Is this wrong of me? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 06-04-2003, 10:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Sometimes I find myself taking on the responsibility of making my more mainstream friends feel more comfortable, by sort of laughing things off - for example, saying, "oh, you know me, I'm such a granola, crunch crunch crunch." On the one hand, it does diffuse some of the tension when it is clear that someone feels defensive in the face of my different choices, but on the other hand, I'm not sure I like doing that. :

Does anyone else ever do this? How do you feel about it?
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#2 of 9 Old 06-04-2003, 10:49 AM
 
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I always say things like: "Well, of course I want to sleep with ds, because you know I am at work all day and I really miss him. This way he gets physical contact with me, which I think is important for him. Since you were at home with your babies when they were little, it wasn't as important for you to sleep with them." etc.

In fact I use the fact that I'm working as my reason for doing a lot of AP practices. It probably is the reason, now that I'm thinking about it...I want to have as much touch-time as I can when I'm with the baby.

I think it's okay to say things like "this is good for me, your situation might be different"--you don't have to put yourself down to do that.

Divorced mom of one awesome boy born 2-3-2003.
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#3 of 9 Old 06-04-2003, 10:59 AM
 
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I would stop doing this if you can. I know the tension is uncomfortable, but you've done nothing to create it---it's created by the other mom's parental choices. Maybe if she feels the natural tension sometimes she'll begin to choose otherwise. You're setting a great parental example for her to follow. I wouldn't degrade your wonderful mothering ways by making light of them. Plus, the 'granola' aspect of your making light of it doesn't really apply anyhow---i'm very "ap" but not at all 'granola' and many ap moms I know also aren't 'granola' either. Of course several of my ap mom friends are 'granola' but I certainly don't think ap and granola always go hand in hand. It's more about what's in a person's heart, not how they look.
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#4 of 9 Old 06-04-2003, 11:51 AM
 
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When I talk about parenting styles with friends and family members I try to speak in non-judgmental terms, too.

I'm not so AP that I think there aren't other ways to parent well. I wasn't raised this way, and I was parented wonderfully and lovingly. I think it's important to be able to discuss choices without judging.

So I would say, don't apologize for your choices or diminish them, but I don't think there's anything wrong with saying something like "you know me, I do things differently, I've never been one to go with the mainstream" (which is how I interpreted your reference to crunchy granola).
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#5 of 9 Old 06-04-2003, 12:17 PM
 
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Yep, I'm guilty of this too. What really bothers me about it is that later I feel like I really come off as wishy washy and not at all educated and conscious about my parenting decisions, which for the most part I am. But I always feel like I'm making someone else feel defensive or somehow putting down their choices. I know this is not my responsibility - I am a polite, kind person, and never make a direct judgement on their parenting choics - but I just feel like it's inherent in saying that I did not circumcise ds, and they ask why, and I say because there is no medical reason for it. Again, I know it's not my responsibility to make them feel better about the decisions they made (cuz gawd knows they don't do this for me when telling me why they do what they do), but it's a bad habit that I am trying to get out of.

I'm trying to get more comfortable in standing tall and proud about my parenting decisions and not feeling the need to diminish their importance to make others feel better about their choices. I really admire women who are able to do this so naturally.
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#6 of 9 Old 06-04-2003, 01:27 PM
 
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..I do this too - mostly to avoid having to discuss my parenting choices with someone that I don't feel I need to. (Coworkers, etc) (At this point I don't have a lot of friends who are also parents). A common one is when someone asks about the nursery or something similar (which we don't have) I just say 'its just easier to have her in our bedroom since I don't want to be going up and down stairs 5 times a night' (The other two bedrooms are downstairs in our condo)

I know how you feel - I want to defend my parenting choices and be a good role model for others to follow, but its hard to face those tense situations and not either feel like you are putting someone on the defensive or being put there yourself.
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#7 of 9 Old 06-04-2003, 02:14 PM
 
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I don't know if it's wrong necessarily, but it does perpetuate the unfortunate myth that the only people who choose to parent their children gently and respectfully are those who are a bit 'off' (because cruncy granola types are still considered by the mainstream to be a bit loony). It certainly does AP parenting no favors.

I've found an easy, non-confrontational way to face these situations sans self-deprecation is to perfect the "It works well for us" routine.....

With reference to the nursery question, for instance, my stock answer is "Ds prefers to sleep with us and we prefer to have him there - we all get more sleep that way." If challenged, I go back to the above.

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#8 of 9 Old 06-04-2003, 08:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by panda
don't think there's anything wrong with saying something like "you know me, I do things differently, I've never been one to go with the mainstream" (which is how I interpreted your reference to crunchy granola).
Panda, that's exactly how I meant it...but for some reason I do worry that I'm somehow diminishing what I do, or making it sound like my choices have nothing to do with intelligent thinking, as oceanbaby suggested.

Dragonfly, if crunchy granola and loony are synonymous, I'm even crunchier than I thought!

Honestly, I'm really not even that crunchy at all! It's mostly in the area of food - I try really hard to keep our diet healthful, and buy mostly organic and whole foods. Plus I dress like a granola. But I used sposies and a crib for dd (though I may rethink that with #2), and I could make a huge list of the other "uncrunchy" things about my lifestyle. And sparklemom is right, that stuff has little to do with "AP" things. But I do stand out a bit in my community, which is full of mostly upper-middle class, white collar, preppy white folks, so I guess it's a convenient thing to hang my choices on when I feel the need to diffuse tension.

Maybe I need a twelve-step program or Apologizers Anonymous or something...I have this really bad tendency to feel responsible for everyone else's feelings all the time!
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#9 of 9 Old 06-04-2003, 09:19 PM
 
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i tend to put myself down too much.

especially on parenting topics with friends.

rather than express my true feelings (risk hurting theirs and crying)

i usually just act like "oh, im too much of a pushover"


people think i am a pushover because i let my toddler have his way.

i figure. he deserves his way. unless his way is dangerous. what is the harm? or if it TRUELY bothered me i wouldn't give in.

if i dont care much. i give in.

i have trouble expressing this to friends.

without sounding like a whimp.


***Actually I feel exactly as ocean baby said, but she said it much better
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