Of all the things that irk me as a mother, the one that stands out the most is when someone gets offended at the way a child is being raised.
I read this post the other day that described this woman’s parenting style, which I gathered as very AP(attachment parenting), laid back, and child focused. Some things I read I didn’t agree with, some I did. But I thought it was well written albeit a tad over glamorized, an interesting perspective, and it taught me about another point of view in the world of parenting.
And then came the comments. Judgemental and ugly. They accused her of thinking she was better than them, that her style of parenting was being glorified (which automatically meant theirs was vilified, of course). It was a shame to read, because she clearly stated it was simply her raising her child the best way she knew and believed.
I see this all.the.time. No matter how you raise your kids, someone is going to attack you if you seem to veer too far from what they deem as “acceptable.” That word seems to have different meanings depending on the person using it.
But here’s the thing. No matter what you think is acceptable, no matter how much you believe something to be true:
IT MAY NOT WORK FOR SOMEONE ELSE.
You might think co-sleeping with your child is a way they will grow up secure, and it’s your right to think that. You might believe that your child deserves to have ice cream or fast food for a special treat. Your family may feel that you working provides your child with interaction and stimulation at a daycare she wouldn’t get at home. You may feel that it is essential for you to be at home with your child since you chose to have them.
And whatever you believe? Whatever you hold dear? That’s wonderful. It’s part of who you are, what you stand for, what your child will remember about you. “My mom worked so hard so we could have the things we needed in life.” “One of my favorite memories is waking up next to mom and dad.” “I’m so outgoing because I was in a fantastic daycare.”
So don’t ruin the uniqueness of your family by pushing it off on others. When you read something that you take offense to, think it over. Why is it so upsetting? So they’re different from you, from the way you do things, why does that matter?
You’re not raising their kid. You have no idea why they are making the decisions they do – not really. You might have a glimpse, but there is usually much more than what meets the eye.
- If their child isn’t being abused, neglected, or in danger.
- If the family style is simply different.
- If it has nothing to do with you.
- If they are happy, doing their best, and just trying to stay afloat as parents.
Then leave it alone. Don’t judge, don’t mock, don’t get involved in a negative way.
Be proud of what you stand for as a family, no matter how different it is. And let someone else feel that way too.