What tells you that another mom you see is on "our team"? - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-18-2003, 08:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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When you see/meet another mom, what clues do you look for to see if she practices a similar parenting style?
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Old 03-18-2003, 09:26 PM
 
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hmmmmm, i used to think using a sling and nursing were good indicators, but i have since met a woman who nurses and slings and thinks it's fine to slap an infants hands!

it's hard to tell at first glance you know? i'd look for someone who is interacting a lot with their baby, talking to them, sitting on the floor with them, etc. instead of parking their carrier or stroller and doing their own thing. with toddlers and older kids, you can kind of tell by the way the parent acts if the kid gets upset in public.
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Old 03-18-2003, 09:40 PM
 
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Its hard at times but a sling is a sign to me. Not many people use them here. Also if I see a baby in natural clothing or cloth diapers a little flag pops up.
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Old 03-18-2003, 10:40 PM
 
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Hmmm.... I think it's less about the products, more about the parenting style. The most detached mom I know uses a sling and does EC!

Edited to add that slings are becoming very common here. They even sell them in major department stores (e.g., The Bay).
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Old 03-18-2003, 11:30 PM
 
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when her toddler is grabbing her boobs yelling boo boo. That usually is a good sign.
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Old 03-19-2003, 12:14 AM
 
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There are so very few AP moms here that I take anything I can get. I know a few who cosleep, organic foods, cloth diaper, bf, and use gentle parenting. I try to be around those moms the most.
Very rarely do I see slings (I think I've only seen someone use one once, besides those whom I sold them to) in use here but I get asked about them a lot. I see moms bf occasionally but bottles are much more common.
Its kind of sad, I think

Mom of a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old. Wow. How did that happen?
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Old 03-19-2003, 01:13 AM
 
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Usually if I see a woman breastfeed in public thats a sign - I got into a whole conversation with a girl at the mall one day because we were both breastfeeding our babes. A sling is a good sign. A bottle of formula is not. But mostly I think its an attitude. I try not to be too quick to judge because I often use a stroller, sometimes a binky too & it occurs to me that I might look the same as all those mainstream moms when I'm cruising at the mall. I believe the difference is that when my baby cries I don't stand there ignoring him or still strolling - I stop and pick him up.

"We shape the clay into a pot but it is the emptiness inside that holds whatever we want" Lao Tzu
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Old 03-19-2003, 01:16 AM
 
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I too will take anything I can get and go from there (so yeah superficial first, go deeper later on) if I saw another momma with a sling I think I'd faint from shock!
If I saw a cloth diaper, or lots of organic in the fridge, different kinds of tea on the shelf, or maybe spot a few "good" books on the bookshelf -it would be a good sign here.
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Old 03-19-2003, 01:17 AM
 
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I look for a sling, nursing in public (esp. not covered up ), the way they talk to their baby/children, if they have older kids out in the middle of the day I figure they're homeschooling, carrying cloth bags, wood toys, it's just an overall feeling that I get from the person. It's rare for me but I love when it happens!

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Old 03-19-2003, 01:17 AM
 
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Can't we all, as women and mother's be on the same "team"?
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Old 03-19-2003, 01:20 AM
 
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I look for a couple of different things, but mostly how the mama interacts with her child. Is she treating baby as a real little person and being gentle? Eye contact and eye level with toddlers? Not trying to micromanage the child to death? Those are all good signs to me.

Slings are a hard find in my area, but when I do see a mama using one I usually smile and ask her whay brand it is and how it is working for her - yk nice but not intrusive. I also always try to support mamas who b/f in public too.
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Old 03-19-2003, 01:43 AM
 
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Good question, khrisday.
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Old 03-19-2003, 01:45 AM
 
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Well, as far as the question of can we be on the same team goes, I guess we can to a point. I personally choose not to be close friends with someone that spanks their children and talks to them in a disrespectful manner. I just find it difficult to be around and expose my kids to things like that.

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Old 03-19-2003, 02:22 AM
 
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Excellent question.

There's an analogy in the Deaf community about crabs -- something about when a crab tries to climb out of the bucket, all the other crabs grab him and drag him back. I did research on oppressed minorities of various types, and how that oppression manifests itself, and that is one way among many different groups -- in-fighting, categorizing, variations of internalizing oppression.

I see that with women, too, especially moms, and that kinda sucks. I totally totally understand what you mean about "on the same team", in terms of a kindred spirit, and also rejoice when I've found someone like that. But I really agree with khrisday.
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Old 03-19-2003, 03:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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khrisday, I wish we could be on the same team, but even on these boards it is often one side pitted against the other. I remember a sahm vs. wohm thread that got really nasty, kwim?

The reason I started this is that I met a really nice woman who told me she didn't bf any of her kids, but she was so loving and gentle with them. It got me to wonder what other people look for to seek out friends. I saw her as being my kind of mom even though she didn't do many of the "ap things" I normally look for(bfing, babywearing, etc.).
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Old 03-19-2003, 03:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
When you see/meet another mom, what clues do you look for to see if she practices a similar parenting style?
Despite the title, which was meant to be lighthearted, I don't see anything wrong with my initial question.

Warning, rant: Maybe I am touchy, but I resent the implication that because I posted the above question, that I don't see all moms as being on the same team. If you read my post history, you'll see that I am one of the most accepting moms here. I constantly defend ffers, device users (pacies, strollers, slings, etc.), wohms, etc. against posters who put them down.
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Old 03-19-2003, 03:48 AM
 
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the original poster did not ask "can't we all be on the same team?" i don't think lara meant anything negative w/ her thread title, it would make sense for us as moms to search out other moms w/ similar interests & values. why respond to a post if you aren't even going to answer the question?!

lara asked:
Quote:
What tells you that another mom you see is on "our team"?
i would look for a mom who looked like she was actually having FUN w/her kids. i would pay no attention to accoutrements, bottles or slings or diapers.

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Old 03-19-2003, 04:20 AM
 
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It's hard to tell if a mom's doing AP by looking at her. Really the only AP moms I've met around are through LLL or on the Finding Your Tribe Board here on MDC. I think it's a good indication if someone goes to LLL meetings that they might be AP (although not a sure thing).

A sling can be a clue, but I never got the hang of my sling, so I just carried my little one everywhere. I do love when I see a mommy breastfeeding in public. I always smile & give a nod of encouragement.

As far as the natural living question, sometimes that can be a little easier to "spot". Cloth diapers, kind of a 'granola' look to the mommy, natural baby clothes, that sort of thing.

I get very high marks for AP, and lower marks for natural living, so I'm not sure you could spot me as easily, since AP is harder to "see" visually (unless I'm breastfeeding my 21 month old in public, which I often do). I think I "look" pretty mainstream, really, although I'm quite left of center.
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Old 03-19-2003, 04:38 AM
 
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I agree that it's really hard to tell unless you get to talking to someone. For me, it would probably be cloth diapers or a sling. If I see someone walking through the mall carrying their baby (sling or in-arms) instead of in a stroller or bucket, it puts a smile on my face and I start assuming things. But of course, never assume. I know alot of nursing mothers, and 95% of them are not AP. If you were to see me on the street or in the store, you might write me off because I'd be feeding my baby a bottle. You would have no idea that he's adopted and I spent 6 months trying to induce lactation. Finding out that someone co-sleeps is a huge indicator for me. Yet a good number of my adoptive parents friends sleep with their babies, and many are not what I'd consider AP.

I think like someone said, alot of it has to do with how the other parent interacts with their child. Spanking, CIO, ignoring--all those things say alot to me. Or gentle discipline, responding quickly to a crying baby, and paying attention/getting into their world--those things would tell me that this parent thinks like me. There are obviously blatent things, like a parent yelling at their children, humiliating them, treating them disrespectfully, etc. that would tell me that we wouldn't see eye-to-eye.

But again, there are just so many variables. I just think that because all moms are so unique and individual, and all are operating under their own extenuating circumstances, that there's really no way to tell just by looking or by casual conversation. There is no single model of an "AP" mother, or even more so, there is no single model of a "good mother".
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Old 03-19-2003, 05:10 AM
 
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My kids have gotten older, so it sometimes gets a little tough to find moms who are positive, gentle, or attachment parenting. I usually take notice if the mom gets down to the child's level and takes the time to really listen and communicate with them. Also, seeing how the mom reacts to their child's behavior(both positive and neg behavior) is a good indicator, for me.

Making friends does not come easy to me, and when I really click with someone, it still takes a lot of energy to get that friendship started and to keep it going. Getting to know other parents who have similar lifestyles and parenting practices is very important to me, esp if our children spend a lot of time together.
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Old 03-19-2003, 12:14 PM
 
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For me it's seeing somone one treats her child. It's a better indicator to me than seeing if she uses formula or breastfeeds or whether her child has a pacifier or not. To me AP boils down to love and respect of your child and that's what I look for!
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Old 03-19-2003, 01:14 PM
 
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Laralou, I know what you mean about "could I be friends with her if...?" I have one friend who stopped bf'ing at 4 months so she could go on her annual trip to Vegas, solo. That was tough for me to wrap my mind around. Her dd is sweet and smart and well-adjusted, though, and our kids get along great, so we continue the friendship, though there are some subjects we dance around since we know we disagree. We still manage to have a lot of fun when we get together, though -- we share a similar sense of humor, etc.

I wasn't suggesting anything nefarious in your question, btw, and sorry if it came out that way. I just think khrisday's is a very interesting question. (Maybe worthy of its own thread...?)
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Old 03-19-2003, 01:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by someone:
Usually if I see a woman breastfeed in public thats a sign - a good sign. A bottle of formula is not.


I am so freaking sick of other mothers assuming I'm a scum bag for formula feeding.

My tits didn't work, ok? Sometimes that happens, despite everything. You want to be judgemental over a bottle? Fine. Be that way. I'm going to judge you for being a judgemental @&*!$.

I usually try really hard to be gentle in my words, and I make a huge effort to make sure there isn't any misunderstanding, etc, but I'm so FREAKING SICK OF IT I can't be nice about it any more.





Edited to add:

I prefer to spend my time (and my children's time) with people who respect and encourage their own kids.
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Old 03-19-2003, 01:35 PM
 
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Moon, I know I PM'd you, but wanted to thank you publicly as well for posting this. The whole time I've been at Mothering I've been biting my tongue but it's about time someone said something.
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Old 03-19-2003, 01:47 PM
 
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Having things in common with somebody has absolutely nothing to do with "being on the same team" as the phrase was presented in this thread. Yes, by all means it is important as women that we ALL support one another on this journey, however, when it comes to picking friends, it is important to have common ground. For the purpose of this thread that common ground is the parenting style we have chosen.

As far as Khrisday's statement about being on the same team, quite frankly I find it very upsetting as I have seen you flame many a poster (myself included) for choices they have made that may not coincide with your own. Where does that come into play for "being on the same team"?
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Old 03-19-2003, 02:32 PM
 
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This thread is recieving a warning. Personal issues should be brought to PM..stay on topic or start another thread.

Lara asked what you look for in a friend

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Old 03-19-2003, 03:52 PM
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It is hard to tell just by outward appearances, I once met a mom who was bf and using a sling, but she had never gone to LLL because she heard they slept with their babies and that turned her off. On the other hand, I made a judgment about a mom who was feeding her baby in a stroller without holding her. However, months later when her dd and mine were in a music class together and I actually talked at length to the mom we had more in common than I would have thought. I am friends with moms that bf for a year or less or ff and when I am with them they are always involved, gentle and respectful of their children.

The one person that surprised me the most was my SIL, right after she and my brother had their dd I thought she would be the most gentle mom in the world. I only see them about twice a year, so imagine my surprise when she and my brother were always threatening to spank and then actually did it when my niece had a potty accident. My brother and I had previously talked about discipline etc. and I told him that I didn't believe in spanking. I guess he didn't take any of my advice.

I just don't think you can tell until you get to know someone.
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Old 03-19-2003, 04:08 PM
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Maybe this a bit of geographic/demographic issue - I know in my neighbourhood the AP families are easy to spot - the carry their babies, breastfeed and both mums and kids radiate a really positive energy. I practically soar when I see a family and we exchange looks that lets us know we're in the same club, on the same team. It's been pretty snowy here lately, but a few weeks ago, my dh and I were walking to the grocery store, pulling our cart, carrying dd in her backpack, and we came across a family that was just coming back from the grocery store - daddy was pulling two toddlers plus groceries in a wagon, through the snow, and mummy had a new baby in a Snugli with her jacket zipper up over the babe. We looked at each other, and just knew. When we see each other in the park, when it gets nicer out, for sure we'll get to know each other better. I just don't get that feeling from the other families, screaming at their kids, carting around babies in all manner of buckets, shoving binkies in to keep them quiet, grocery carts filled with red dye number seven crapola and bottles of pop - the grocery store is a very telling place.

And Moon, I know it's true that SOME formula feeders have legitimate reasons for doing so (adoption, surgery, chemotherapy, etc.), but the vast, vast majority do not. I have a girlfriend from Rwanda, and she has never even heard of a woman who couldn't breastfeed. I think it's very interesting that in countries where women have no access to formula, 99.99% of them can miraculously breastfeed. You shouldn't be made to feel like a scumbag, but I think you need to understand that very few formula feeders are dedicated AP mamas who WOULD breastfeed if they COULD. I would definitely think twice before approaching any mother I saw with a bottle of formula. It's true that there is a slight chance that I am misjudging someone, but there's an even greater chance that I simply do not share similar parenting philosophies, and in my experience, I need to be on the same page with my friends in terms of parenting styles or it just doesn't work out.

It's easy to say "never judge" in theory, but in practice, we are all making judgement calls every moment of our lives. That's just reality, I think.
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Old 03-19-2003, 05:32 PM
 
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I've been considering this same question - how can I tell if someone is ap or not??

A few weeks ago I met a mom who was talking about breastmilk, and then pulled out a bottle to feed her baby. This really bugged me - I think that breastfeeding is never going to be truly acceptable to everyone until we stop hiding it as if there is something wrong with it. I later found out that she had problems getting ehr baby to latch on, and has been pumping for him since he was born (6 months!!) Wow!! That is dedication!!

Sooo...I try to be a little less judgmental, but I think we all see certain things that make us assume we know something about a person - a lot of times we are right...but sometimes we aren't.

The same day there was a woman who put her 1 month old baby down, and just kept putting the pacifier in her mouth every time the baby sqeaked... She also breastfeeds,,, I'm pretty sure she doesn't ap...

So, I guess I look for how the parents interact with their babies - but that's hard to tell immediately...
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Old 03-19-2003, 05:36 PM
 
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If I see a mom and she seems nice, and is kind and loving to her baby, I will send her here. Maybe the ideas the mom gets here will steer her in the direction of ap parenting.
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