I’ve had this post jumbling around in my head for quite some time but never really wrote it because often times when I try to say things like this I end up coming across as a loudmouthed asshole but I feel like SAYING IT is more important than how a few (probably guilty) people will interpret it.
I remember when Cassidy was born I didn’t have the luxury of 100s of online friends helping me through all the stuff that was happening. When she was born, google was still a small little site run out of a garage. Message boards were still crap and chat rooms were full of horny fat me trolling for little girls. So when Cassidy got thrush at two weeks old, I didn’t have twitter or facebook to turn to for questions and support. I went to the ER at 2:00AM freaked out because she screamed every time I tried to feed her. It only took 4 hours to get an answer, a tube of lotion, and a pat on the head.
When she got roseola when she was 8 months old I didn’t have a forum of moms to go to for stories or support and encouragement. I asked my mom, my mother-in-law, and three of her grandmas who all gave me the same answer and told me to stop being a worry wart.
When I got food poisoning and was told to stop breastfeeding till it passed and she would never start back up again and felt like a COMPLETE FAILURE even though I had managed to make it 10 months, I didn’t have an online “shoulder to cry on”.
And really? Lately, I’m almost happy for all of that. Because I feel like more and more I see JUDGMENT when what I hope to see is SUPPORT.
Heaven forbid a woman say she isn’t going to breastfeed, or that she’s going to breastfeed till the child is a toddler, or has a birth plan that includes an epidural, or chooses a home birth, or chooses to try and let her baby “cry it out”, or wears her baby 24/7, or lets the child sleep in bed with them, or wants to cloth diaper, YOU GET THE IDEA. It seems that no matter WHAT you choose to do, there is another mother (or even NON-parent) out there that thinks you are wrong and is going to loudly tell you how you aren’t doing it right. And I’m just TIRED of it.
TIRED OF IT.
Tired of reading tweets that liken crying it out to ABUSE. Tired of facebook updates that say women that choose c-sections are stupid and lazy. Tired of hearing women say they feel like BAD PARENTS because of the things that other women are saying to them about their choices.
So here’s the thing. HAVE an opinion. I encourage that! But please, PLEASE don’t be catty jackasses when you are handing out that information and be aware that it’s JUST an opinion. Just because you believe that something is right for YOU does not mean it is right for EVERYBODY. I am very pro-breastfeeding. I believe that it’s best for mom and baby to do it for as long as you possibly can but there have been plenty of times that I’ve encouraged and supported new moms that have chosen to bottle feed… for whatever reason. Because it’s not okay for me to EVER make another parent feel bad for a decision they have made about their own child.[1. Unless I think there is actual physical harm being caused to the child.]
I feel like we have this amazing opportunity to be a helpful community, a safety net, a backbone of support for each other from all over the world. We can support, encourage, nurture and help each other on this REALLY HARD journey of parenthood and we’d all be so much better off if we could remember that and one simple thing: respect each other. Period.
Remember at the other end of that tweet or forum post or status update is a fellow parent that is tired, frustrated, confused, scared, WORN OUT and they need support, not judgment.
/steps down off soapbox.