July 20, 2010

An Open Letter to Smug Parents

Dear smug parents,

Oh hai.

Listen, you guys have been awfully loud lately. I mean, loud. Every time I turn around, there's one of you yammering on, all your cronies clucking in agreement.

This is my kind and gentle request to you to STFU.

Because, guess what? I don't care if you breastfed your daughter until she was 3. I don't care if you thought formula was easier and decided to bottle feed. I certainly have no investment in the type of baby food you gave your son, whether it was made by your own martyred hands or bought from the store. Babywearing? Great, I'm glad you enjoy it. Using a stroller? I'm glad you find that useful. Oh, and the sleeping arrangements. And the diapers. And the vaccinations. And the circumcisions. And the birth plans, the epidurals, the birthing tubs! Blah blah blah. Zzzzzzzz.

My head hurts.

I am so tired of the bickering and the sniping. I am all for advocating and educating about the many other parenting options out there (which is what I try to do), but when you begin to berate other parents for making different choices, I begin to not like you. At all.

In the past few days, I have heard circumcision referred to as mutilation. I have heard a mother referred to as selfish because she turned to formula and store-bought baby food. I have heard vaccinations referred to as poison - and sleep training as an equivalent to training animals, because those of us who have done it obviously see our children as animals. W. T. F.

Parents who circumcise their sons are not bloodthirsty savages looking for some kind of thrill. Parents who feed formula and store-bought baby food are not lazy or selfish. Parents who choose to have their children vaccinated are not trying to poison them. This is ridiculous, inflammatory language, and it is offensive.

I do not and will never understand the female tendency to drag others through the mud. It is so childish, so pointless. And so very, very hurtful. I've been on both sides, as I'm sure we all have. But it takes on a whole different meaning when mothers are doing it to other mothers. A mother's path is a difficult one. Why make it harder on her? Why not just accept her as the mother she is?

We should be a sisterhood of mothers.

But instead there is the chattering. The incessant noise. Come on, really? You're saying this stuff because you care SO much about the fate of some internet stranger's child?

No, you're saying this stuff because it makes you feel better about yourself and your choices. But you know, that's the beauty of it all. We have choices as mothers. That's amazing.

Isn't the most important thing that we love our kids? That at the end of the day, whether a child spent the majority of his day at home with mom or in daycare, whether he ate Gerber baby food or peaches right off the tree, that he is asleep in his bed, or his parents' bed, or wherever, and is happy? Isn't that what matters, that we love our children? That we do the best we can?

I certainly think so. Now please, shut it and go tell your kids you love them.

Over and out.

Respectfully yours,
Leslie

8 comments:

amber said...

::standing ovation::

I know I'm not a mom, but damn if I don't feel like I can argue both sides of all of the points you bring up. I agree that we have to support one another and believe that women are making the best choices for their children and their family members. And that it's really not for anyone else to judge.

I have a friend whose son is autistic. We were chatting one day and vaccines somehow came up. She knows where I work and she turned to me and said "Look, I know how you feel, but please don't say what I know you're thinking." My response was along the lines of - hey, I don't have a son who is autistic and whose symptoms crept up around the time of the vaccines. While I may believe the science, I have no idea what I would do if I were in your shoes and it's not for me to judge. It was amazing to see how much she visibly relaxed after I said all of that. And so sad that she was expecting a rant of judgement as that is what she often encounters. :(

sherthebear said...

Thank you Leslie!! I really don't understand the "wars" women create with one another. It is hard enough being a mother; no one is perfect and we are just doing what we can to survive and be the best mommy we can be. We don't need to be judging one another; we should be supporting each other and applauding each other's efforts. We don't need the drama.

alejna said...

Fantastic rant, my friend. I agree wholeheartedly.

Aline said...

What Amber said word for word..

Crazy Daisy said...

AMEN Sistah!

Bex said...

Seriously!!!!

Miranda said...

::golf claps::

Anonymous said...

I still feel guilty that after all that hubbub about making baby food. I stilllll used jar food. Thanks for this! --Tameka