Time to blog again. My blood is boiling after reading some of the comments to this recent campaign to encourage moms to stop competing with each other about EVERYTHING.
This is a sentiment that I have felt ever since having children. I have commented time and time again that although people will often bite their tongue about opinions on all sorts of other things, for some reason, child-rearing is a "no holds barred" zone where women take free jabs at one another, time and time again, all the while having a sweet smile pasted across their face.
Nothing makes me want to vomit in my shoes more.
Shawna, in particular, had a few pearls that struck a nerve with quite a few readers, myself included. My personal favourite? "And would it not reflect badly on a person’s character if they chose to ignore your advice?"
Sorry. I just have to laugh out loud at that one. You mean that it would reflect poorly on me if I chose to decide that maybe I know more than someone else about what might be best for my children... for my family... for my own health???
Yes. I must be a fool, indeed.
The thing is, Shawna, I fully agree with you when you say "some choices are better than others". But the definition of "better" is a gray zone. You deciding to feed your child organic homemade baby purées might be a better choice for you. What about that mom whose own mom is in the hospital for cancer? Or who just lost her husband? Or who is suffering from post-partum? Would it be in her, or her family's best interest to have her stressed to the max to make those stupid homemade purées when buying some Gerber baby food might just help save her some sanity, making her a better mom for her child?
Maybe this all hits a particular chord for me too because I was one of those people, pre-children who thought I'd be doing a hell of a lot of things that I am doing now EVERY SINGLE DAY. Read my blog. It's about survival. You know what... don't read it. People like you probably won't get it anyway. But the bottom line is that, despite all that life has thrown at us in these past 3 1/2 years, we're still functioning fairly well as a family. Which I don't think would be true if I was still doing those cloth diapers I started out with. And making everything from scratch, like I was back then. This is what parenthood is all about. It's learning that... you know what... life does not fall apart if you cut a few corners here and there. Nor will your child turn out to be a horrible human being. Perfection only gets you one place. And that's to a burn out.
And now it's confession time to all of those perfect moms out there...
We've started co-sleeping with our kids again. With our 3 1/2 and 2 year old children. After having weaned them from it a long, long time ago.
Yup. This is one of those things that I said I would never, ever do. Not with a baby. Never mind with toddlers.
The thing is, despite being "independently" in their own rooms, our kids were waking up a million times each night, in massive fits of anxiety and, let's face it, I was getting grouchier and grouchier by the minute. This on top of the significant behavioural issues we manage on a daily basis, our chaotic therapy + work schedule, financial stressors to pay for all of this therapy, etc.
We finally came to our senses and decided that maybe, just maybe, getting sleep and staying happy were a higher priority than anything else right now. Again, it's about survival. And so we started sleeping with our kids again. Do I think starting to co-sleep with kids their age is crazy? Abso-frickin'-lutely. Do I think it's the best decision for our family right now? Without question. Do I think it might be the best decision for a family whose kids have been sleeping through the night in their own beds since they were 2 weeks old? Well, now we're just talking crazy talk, here. Ya see... each child and each family is different. The circumstances that families have to deal with are vastly different. And so, it makes sense that the decisions that each parent and each family makes are different, based on what works for their family. And no outsider can understand this the same way as someone living under the same roof as you. (And please, don't ever let them convince you that they can!!!).
I have chosen to get the Shawnas I have known over the years out of my life. I surround myself with people who will give advice without shoving it down my throat and then holding their hand over my mouth so that I can't even say "but...". I chose to surround myself with people who will listen to me so that I am heard. There is no space in my life for Shawnas.
Ironically enough, she concluded by saying "Acceptance is not the way" on the very same day that I stumbled upon this inspiring clip here:
I feel that says a lot.