I have been a parent for almost 2 years. That’s almost 731 days. (Since 2012 was a leap year.) I have learned a lot in these past 2 years. I’ve learned how to survive with no sleep. How to never, ever forget to pump after birth. (Soaked sheets, much?) But the most important thing I have learned is to respect everyone’s parental decisions. Why? Because there is nothing I absolutely detest more than having someone’s opinion shoved down my throat. We are all different. We live differently. We parent differently. And we should know how to respect this.
The Great Debates
“Formula is poison!” “You’ll kill your baby if you co-sleep.” “Why are you baby wearing?” “You should forward face at one year.” I’ve heard it all. Every day women are picking apart other women who think their way is best. I believe it is always good to be proud of your parenting skills and there is nothing wrong with giving advice BUT there is a very fine line between giving “advice” and telling someone what to do. There are the famous debates between formula feeding and breast feeding. Co-sleeping and crib sleeping. Circumcision. I’ve personally seen mothers tear down another mother limb to limb for their choices. Anything from, “You’re mutilating your child.” to “You know, he’s going to hate you for this.” and quite frankly, I’m tired of it. It’s almost 2013. We should always be able to respect other’s decisions. Just because it’s not the right one for you, doesn’t mean it’s not the right one for them. The amount of women suffering from PPD (post partum depression) is going through the roof and we should be doing everything and anything possible to lower this. To help one another. Because after all, we’re all parents. We’re in this together.
What Can I Do?
Simple. Respect. Respect the mother that’s sitting at McDonald’s openly breast feeding. Respect the father who decided it was best for his child to not be circumcised. Respect the parents who gave up their child for adoption. Those who rear face until they’re 4. Those who forward face at 1. Those who have formula fed since day one. We are all people. We all have feelings. And we are all different. There is absolutely no reason as to why anyone should ever put anyone down for their parenting skills. We have to know that in the end, we’re raising our children the best way we can. Our way.
About the Author
Shannon is a wife, mother to an almost 2 year old girl, and a Denver car accident lawyer. In her spare time she enjoys writing, reading, and browsing her favorite parenting forum.