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Hi everyone,<br><br>
I've been having a rough couple of weeks and thought this might be a good place to find moms with values similar to mine. I have a 20-month-old son I love more than the world and mostly I am very happy with our life. But as he is getting older and we are starting to do activities where other moms and kids are present and involved, I am beginning to feel pretty isolated in my parenting choices. We didn't circumcise, have never and will never vaccinate, still breastfeed, babywear, cloth diaper, etc. Oh yes, and I'm a vegan mom raising a vegan son. I'm quiet about my choices for the most part but not dishonest either. I am proud of my choices and have been most conscientious in making them. But the reactions I get from so many moms are hurtful. I know there are other parents like me out there......but even my friends (most of them do not have children yet) won't criticize me outright but they change the subject if something comes up that I can tell they don't agree with me on. I am not a confrontational person but I don't feel like I should have to hide the things I love most about myself. I am tired of feeling defensive yet it's only the beginning! I am trying to surround myself with people with similar values but this is my challenge right now. I'm sure we'll meet people and form lasting relationships in time, but I've been feeling down about this for awhile. Have any of you been in this phase also? I think it would just make me feel better to know that! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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You're definitely not alone <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">. From your posting count, it looks like you're pretty new to the MDC boards. Glad you found us! There are a lot of intelligent, warm, loving moms on this board & you'll soon find it's a great oasis when you feel a little lonely IRL. I was like you in my younger days <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">, just starting our family & felt I never "fit" into any one group (we home school, cd, family bed, sling, vegetarian/vegan, multi-cultural, adopted kids, SN, etc etc --but you know what, I LOVE it! Maybe it's age; maybe it's just getting used to it, but I wouldn't have it any other way. Friends have come & gone as they've found their own niche. But I'm really glad to be the family that we are & stand by the choices that we make. You mentioned that people would change topics that may be controversial...maybe they did this out of respect for you or maybe they did it because they feel uncomfortable with their own choices. I think you have it right by just being at peace with the path that you & your ds are on.
 

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*hugs* Mama - this is the place for you, I promise!<br><br>
Here is something I noticed - around 18 months DD settled in and I felt like I was really good at this parenting thing. My internal judgments of other Mamas were going all the time and I found that the relative great connection I had at the time turned me into someone who made a lot of judgments about Moms of older kids, different personality types, etc. So maybe that is what the other Moms are doing to you? It took a lot of self-searching to realize that<br>
1. I was wrong to judge anyone else's situation<br>
2. I was doing it at all<br>
So pity them, they are falling into an easy trap, and parenthood will come back and bite them in the arse any day now.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>caitlinlea</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10783100"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I'm quiet about my choices for the most part but not dishonest either.</div>
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This is how I approach most people. Eventually they learn about my ideals if we spend enough time interacting, and I about them, and our ideals are not always similar. But I think I would have very few or no friends if I let that dictate my relationships. It's hard, but I find it better to put aside the things that other moms have done in the past that I disagree with and concentrate on the present...ie. they might have circumcised, done CIO, etc. But as long as how they are parenting currently doesn't negatively impact my family (ie. no hitting, displaying dead animal carcasses in their yard <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> , etc.) then I try to look at the things we have in common and concentrate on them instead (ie. CSA members, scrapbooking hobby, YMCA classes).<br>
Sure, I'd love to have a group of local friends who all parented the way I do, but they simply don't exist. I might find people who share 1 or 2 ideals, but almost never all of them. And just because they do share similar ideals doesn't guarantee that we'll get along! Some personalities just don't mesh.<br><br>
I think it is hard as a crunchy parent during those early years because our lives are so incredibly wrapped up in our children that it's hard to make time for developing a social network for ourselves. It can be lonely! I have confidence it will pass, and when I have time, maybe some of my casual acquaintances will become closer friends when my children are a bit older.<br><br>
In the mean time, welcome to MDC! Glad you're here!!!<br><br>
- Krista
 

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It can be isolating, I know what you mean. You never know though, while the initial reactions may be hurtful, your non-confrontational manner may really get these other moms thinking that what you do is not so "radical" after all!<br><br>
Have you checked out the threads here for your area to see if there is an MDC playgroup around or if you can meet some local MDC moms? Not that you can't have lots of friends that parent / live differently then you (I do) but it is nice to at least have one or two friends that you can be on the same wave length when it comes to parenting discussions.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> mama,<br>
as you can see by the replies, you're not alone at all! I know it's tough.. but at least online there's always MDC and other boards where you can build friendships and possibly also find people who live close by so you'd meet IRL.<br><br>
I myself have given up a long time to 'rely' on friends who come and go but rather be happy about my family... Like Julie Anne said though, it might be an age related thing.. plus I personally know I've more become a loner anyway..<br><br>
Anyway, <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> again, I hope you'll get some comfort here and find some IRL friends soon too! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 
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