Table Talk Tuesday: Why Do Parents Hate Other Parents?

This morning while coloring with Brennan, I caught a segment on the TODAY show that discussed co-sleeping & some new study that says it’s a-okay to do so. Personally, I don’t have an issue with it. I’ve done it, the first time with Brennan because our living arrangements the first 2 years of his life necessitated us sharing the same sleeping space & the second time with Alex because it just made breastfeeding easier. (Shout out to Breastfeeding Week!)

With Brennan it was harder to get him to sleep on his own once our living situation changed when he turned 3. It was hard for both of us-we were both used to the comfort. With Alex, though, even though he stayed in the bed with me as an infant, he’s preferred his crib since he was about 4mos old. And honestly, so have I- the kid is a constant mover & kicks like Chuck Norris.

So like I said, personally, I have no issue with it. But just because I’ve done it doesn’t mean I’m a proponent or advocate of it either. I’m also not an advocate of baby wearing, breastfeeding, eating au natural or organic, attachment parenting, or anything else. Nor am I against any of them. My parenting style is kind of a mash-up of what I find helpful. I have a moby wrap and a fly stroller. Bottle or Breast? I do both depending on what my circumstances call for or what my body is able to do. Do we eat organic? Sure if I can find it at Wal-mart on sale (sorry, sometimes paying $5-6 for milk that disappears as soon as it goes in my fridge is just a budget buster)…other times I’m fine with regular brands. I prefer to try and cook as much as possible, but I also have a lot of days where Chic-fil-A, Wendy’s, Chipotle, & the Golden Arches save my sanity & worn out self.

What I do advocate for and believe in, though, is the idea that every parent, every family doing what works best for them and not judging them for it, regardless of their choices. And that’s what bothered me about the TODAY show segment-advocates from both sides (one a doctor & the other a parenting “expert”) agreed with the Matt that the stigma surrounding the decision to co-sleep here in the US keeps parents “in the closet” about their choice to do so. The doctor said that the decision to co-sleep is viewed by some as being a “weak parent or not having control over your own kids”.

Excuse me, WHAT?! To me that’s utterly ridiculous! WHY do we attach such ridiculous & harmful stigmas to things that don’t call for it?  That’s what upset me and has been upsetting me pretty much since I became a parent & what I consider “weak”: Parents on opposing sides of parenting issues judging each other.

It’s ridiculous really because like life, parenting is not a one size fits all situation. Maybe it’s the idealist in me, but on this front, I’m pretty much middle of the road on the stuff that seems to make parents pull out the knives on each other. I don’t get the obsession we have, especially in the age of social media, with tar & feathering each other.  My motto: make sure you’re educated & informed, evaluate your life & circumstances, & then get to the business of doing what works best for you & your family. Whether you go the traditional route or implement an approach that’s unconventional, that’s not what should matter. What should matter in the parenting community is whether or not we’re getting the encouragement, support & advice we need to be the best parents our kiddos need us to be.THAT’S what’s important. Not worrying about if a Mama is tweeting too much instead of spending her time being elbow deep in play-doh, bottle or breastfeeding, baby wearing or using a stroller, dads who stay at home,or about parents who choose to circumcise their boys.

I get it. We all have opinions, and we’re entitled to having them. But having the right to our own opinions doesn’t always give us the right to voice those opinions, much less judge others because their parenting style doesn’t fit into the boxes we’ve constructed for our own lives & children.

So can we put away the pitchforks & torches? Can we stop bullying each other & putting one another on trial? Can we ditch the condemnation & use our voices instead to empower & build each other up?  Let’s face it: Parenting is not for the faint of heart, especially in this day & age and kids will often make you want to lose your…..sanity. Wouldn’t it feel better to know that instead of making the currents we find ourselves in rockier, we had a community of supportive parents in our boat, picking up an oar, & helping us row?

I know I would. And I could care less whether you do it while breastfeeding your baby, letting him cry it out, or feeding her just-pulled-out of the ground carrots. I just need you to help me keep swimming, swimming, swimming.

I’ve read some other posts this week by Mamas on this subject: Lauren Hale over at My Postpartum Voice, & a couple shared by James & Jax on her Facebook page by Mooshinindy & Our Crazy Corner of the World.

How do you deal with Parental Judgement? Do you get it more from strangers, people online, or family members? What say you? SOUND OFF!


21 thoughts on “Table Talk Tuesday: Why Do Parents Hate Other Parents?

  1. “My motto: make sure you’re educated & informed, evaluate your life & circumstances, & then get to the business of doing what works best for you & your family.”

    This ^^^. You hit the nail on the head.

    • Well thank you for writing your post on the subject! It had been brewing in my mind for weeks…then I read your post, and saw the segment…and was like, “that’s it! gotta get this OUT!” Thank you SO MUCH for reading & commenting, seriously.

  2. I thoroughly enjoyed your post! Thank you for this. I agree with Susan, you nailed it! I don’t understand parents who stand on their pedestals and preach “perfect parenting”. I have my way, but it doesn’t mean it’s the best way in any means. I have sturggled with a family member for nearly 20 years on this very issue, our children are a year apart, and we have such a wonderful opportunity to help one another. But after years of judgement from her, I had to let go of thinking we ever will. I do feel sad when I see children suffering as a result of a parent who chooses to not work together, but against other parents. In a perfect world parents would be working together, recognizing our differences and supporting one another!

    • Maaaaaan I HEAR you on the struggling with family members on this issue & the judgement they dish out by the dump truck loads. I struggled with this with my parents, especially when I moved back in with them for a couple of years. It was AWFUL. But like I mentioned to Susan & Charity above, I just finally came to this place where I was like, you know what? THIS is what matters to me, THIS is how I want to treat other parents. Who needs the grief? We’re all just learning 🙂 We don’t have a perfect world, but I think we can work harder on having better “communities” esp online, within it.

      Thank you for reading & commenting! Oh and subscribing-will definitely be reading your posts as well 🙂

  3. I’m from the “mind ya’ business” school of parenting. (Except when it comes to dealing with bratty children in group play situations, or vaccinating. Then I tend to put on my judgy pants.)

    • hey, in group play situations, ya gotta lay down some Mama law 🙂 I like how you said that “mind ya business” school of parenting….LOVE that. Thank you for reading & commenting!

  4. Fantastic! Yes, I’m a mashup parent myself. You just have to do what works for your family. A friend referred to it as being a Snickers Parent – a little crunchy, a little not-crunchy, salty, sweet and delicious

    • Ok, you just gave me the BEST parenting description EVER. please, when you see that friend next, HUG THE MESS OUT OF THEM & tell them I said thank you. Seriously, that if freakin awesome-and Snickers are my fav bar, SO yep, from now on, I’m a Snickers/Mash-up Parent. That needs to be on a tshirt or card or something we can whip out when these perfect parents start throwing their icy glares of judgement LOL. Thank you SarahBee for reading & commenting 🙂

  5. Love this. I didn’t see the Today Show segment you speak of, but I have seen enough of them to get the gist. I love how you talk about doing things in practice without dubbing yourself an advocate for them. I think that is genius, and it is exactly the problem with our society… why can’t we just do what works for us without getting in everyone else’s face about it? I honestly could care less how my friends parent as long as their kids are fed, happy, and loved, and that those same friends are taking care of themselves so that they are fed, happy and loved as well. Why can’t that be enough?

    • exactly. I think people are too attached to labels & feeling a need to put themselves in a box-then when they do, they become rigid & less flexible in their mindsets. It IS enough, but people are so caught up in other things sometimes, I don’t think we realize & accept it as much as we should. Also? Your blog? Genius! LOVED reading through it yesterday! Thank you for reading & commenting!

  6. Amen.
    I was the perfect parent until I had my own kids. uggg! 😀

    I agree with your perspective: Do what is best for you and your family.

    Too often it is ignorance that creates judgement.

    • Oh yes, so was I lol…MAN did I get a RUDE awakening hahaha! And I love what you said about ignorance creating judgement. Incredible truth in that. Thanks for reading & leaving a comment! 🙂

  7. I think all parents are mashup parents, whether they choose to admit it or not. Parents who stick rigidly to the books they love are inflexible and aren’t doing themselves or their kids any favors. Parenting has taught me the importance of flexibility. Just like you, I am doing my best, which some weeks means organic produce and other weeks means frozen pizza for dinner. I think all of who blog or comment on blogs and websites should strive to spread this message as you just did. We really need to stop judging each other. We aren’t doing ourselves or each other any favors. Motherhood is a unity, so let’s treat each other with more respect!

    • Jaime your last 4 sentences (and what you said about flexibility) hit it right on the head girl! YES!. And I agree, I think the ones who don’t admit to being mashups are just “in the closet” about it HAHAHAHA.

      “What you want…mama I got it…What you need…all I’m asking for mama, is for a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T!” Now I’m in an Aretha mood….thank you Jaime for reading & I ALWAYS appreciate your comments. I know I don’t respond to them all-I gotta get better at that 🙂 I’m trying!

  8. Well, what the MEDIA says parents are doing/saying and what parents really ARE doing/saying usually are 2 widely different stories. Most parents are just like you: a mash-up of ideas. Most of us honestly couldn’t care 1 fig how you raise your children, because we’re too busy raising our own. 🙂

    • Don’t even get me STARTED on the media LOL-Very good point. And yes, most of us are too busy to be concerned about how others are raising their kiddos, so I’m wondering where these other parents find the time to condemn & judge 🙂 Thank you for reading & commenting!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s