This weekend I will be seeing two families who circ'd, after I gave them info. Oh TCAC folks, give me strength... - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 20 Old 04-22-2011, 10:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Nevermind. Just a vent that I should have kept to myself.

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#2 of 20 Old 04-22-2011, 11:35 AM
 
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Try to concentrate on the joy these parents surely feel in the presence of their undoubtedly adorable and cherished little ones. Don't allow the fact that those parents did something you don't agree with over a year ago poison your attitude toward these children.

Also, if your "intactivism" consistently produces the same effect (you feeling like everyone sees you as a wacko), perhaps it's time to consider a new approach. Maybe you'd do better in general advocacy (letter campaigns, getting involved with nocirc, etc.), since the person-to-person approach doesn't seem to be producing the results you want. Especially when the results include not being interested in meeting two innocent little boys and having to fake politeness around them, which you acknowledge yourself is not right.
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#3 of 20 Old 04-22-2011, 11:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, I was venting here where we all often vent about similar situations.  Venting here and what my actions are and will be IRL are quite different from each other.  I actually don't think your assessment is accurate at all but thanks anyway.  

 

I am far from "wacky" and my approaches with people are always gentle and understated which is why it's frustrating to be treated as a well-meaning looney.  

 

I know there are others who have experienced and know what I am feeling right now but thanks for letting me know you are not one of those people.  

 

Cheers.


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#4 of 20 Old 04-22-2011, 11:52 AM
 
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I understand that it's tough when something that seems so obviously right as body integrity is waved off. Just remember that one's culture really colors the way they view the world. When it comes to genital cutting traditions, I believe that is doubly so. You are up against something that operates outside of logic and reason, so when those fail, try not to take it so hard. I completely see how frustrating it would be to know that they didn't take your advice, but just remember that you don't have to be best buddies with the parents. The children, however, should never be viewed in a negative light due to their parents' ignorance(ignorance as in lack of knowledge rather than stupidity... several of my relatives who circ'd are also lovely, caring parents who are very intelligent... just blind to this particular aspect) because all children are beautiful and perfectly perfect, as is (their parent's judgement notwithstanding) and these boys will likely grow up just fine and happy with themselves, despite their circ's. I can get really wrapped up in anger at our culture over this issue, but when that happens, I try to remember to take two steps back and try very hard to change my own perspective--which is the only perspective I have control over. If I were in your place, I'd focus on something else instead, and think about the love and happiness the kids experience now. After all, even circumcision, in a twisted way, is an act that often comes from a parent who loves their child and wants what they feel is the best thing for them. If you want to do something positive and proactive in this situation, you could always donate to an organization that works to bring and end to RIC. :)


 


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#5 of 20 Old 04-22-2011, 12:11 PM
 
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An outsider's perspective.  I am a good and loving mother who circ'd both boys because I had never heard of parents not doing it and honestly knew so little about it that it didn't occur to me to avoid it.  Yes, I have regrets now.  I am so new to "natural" parenting--I do things very differently with DS2 than I did with my first (there is a huge age difference)...we are doing our own variety of AP, I am a (broke) SAHM, we are EBF, etc.   I guess my point is this:  having access to literature and support for genital integrity is something that just doesn't cross everyone's path.  You did the right thing by passing along resources to your family members, and that was all you could reasonably do. 

 

On another note, I am VERY familiar with being uncomfortable (for whatever the reasons) with families we married into.  It can be very, very stressful and unpleasant.  For me, it is also sad because everyone in my family of origin is either dead or estranged and DH's family is all our son will ever know as far as textbook "family."  I never enjoy our family visits and am stressed like mad about them beforehand, and everyone lives locally.  It is hard.  So I wish you luck with your upcoming visit.


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#6 of 20 Old 04-22-2011, 12:17 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoonJelly View Post

Well, I was venting here where we all often vent about similar situations.  Venting here and what my actions are and will be IRL are quite different from each other.  I actually don't think your assessment is accurate at all but thanks anyway.  

 

I am far from "wacky" and my approaches with people are always gentle and understated which is why it's frustrating to be treated as a well-meaning looney.  

 

I know there are others who have experienced and know what I am feeling right now but thanks for letting me know you are not one of those people.  

 

Cheers.


I certainly didn't mean to offend you, and would never have used the word "wacko" but for the fact that you yourself used it to describe the way you feel others perceive you. You also stated that you would be "nice/polite whatever but I will not be enjoying it," i.e you were describing what your actions would be IRL. These are your words, not my "assessment."

Finally, please do not assume that I have never been in the situation you are in right now. That is exactly where my advice to concentrate on the parents joy in their children comes from.
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#7 of 20 Old 04-22-2011, 12:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think it's different when you really don't know any better versus when you have talked and read about it and practically agree that it's not necessary but then do it because your husband throws a fit.  I realize that I didn't go into detail about my conversations with them but suffice it to say that from what we talked about I just don't think "not knowing any better" really fits these moms.  

 

Thanks for the reply though.  I agree about the forced family thing.  
 

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Originally Posted by caedenmomma View Post

An outsider's perspective.  I am a good and loving mother who circ'd both boys because I had never heard of parents not doing it and honestly knew so little about it that it didn't occur to me to avoid it.  Yes, I have regrets now.  I am so new to "natural" parenting--I do things very differently with DS2 than I did with my first (there is a huge age difference)...we are doing our own variety of AP, I am a (broke) SAHM, we are EBF, etc.   I guess my point is this:  having access to literature and support for genital integrity is something that just doesn't cross everyone's path.  You did the right thing by passing along resources to your family members, and that was all you could reasonably do. 

 

On another note, I am VERY familiar with being uncomfortable (for whatever the reasons) with families we married into.  It can be very, very stressful and unpleasant.  For me, it is also sad because everyone in my family of origin is either dead or estranged and DH's family is all our son will ever know as far as textbook "family."  I never enjoy our family visits and am stressed like mad about them beforehand, and everyone lives locally.  It is hard.  So I wish you luck with your upcoming visit.


I can logically "get" cultural conditioning and the whole fear of what other people think or fear of doing anything "different" thing but it doesn't mean that it doesn't make me mad or that I accept it.  It can be disappointing to realize that people aren't as enlightened as you think or hope they are.  

 

I guess I came across pretty badly or hostile in my OP.  I really thought I could vent here without people thinking that I am about to go off on these people when I see them, or ignore their children.  It's not like that at all.  

 


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#8 of 20 Old 04-22-2011, 01:47 PM
 
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hug.gif it is hard to feel like you are the odd man out as they say. I feel that way any time we visit with dh's family. My feelings on certain issues like this one make it hard to fit it though I have always felt like the one odd one all my life anyway.


 
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#9 of 20 Old 04-22-2011, 02:09 PM
 
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Can't you just pretend you don't know their circ/intact status?   I mean, I understand being sad for the little boys, but what is done is done.  Obviously you need to work out your own feelings on this, so it doesn't impact how you relate to your extended family, but I'd suggest doing that when you aren't visiting.  The healthiest approach would be to just put it out of your mind when you see them. 

 

I hope this doesn't seem mean; I am trying to give you some strength to deal with it.  A bunch of people saying they feel the same way and putting down the parents of those two boys would just make you that much more upset and enraged about it, I'm guessing. Only you can control your own thoughts and what you dwell on, yk?


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#10 of 20 Old 04-22-2011, 03:34 PM
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I didn't see your original post, but I know where you're coming from.  I was so upset that my brother circ'd his son that I couldn't see my nephew for a long time. 


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#11 of 20 Old 04-23-2011, 06:31 PM
 
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I'm sorry. I know it's really hard. We tried really hard to (gently) persuade in-laws not to circ and it was just awful -- two extremely educated people who had no religious reasons for circing, only cultural, and it was just terrible how completely close-minded they were and how they insisted on circing their 35-week, 5 pound preemie upon discharge a week later. It really was all about the class connotations for them, sad to say -- as in, only "lower class" boys would NOT be circed. Blech.

 

It is tough, especially because I have to see them periodically.....and it's also tough because we just have so little in common with them, not only in choices like circ/no circ, breastfeeding, etc. but also just attitudes towards parenting in general. (CIO, scheduling, amount of time away from parents, discipline, lots more).

 

I can say that as our kids have all gotten older and we're farther away from the baby stuff, it is a lot easier. Although I really will never be able to wrap my head around their very poor decisions on circing, even though they're extremely different parents, they are good and loving parents and their sons are very nice boys.

 

It is hard though when you have such strong empathy for the babies because you KNOW what they suffered at only hours or days old. :(


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#12 of 20 Old 04-24-2011, 07:00 AM
 
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I, too, have a very hard time with situations like this.  It is really hard to put it out of your mind and be normal when you know it was not done out of ignorance.  Don't let anyone make you feel like your feelings are invalid, either - it does NOT make you bad to have a visceral reaction to what you consider to be a terrible thing.  Many others out there agree with you, even if it doesn't seem like that from some of the reactions here. 

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#13 of 20 Old 04-24-2011, 01:43 PM
 
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I cannot excuse the decision to circumcise after being fully informed.  That someone can knowingly hurt their baby is criminal to me.  The entire difference is in being educated and KNOWING what you are asking to be done to your child.  I will not be around people who make that decision.  There is no amount of culture of social acceptance that will ever make it ok to me.  Honestly, I don't wish to give people capable of this any access to my life.

I understand your feelings about being in the same space with these people.  I hope you manage to have a good weekend in spite of it.

 

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#14 of 20 Old 04-25-2011, 07:08 AM
 
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That's exactly how I feel too.  I had a friend who just had her first baby (and he will be her only, as she spent years doing IVF and had many losses).  A really sweet, lovely woman- smart and just unbelievably caring. While she was pregnant she researched like crazy.  She planned a natural birth and breastfeeding, because it was best for the baby.  She ate with scrupulous care, because it was best for him.  She was on bedrest for a while because of bleeding, but she didn't complain- it was all about the baby.  She could not bear the thought of anything being less than perfect, because she had tried so hard and so long to have him. 

 

I sent her several articles, like "50 Reasons to Leave It Alone".  She said she wasn't sure what they would do, because her husband was adamant that it would be done.  I thought I could win her over with logic, because she was so strongly convicted about doing the best for her baby.  I asked her if she'd read them.  She admitted that she hadn't really gotten around to it...  It "made her cringe" so she was putting it off.  I had her over and we talked for at least an hour about circumcision- all the reasons not to do it, and I showed her my intact baby.  She looked kind of repulsed by him and just couldn't imagine how it worked- "So the penis comes out? Like a... dog?"  I sent her home with Dr. Fleiss' book and the Mothering magazine with the giant article about circumcision.

 

I still thought there was no way she would do it.  She took a Bradley birth class, where the instructor was pro-intact and gave info to her and her husband.  She met with a pediatrician, who had intact boys and urged her not to circumcise.  She told me that she told the ped she knew there was no medical reason, but she was pretty sure they would still do it "for purely cosmetic reasons".  She said she couldn't shake the feeling that her son would be mad at her if she didn't do it!  I think it was then that I knew it was a lost cause, but still I thought that if her husband didn't want it done so much, she would rather go the natural route.  As a last ditch effort, I emailed a link with a video and information to her husband, and copied her on it. 

 

I sent her the mei tai I bought for her the day before he was born, and that was it.  I have not visited them. I can't stand to be in the same room with them. I know they did it, because she was very, very aware of my position on it, and she would have told me if they decided not to.  I think they are disgusting for doing what they did, because there is no way they can pretend they were not informed.  By me, by the Bradley instructor, by the pediatrician.  They knew, and they chose to do it anyway, and I can't be friends with people like that.

 

But I want my book and magazines back. irked.gif


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#15 of 20 Old 04-25-2011, 08:09 AM
 
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Oh Kristi, I am so sorry.  I know how you feel. 

I struggle so hard with knowing that people knowingly do this to their kid.


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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lula's Mom View Post

That's exactly how I feel too.  I had a friend who just had her first baby (and he will be her only, as she spent years doing IVF and had many losses).  A really sweet, lovely woman- smart and just unbelievably caring. While she was pregnant she researched like crazy.  She planned a natural birth and breastfeeding, because it was best for the baby.  She ate with scrupulous care, because it was best for him.  She was on bedrest for a while because of bleeding, but she didn't complain- it was all about the baby.  She could not bear the thought of anything being less than perfect, because she had tried so hard and so long to have him. 

 

I sent her several articles, like "50 Reasons to Leave It Alone".  She said she wasn't sure what they would do, because her husband was adamant that it would be done.  I thought I could win her over with logic, because she was so strongly convicted about doing the best for her baby.  I asked her if she'd read them.  She admitted that she hadn't really gotten around to it...  It "made her cringe" so she was putting it off.  I had her over and we talked for at least an hour about circumcision- all the reasons not to do it, and I showed her my intact baby.  She looked kind of repulsed by him and just couldn't imagine how it worked- "So the penis comes out? Like a... dog?"  I sent her home with Dr. Fleiss' book and the Mothering magazine with the giant article about circumcision.

 

I still thought there was no way she would do it.  She took a Bradley birth class, where the instructor was pro-intact and gave info to her and her husband.  She met with a pediatrician, who had intact boys and urged her not to circumcise.  She told me that she told the ped she knew there was no medical reason, but she was pretty sure they would still do it "for purely cosmetic reasons".  She said she couldn't shake the feeling that her son would be mad at her if she didn't do it!  I think it was then that I knew it was a lost cause, but still I thought that if her husband didn't want it done so much, she would rather go the natural route.  As a last ditch effort, I emailed a link with a video and information to her husband, and copied her on it. 

 

I sent her the mei tai I bought for her the day before he was born, and that was it.  I have not visited them. I can't stand to be in the same room with them. I know they did it, because she was very, very aware of my position on it, and she would have told me if they decided not to.  I think they are disgusting for doing what they did, because there is no way they can pretend they were not informed.  By me, by the Bradley instructor, by the pediatrician.  They knew, and they chose to do it anyway, and I can't be friends with people like that.

 

But I want my book and magazines back. irked.gif



Wow.  Just wow.  If a parent obsessed about the cosmetic appearance of their daughter's vulva and had it surgically altered to suit his or her tastes, it would be deemed criminal and sick.  But it is okay for boys.  I wouldn't talk to her, either.


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#17 of 20 Old 05-01-2011, 06:49 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tammylsmith View Post

. After all, even circumcision, in a twisted way, is an act that often comes from a parent who loves their child and wants what they feel is the best thing for them.



This is the only reason that I am not furious with my mother.  She was a victim of some really bad advice from other people and truly thought that she was doing the right thing.

 

However, in this day and age of easily accessible information, few can claim ignorance.

 

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#18 of 20 Old 05-20-2011, 06:56 AM
 
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I know how you feel.  I have a close friend who is very much a human rights advocate, so I approached her about circumcision from that standpoint and sent her some links.  She agreed that it was totally unnecessary, but that her husband was adament that they "match".  She said that she would try to talk to him though.  I never heard anything after that, and they were visiting recently, and I was helping with the baby's diaper change, and of course, he was circumcisied.  It was a reallly strange, jagged-looking cut too, which made me wonder if her husband's was cut crooked as well, since it was so important that they match.  It made me feel sick to my stomach, but I just took a deep breath and moved on.  You tried your best.

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#19 of 20 Old 05-20-2011, 07:35 AM
 
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I agree with others who say that you cannot let your feelings on the matter destroy any relationship you might have with the child - especially if the baby is a close relative.  Reading some of these posts, I'm reminded of just how much of an emotive issue this is, and how far people are willing to go in order to get their point across, because they feel so strongly.  Ultimately however, you cannot force people to do what you know or feel to be right for their children.  You can educate and inform where ignorance on the matter exists (which is widespread), but after that, it's not a decision that is in your hands, and that's hard to accept, but you have to.  You also have to consider the emotional response of circumcised fathers to this issue.  While it does not in any way provide a good reason for choosing to circumcise your baby, I think some circ'd fathers have a tangled mix of emotions when it comes to making this decision, because crossing over to the other side can require him to face the reality that he was circumcised (most likely) unncecessarily by his parents.  Many fathers are probably unwilling to face this fact, and given the option of going along with those in the medical community who advocate circumcision, it's easier to wall up and agree with the Dr.  There is also a need for some fathers to "match" and feel some kind of unity with their sons.  Again, these are obviously not good reasons to circ, but they do provide some insight into why people choose to ignore the facts staring them in the face. 

 

Fortunately, there are also many enlightened circ'd fathers who are not willing to allow their child to go through the same procedure.  I think the message is slowly getting across, as evidenced by the drop in circ rates, but it can take a long time to change entrenched views.

 

Peter

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#20 of 20 Old 05-20-2011, 09:29 AM
 
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((hug)) it's really hard to deal with sometimes, especially when you tried to save the child.

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