I recently read an article about how the Whooping Cough was an epidemic in California and in the blog it stated it was a direct result of people choosing to not vaccinate their children. (see link below). I was shocked by the parents’ vehemence towards each other on the topic. Yes, if my child contracted a deadly disease, as a result of being around UN-vaccinated children, and I vaccinated my children, I would be hysterically angry and want to blame the parents who chose to not vaccinate their kids under the ‘herd-mentality’ premise.
However, lately, I decided, when I get inwardly steamed about a controversial subject, I am trying to do the opposite of overreacting and commenting wildly on Facebook. I am trying to bring my inner Dali Lama to the forefront and find a medium in which we can agree to disagree and really try to support each other as we raise our children in this world.
As a society, I feel like parents; women especially, could do a much better job in supporting each other when it comes to how parents chose to provide for and raise their children. There are 500 different scenarios, and I do not think I have to list them all out because any parent that’s pouring love out of their heart to raise their children is a parent I support. Why does it have to be a competition? Why are SAHP (stay at home parents) cast as a certain stereotype and working parents cast as another? There are perks and insurmountable obstacles of all types of scenarios in raising kids. I worked part time on three separate occasions after I had kids, and WE could not make it work as a family. Why the competing forces on this topic?
For the record, I have probably criticized every one of these items in my head or out loud. Through some personal growth, I am realizing that when I criticize another person in general, my own inner insecurities are rearing their monstrous head. My criticisms of anyone or anything, has everything to do with my issues and little or nothing to do with their issues. My point, stop throwing stones in the glass house and start using some Windex together. Let’s try to remove the following preconceived notions and judgement out of our parental interactions:
1) The number and type of extra curricular activities (I.e. sports) their children are involved in and Thankfully , because of some of the work I have done on myself, I’m less likely to parent my children based on “comments” made by other parents.
2) How a parent disciplines their children. Aside from physical, emotional abuse and neglect, how you (or as a family unit) chose to discipline your children is YOUR BUSINESS. You are in the shoes 24/7, not the onlooker.
3) STAYING HOME TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR CHILDREN.
4) WORKING TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR CHILDREN.
Both scenarios have their pros and cons. Stop trying to win the argument because there should not even be an argument anymore. It takes a Village.
5) BEING A SINGLE PARENT. Enough Said. I know my Dad struggled with this feat for many many years and I have the utmost respect for the single parent.
6)Being A Gay Parent. How is “gayness” affecting the child? or your child? If you associate being “gay” with being perverse, that’s your problem.
7) Home Schooling your Children. Sending your Children to Private School. Sending your children to Public School. I personally could not home school my children because I substituted as a preschool teacher and I learned very quickly that it’s simply not in my DNA and I would be performing an injustice to their education.
8) What type of religion , if any, is taught in the home. I do my best to teach my children what I know, I bought them “cartoon-esque” bibles so they have a basic understanding of Christianity. Essentially it is their decision to believe in what they want to believe in for themselves. I believe in a Higher Power of my understanding, I want them to come to understand what that means to them on their own terms.
9) How many chores your kids do around the house or if they earn an allowance. Again, you are not in the parents’ shoes 24/7, you are the onlooker. What works for some , may not work for others.
10) I’m backtracking a bit, but breastfeeding. I did not breastfeed, I tried and had to stop. No, I am not going to buy another mom’s milk over the internet or even next door. I applaud the women who breastfed and breastfeed. “BREASTFORMATION” (projectile vomiting of information on the benefits of breast milk) is not going tot make a woman who did not breast feed, change her mind on the subject, it’s only going to make the woman feel horrendous about her decision she can not or should not change based on your opinion. Information on the benefits of of Breastfeeding is great for groups and people who want to hear the information. I speak from experience and most moms I know who also did not breastfeed, DID NOT COME UPON THE DECISION LIGHTLY. Many tears were shed over my decision to formula feed my children.
I am around a lot of moms. The most common thing I hear is that they are so tired of being judged and tired of feeling like they are losing themselves in what other people THINK they should be doing. Why are we so damn hard on each other, aren’t we hard enough on ourselves??? Whether you are a strict parent, a funny parent, a fly by the seat of your pants- parent, cook three meals a day for your kid parent, kids were potty trained at 18 months or 5 years, parent, organized pinterest guru parent, handy parent, dramatic parent, etc!!! , I think the worst thing we can do to each other as parents is criticize each other!
Have you hugged another parent today?
* Article on Whooping Cough