melissamom -- you all are the friends I've lost! (Maybe we should start our own city . . . ) I kinda feel the same way, that the whole thing is a waste of my time and heart, I guess that's why it has the power to upset me so. I'll keep trying, I guess, if I can stand the ignorant remarks and hope that the first glimpse of her sweet baby's face will have the same power to convert that my dd's had! Bless you all, any advice or kind words are certainly appreciated!

helen b
unregistered posted 02-09-2001 01:26 PM
I have been having these exact feelings lately. Especially since I have been reading more about AP. I really wish I had known more before dd was born, but I ended up doing most things right. Now when I hear people talk about letting their babies cry it out or not wanting to bf I just want to cry for those poor little people. This is an excerpt from an e-mail from a friend of a friend (I'm not close to her luckily) when she said she "had" to supplement & I said her body would produce enough milk if she let it:
"To be totally honest I just don't particularly care for it. I am only doing it (forcing myself) because I know the benefits of him having breast milk for at least the first 6 weeks of life. If I make it past that date I will consider myself doing well. I get much more satisfaction from giving him a bottle - psychological thing I suppose. I have discussed this all with the nurse and some people were not meant to breastfeed, and I guess that would be me."
6 weeks?! It makes me so sad, I don't want to talk to her any more. At least most of the new moms in my neighbourhood aren't doing anything too horrible that I know about. Another friend (not really close) is due in July, so I'm trying to influence her now. I'm going to get her Sears' Baby Book soon so she can get a good head start. I'll tell her what we do when I get a chance.
I wish everyone could/would read these boards - there is so much great info & support here.

[This message has been edited by helen b (edited 02-09-2001).]

Member posted 02-09-2001 09:23 PM
After having 3 kids I have found that I am unable/unwilling to discuss certian parenting choices we have made. I pick and choose from both mainstream and ap style parenting. With each child I have had my conviction to do what I know is right for our family is stronger.
I have been to recipiant of smart aleck comments from both sides because I don't tow the party line on either side. It isn't a fun place to be. Sometimes leading by example is the best comment we as mothers can make. However, I still think that Ferber and Ezzo should be outlawed as cruel and harmful to children(and thier parents)

Member posted 02-10-2001 05:22 AM
Changing friendships has been an issue for me since I was pregnant! I have a friend ("best friend!") who has no kids and says negative things about them all the time. She also says that all babies look alike, that you have no life once you have one,(trying to prove her wrong!) that I did not look pregnant(at 3 or 4 months), but fat, etc...It is SOO frustrating having conversations with her about anything to do with babies or parenting because she constantly challanges my ideas. She told me that she thought homeschooling was practically abuse and that not circumcising was disgusting. Don't even discuss vax. She can not believe I breastfeed freely in public. I have had some apprehension sometimes, but don't even want to share it with her cause I don't want to deal with her being smug about it.It almost seems like if/when she has a baby she'll bottle feed, use daycare, crib, etc just to be contrary!
I've tried to talk to her more about other topics but because I am so excited to be a mom it seems to permeate every issue. You know, we talk about politics and it comes up, we talk about what restaurant we like and it comes up...We're really becoming so far apart. It takes some work to maintain the friendship anyway because she lives 1 1/2 hrs away. We see them less and less. It's very sad. I miss the fun we used to have. But we have such different value systems. I can't believe I was not aware of it before.

And as for friends with children (there are only a few of them) all but one (one and a half, maybe ) do things very DP (detached dh and my little code for the creepy stuff they do) So, I have to be sort of careful what i say around them.

Fortunately I have met some moms who understand all this, but they are new friends. I miss the casuality of old ones.

I just needed to vent a bit. I guess there's really not much that can be done. I just thought babies brought people closer.

Moderator posted 02-10-2001 10:10 PM
Boy, this sure is a tough one. I found that I was with a group of women and we had all done prenatal yoga together. Then we all had our babies and there became a vast difference in how some of us were parenting . Add to that the hormonal shifts catapulting through our beings and boy it was a multilevel cat fight! (we still met every week with our little ones).
I have found now that I am much more accepting of those in the group who are doing things different than I am, even though I know that I am seen as one of those "far out" moms because I am still nursing. There are a few of us who are, who sleep with our babes etc. 18-21 months on. I f I were the only one I wouldn't want to be there for sure. The thing was that I had also got a group together of women I knew who were like minded, all BF, F bed, many of us are not vax etc. That group was a savior. But the bonding (?) that the other more dissimilar group had from going through pregnancy together could not be thrown away, . Very strange. Even though things I heard drove me crazy, like " Oh when my son cries in his crib at night we just turn up the volume of the TV so we don't have to hear him!" We are talking really unconscious behavior. It made me want to throttle them when I heard that kind of thing.
It seems to have calmed down now that we are all not so hormonal. But the AP group is a great support. Much needed, though we don't meet as regularly as the other crazy one!
The other thing that has helped me not to be so terribly harsh (most of the time!) on women who don't BF is that my very best friend who has 3 kids, tried like heck to BF, I watched her try with all of them struggling, suffering, bleeding, crying, even had LLL neighbor in to help her and was in such pain, I really saw her give it all she had and eventually gave up. I didn't judge her for it, I wonder now if I would if we were doing it at the same time? All three of her kids were very special to me and I was at two of the births. I have chosen a very different path to hers, though she was really a role model for parenting for me as she was my only friend having kids at the time. She has a 10, 8 and 4 year old. She doesn't FB, she did vax her kids and I remember her telling me not to hold the baby all the time after she was born so she would be able to sleep in the bassinet in their room. It was my instinct to hold her all the time though. Luckily, she had all girls, so we didn't have to get into the circ. issue!
Anyway this is a dear friend who doesn't judge me for my choices which are vastly different to hers. and I don't judge her either. She didn't used to trust homeopathy and I was always trying to get her to use it. Now she takes her kids to a naturopath and she avoids antibiotics like the plague and uses homeopathy and herbs. etc.
i guess I am trying to say that I can be more judgmental when it is someone I don't know, or when I hear of someone doing something I don't agree with.
I have a history with this friend and and we have a deep spiritual sisterhood that will last throughout this lifetime. There are other women I have met while pregnant, or as a mother and we have already drifted apart and we don't hang out because of different parenting choices and personality differences. Or people who started out doing FB and then Ferberized. i just couldn’t go there. It was very disheartening.
I had a hell of a time when I began to nurse, and it didn't get easier for months, But for me there was no other option. I was NOT going to give formula. I would really hit a wall and cry sometimes because it was so difficult and frustrating, and I had given myself no choice. I couldn't pump, I never let down for the damn thing so there was not a husband with a bottle to turn to to make it better while I tried to fix my milk blisters and blocked ducts and goodness knows what else. Anyway I had no idea I would be going on this long (DS is 19 months).
And it looks like we are going for the long haul, whatever that is!
Sorry this got a bit long. But I do know what you all are saying. I think that sometimes we have people in our lives who are more harmonious for us, and other times there are those that piss us of but we grow from those.too. It doesn't mean we have to stay friends. But there are those that we are meant to help, or wake up. Hard to know the difference! Which one's we leave and which one's stay.
I remember a saying by the Dalai Lama about our enemy being our greatest teacher.
That sure as heck isn't easy to swallow, but I guess if he can practice that, I can try to think about it!

[This message has been edited by lunarmomma (edited 02-10-2001).]

Member posted 02-13-2001 11:45 AM
That is interesting what Lunarmamma said about the Dalai Lama. i had just been thinking along those lines last night as i griped to my dh about one (friend0 in particular who's treatment of her child infuriates me. I was wondering if she is but a mirror to soem things in myself. Not a nice thought to have but i want to ponder it a while. See, the big problem with this person is that I have this gut reaction that her baby child is not developing normally. She is very controlling of his "schedule" and he just screams all the time. Ther only feed her by the clock and she only gets naps by the clock and in her bed. I know babies develop at different rates but ususally they are ahead in some things and behind in others. This baby seems to be behind in everything. They let her cry herself to sleep and act as if crying for 20 min is "just a little while" AAAAAgh, my heart is bleeding. I also get the impression that she blames her baby for the way she (the baby) is. Unfortunately she does not go to a Pediatrician and she refuses to read any books!
I need to just butt out but we have a history so it is difficult. Each time i see her I have deeper and deeper bad feelings toward her.

Enough ranting.

Member posted 02-13-2001 12:17 PM
I've been waitintg to respond to this topic- most has been covered- but here is my story. My childhood friend recently had her baby. There were many factors going in ot the whole pregnancy including a substance detox problem. She is a smart girl but really got off on the wrong track somewhere. My first dilema was in talking to her about the problem- I finally did and was relieved to hear she was with a great ob who knoew her history at a local teaching hospital. She developed gest. diabetes and was so consciencious (sp?) about her diet and eating- it was a great sign. We talked alot about breast feeding- and I tried to be honest and open and really stress the benefits to her and the babe without being preachy- but as you would know- she didn't. I don't see her that often- but in my heart I feel it is in everyone's best interest to be a supportive friend who can lead by example.
BTW- I love his holiness the Dalai Lama! going to see him when he comes to Oregon. Anyway- he breaks it all down to compassion and kindness. I think too, that if we get too preachy with people and they aren't ready to listen it will just fall on deaf ears. YOu know- also on several occasions I have gotten a gift subscription for people of Mothering. They have enjoyed it. Anyway- modeling this behaviour with loving intentions is a way to go. I also try to be extra loving to those kids whose parents seem unconscious. An example that way can really have profound affects too.
You are all so great- I together we make a great force of good in this world and it will only get stronger.

Member posted 02-13-2001 12:46 PM
I don't know if this is the right topic to talk about here but here goes...I just read an article about Tracey Hogg who is called "The Baby Wisperer". Have you heard of her? She basically became famous because she would help famous people with their new borns. of the couple mentioned called her for her help because they couldn't understand why their baby was afraid of the crib and would only sleep well when sleeping with them. So here comes Tracey Hogg who basically said she got the baby to love his crib in 3 days and 3 nights. I couldn't believe it. Did they ever think that maybe their baby was already talking to them and saying hey, I like sleeping in your bed with you. I was really disappointed when I read that. She also said that babies are born knowing how to sleep through the night but it is the parents that mess it up. People pay this woman $1000 a day. As a society we really have a long way to go before some of the non AP styles are not the norm. A friend of mine couldn't believe that my dd sleeps with us. So then I felt like I had to defend myself. Then I said no, this is what I think is the right thing to do. I know we need to be kind and I try to be compassionate most of the time but sometimes I get frustrated.

Mom x 3
Member posted 02-13-2001 01:41 PM
This is a subject close to my heart. When I told a very dear friend of mine that we were chosing a home birth for our twins she begged me not to do it. I understood that she had not read all the great information that I had a chance to read, but what hurt the most is that she didn't trust that my dh and I could make the best decisions for our family. I was angry for a long time until I realized that I was mostly hurt and sad. Since the birth of my dd's (who were both over 7 pounds and healthy thanks to my midwife who kept out of the medical intervention route! she has become a little more open. It takes time to find that balance of when you can be a positive influence and when someone is just bringing you down to much. Be gentle with yourself, and trust your heart! Thanks for allowing us to be part of your journey!

Member posted 02-13-2001 01:44 PM
I saw that "baby whisperer" woman on Dateline last week and about crawled out of my skin with what she had to say about talking to babies. She tries to come off as being APish and in tune with babies needs but really she is a Ferberite in sheep's clothing. I finally had to turn away... she was driving me nuts. How anyone could be fooled into paying her to tell them the tripe she does is beyond me.
And this coming from someone (me) who is relatively moderate in my way of thinking and accepting of differing points of view on child rearing...IMO she just spews crap and is making a fortune at it. It's really sad.


Linda in Canada
Member posted 02-13-2001 04:41 PM
happymomma, my older daughter had multiple delays inspite of me BF, responding to her cues, co-sleeping etc. I took her to doctors and specialists, but ultimalty I figured out what the core problem was through my own research (she has a sensory integration disorder).
One of the hardest things for me was dealing with well meaning friends and family who blamed my parenting style for Ali's delays. She is pretty much caught up now, but is still a little different from other 4 year olds. Sometimes people tell me that if only I sent her to pre-school she would be fine and suddenly become like the other kids. It drives me nuts.

If your friend's child has developmental problems, try to say someone she can talk to. This is a difficult path and she'll need friends.

Member posted 02-14-2001 12:12 AM
i'd wondered about this 'baby whisperer' person, as she was in my area recently signing books...
how horrid! glad i missed it.
(but i'll still check it out at the library, just so i can rant )

Member posted 02-15-2001 07:22 AM
Dear Linda in Canada,
Thank you for your frankness. (i mean this with all sincerety.) First of all, I am so sorry you had to face the ridicule and blame by your friends and family. How is your daughter doing now?
i re-read what I wrote earlier and realized that what I thought I was writing, was not what I actually wrote - but what I wrote is what i deep-down believed. I need to look at this. Although I now have to admit that at some level I (perhaps unjustly) feel that her parenting is boxing her baby in and is developing mostly anger in her, I also feel that her refusal to take her daughter to see someone (anyone), or to read any literature is downright negligent and uncaring. I do believe that because her baby is allowed to go ravenously hungry until the clock reaches noon or 5 is cruel. She is breasfeeding and has had her daughter on this rigid schedule since day one of her child's life. I watch in horror as this baby wails with hunger and then scarfs down a huge jar of babyfood, then is brought immediately after to the breast, guzzles hungrily (for emotional needs as well??) and then proceeds to spit up (vomit) most of it. She does wonder why her daughter is so small and at 11 months is still sitting wobbily. Now whether or not this has to do with some underlying condition or whith her baby's inadequate nutrition I don't know for sure. I do know it would be wise for this baby to be looked at by someone. Yikes, I don't know why I am going on about this here. It just upsets me so and I feel like I am privy to information which is making me judgemental - yet I haven't the place to say anything to her. I think I just needed someone to listed and in your case Linda, someone with a different perspective on the matter. I would be grateful for more of your frankness here too.

Thank you all for listening.

Linda in Canada
Member posted 02-15-2001 11:16 AM
My daughter is doing great now. Her speach is pretty much caught up. Her gross motor skills are a little off (very timid on stairs and afraid of playplaces). The thing that people comment on the most is that group activities freak her out. In groups she becomes very clingy and unhappy to a point that is not normal for a child her age, esp. one that has been AP. It really fits her SI problems, but well meaning friends and family are sure that if I only put her in preschool it would make her "normal". I looked into preschool last year wondering if she would be better off there and decided that preschool would be torture for her. Oddly, people who comment on these things don't seem to notice that she has great problem solving skills, is sensitive to others' feelings, has a super imagination, and tries to find ways to be helpful. She is a super kid, some things are just harder for her than they are for other kids her age.

Back to your friend,
It is possible that her child would be doing better if she parented differently, but there isn't anyway to know for sure. AP is not a recipe to for turning out super babies -- but it is the human way to treat our babies. Since you know so much about her situation, is there anyway that you can say something about following her heart or lend her a book or something?

Member posted 02-16-2001 05:36 AM
Hi Linda, I am so glad your daughter is doing well now. I'm sure it must be difficult to see her wither in group situations. I believe individuals who have a really hard time in big groups are actually those who are the most sensitive and the most creative- to all things - animals, others, life, scents, everything. What a wonderful gift, right? I think their sensitivity is what makes the hugeness of the group so overwhelming.
Stick to your guns with your family and friends 'advice."
I will try lending her my Sears book. The one fear is that if she reads it she may close up to his writing if she feels that "I've done none of what he recommends." I also don't want to hurt her feelings. My other fear is that she is actually following her heart - I know that sounds cruel but I know she is itching to get on with her career and sometimes it seems like she is trying to form her daughetr into a convenience. This sounds harsh but I need to be frank in order to find a way to help her, or decide to cut the ties - which I really don't want to do yet. I don't want to abandon her because I know she is fairly alone since her hubby does not help much and seems to make demands and/or shut her out.
What do you think about the book thing? Would it end up hurting her and closing her off?

Member posted 02-16-2001 11:19 AM
Ugh. It sounds to me like your friend's baby MAY be delayed due to being malnourished . I don't know if Sears is the best option, unfortunately -- because she MAY have the exact reaction you're worried about. Is there any way you can convince her to take her baby to the doctor? I think a doctor telling her, "this baby is suffering from malnutrition: you need to feed him MORE OFTEN" may be the only thing that will get through to her.
Edited to add: Oh, and I want to know how I can get celebrities to pay me $1000 a day to tell them that their babies are saying, "let me sleep in your bed, hold me all day long, and feed me when I'm hungry, even if I just ate."

[This message has been edited by Naomi (edited 02-16-2001).]

Linda in Canada
Member posted 02-16-2001 11:37 AM
I've been trying to think of a good book for her and I'm drawing a blank. I don't see the point of beating moms up for what they have already done or it is too late to do, only giving them information on what to do next. If you lend her the Sears book, you might mark a chapter that would be helpful rather than just handing the whole thing. I always go for the "this book has helped me so much and I thought you might enjoy it." If she is really closed off to new information, it might not do any good.
Why doesn't she take her child to a doctor? The only people I know who don't are big time into natural parenting and are in tune with their kids.

Is she happy with how things are going? I think that when moms parent by the clock they loose touch with their hearts. Everytime they ignore the urge to pick up their child because "it isn't time" it makes it that much harder for them to hear what their heart says. I think the more detached parents are from their kids the less they can stand being around them. The whole relationship is filled with too much stress and hurt, and the children are too demanding trying to find a way to feel loved, and it is easier to just be somewhere else.

I ended a friendship because of parenting styles and I didn't have the guts to tell her why. I really couldn't stand being around her and her kids and she wasn't open to different ideas. I also have a good friend who isn't an AP, but is still a good mom.

You will find the right path.

Member posted 02-16-2001 01:23 PM
Just read your latest posts and aargh, I do think Sears may stiffen her even more. But i am willing to make a go of your suggestion Linda to mark a section in the book. (BTW, she doesn't go to a doc for religious reasons so we're super stuck there.) Gee, I hope i find the courage to do this. i don't want to abandon her but I also don't think it is fair for me to rip away at her behind her back.
Thanks for all the continued reassuring advice. Please let me know if other suggestions come to you. Linda, you are so right about the cycle of detatchment which occurs after not listening to one's hearth and one's baby. i feel so fortunate that a very long-time friend (who lives on the other side of the country and we never even talk) sent me a Mothering issue when i was preg. and then sent me Sears book. I will never be able to adequately thank her for it as that was the first intodution to AP.

Until later, gotta go do some attaching myself right now.

cynthia mosher is offline  

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