Tuesday, April 23, 2013

I'm Your Biggest Supporter

Before I had kids I was one of those women who rolled my eyes at crying babies in church, shuttered at tantrums in the grocery store, and felt like pacifiers were basically a gateway drug.  I shared my "I will never (fill in blank)" and "My child will never (fill in the blank)" stories to all who would listen.

And then I had two babies.

There are many statements I made pre-babies that I still stand by.  Most of them, actually.  The difference is I now realize what I feel is best for Jude & Sloane is exactly that... what I feel is best.  There are one million different ways to raise a child and my job is to raise my two the best I know how... and to keep my nose out of everyone else's business.

The day I became a mom I became a supporter of other moms.  I didn't look at them as competition, I looked at them--at us--as an alliance.  We are a group of women with different backgrounds, different beliefs, and different values, with one very important thing in common: we love our kids.  To me, as long as you love your kid, I'm your biggest supporter.

I bring this up because a friend of mine was deeply hurt by other moms today.  She posted a picture on Instagram and mentioned she and her husband tried the cry it out method with their daughter last night.  She received multiple comments and while many were words of affirmation, there were a few that were downright hateful.  Some questioned her parenting while others told her to "do her research." One even said she hoped my friend's children let her cry it out in a nursing home one day.  What?!

I was absolutely appalled.  I'm not upset that these people disagree with the CIO method, but why did they find it necessary to say such awful things to a fellow mom?

There are several things we do (or don't do) with Jude & Sloane that might make you raise your eyebrows.  They don't have bumpers in their cribs.  They are almost six months old and have never had rice cereal.  The television stays off when I'm home alone with them.  If a pacifier falls on the ground, we stand by the 5-second rule.  We let them cry it out.  They get all of their vaccinations.

All of these things could make one question our parenting but so far we've only received support.  I know our day will come when someone makes a rude remark or a person without kids opens their mouth like I once did.  I hope I handle it with grace.  But more than that, I hope it never happens.  This post is not new information--I have read multiple articles, blog posts, status updates, etc., that all center around the same idea:  Support each other.  Love one another.  And the next time you feel the need to say something negative, smile instead and tell that mom she's doing an amazing job.

Because she is.

22 comments:

Ashley said...

couldn't agree more more!

Aubrey said...

All of us parents are doing the best we can. We might do it differently, but there is no "correct" way to raise our children.

Rest assured your parenting decisions will get negative comments (if not directly, then behind your back). But as long as your children are happy and loved, you will be able to shake it off and carry on with confidence.

And thanks to your excellent electronic documentation, I've seen Jude's and Sloane's smiles. No doubt about it, those kids are HAPPY AND LOVED! Way to go, mama! You are doing it all EXACTLY right for you and your kids.

Laura said...

I totally agree! I think it's strange that in the area of pregnancy and child-rearing, so many people think it's totally fine to be rude and inconsiderate and say whatever they want.

Sarah Tucker said...

So true! I don't have kids but I know those people had no right to say what they said! My parents let me cry it out as a child and I am in no way affected by that. Ugh, it made me so mad hearing them judge her. Love this post!

Ashley said...

AMEN!! I truly don't understand why all moms can't just support each other. And I am appalled that people would leave those comments to your friend. That is horrible.

The Echols Family said...

Amen! I couldn't have said it any better than you did. I saw a few of those awful comments yesterday, and was praying that A didn't take them personally. She has a ton of followers, and there are bound to be a few wacky ones in the bunch. Jackson definitely cried it out, and we all survived. :)

Kaitlin said...

Unbelievable, but at the same time, very believable that other moms would be so judgmental. It's sad. This article just popped up on my newsfeed this AM & I thought it was quite appropriate http://www.today.com/moms/exhausted-new-moms-hilarious-take-expert-sleep-advice-goes-viral-6C9559908

No one has it all figured out, so just do the best you can with the info/knowledge you have and move on with it! :)

Katie said...

AMEN, AMEN, AMEN!!! If there's one thing I hate, it's moms tearing other moms down! Being a parent is hard enough, and we beat ourselves up ENOUGH...we certainly don't need it from anyone else. Shame on anyone who feels that their way of parenting is the only way. Children have different needs, and parents have different ways of meeting those needs. If they're fed and loved, that's what matters! :)

PS--My child is whining and launching pacis from her crib as I type this! HA!

jessica said...

I saw your link posted on Twitter and I'm so glad I did. I couldn't agree more!!! I am constantly telling my fiancé and friends - since when did being a mom become a competition?! There's always someone in the bunch that feels like their parenting is the right parenting and I'm not sure who gave them that idea! ha Parenting is a tough job as it is and it's made much easier when another mom just tells you "Don't worry, this too shall pass" or "Don't worry, I did the same with my kid and we all survived". Whatever it is, we all just need support! My daughter is 14 months and STILL on her infant paci and sleeps in our bed but that works for us and I'm sure there will be many other choices we make in the future that other moms don't agree with. I just hope that one day more moms learn to try and relate a little instead of bashing. Thanks for posting this! :)

jessica said...

I just realized my comment above sounded judgey too but that's not how I meant it! lol I meat that there's someone in the bunch that feels their parenting is the ONLY parenting. Because honestly, your parenting is the right parenting for you. Whoops! ;)

Ashley Stargel said...

Love this!! I read the negative comments on Instagram and felt a huge pain in my chest for that Mama. It urks be to no end when people offer up negative comments when they don't know anything about the situation. I love that you all are willing to be honest and open with your blogs and instagram profiles. I have always lived my life that way and wished more people did. I am not a mother, yet!, but I hope one day to be as good as you guys! Your babies are soo lucky to have such caring, loving, and thoughtful parents. Keep up the amazing work!!

Amber Massey said...

Thanks for this encouragement and making it a point to keep the 'momma code' in check. I look up to you and your parenting skills.. even if you have yet to give your kids rice cereal and leave the bumpers out of their cribs. ;) Love you, sister!

Leslie said...

Amen!!!

Trish said...

Given some of the very personal posts I've written on the blog about being a working mom and post partum depression (as well as many many of the details of raising Elle) I've been lucky with the supportive comments and experiences others have shared with me that may differ but never with criticism. BUT I have seen what you are talking about and it is a frequent lament I share with others on twitter. I believe that one of the keys to this support system is for mothers to be able to feel free sharing the struggles and triumphs knowing that they will be received by unjudging ears. And if one does vehemently disagree? Fine. But keep it to self. This is much easier said than done but as your blog says...we are works in progress.

Kait said...

So true-- well said. However, I think it is time to take this concept and extend it to women in general. Women, regardless of circumstance, need to conceptualize one another as an "us"-- Rather than being each other's competition, we should be one another's support network. Just imagine the things women could accomplish if we eliminated the judgment and started providing each other with encouragement!

emma @ ourfreshfamily.com said...

Parenting is challenging enough and everyone is doing the best they can. I have had my choices questioned and it blows my mind that other feel they know how to parent my kid.
CBJ is 7 months old and we still don't do solids- shock. Horror. Whatever. ;)
I show up as a warrior for my child (cheesy, I know but that's how I feel!) and doing what's best for YOUR family is what is important.
Good read!

Brianne Bracco said...

AGREE! I don't have children yet, but people's opinions should be kept to themselves... especially when they have kids themselves. I think everyone raises their children differently, but they are THEIR children and as long as they are safe and loved...who is anyone to judge?? My husband and I will probably do somethings as parents that some people may not agree with... but we know we are doing it in the best interest of our children. Cry it out?? Heck yes! How exhausting is it for a momma of 1 or even 2 babies that can't even put them down for a minute? That does nothing for both parties... and it will only build better habits. But again, its just my opinion and I won't DARE ever say that to parents who hold their child every time they cry or has had their child sleep in their bed for 4 years straight because they are in no way bad parents either by any means.

katandkarl said...

Also, the thing I think that gets left out of all the mommy war nonsense - ALL BABIES/KIDS ARE SO DIFFERENT, even if born to the same parents.

My two are like night and day and so OF COURSE I made completely different decisions with each of them. (ex: Nate - solids at like 4 months; NK - solids at like 10 months. Nate - crib kid as an infant, bed sharer as a toddler; NK - straight up in our bed until 8 months... now loves to sleep alone.)

I don't see how it is reasonable to expect people to even ATTEMPT to parent the same as themselves! :)

That is all.

For now. :)

katandkarl said...

(I will also say there will always be a part of me that wonders if the hard-core anti-cry it outers got magical sleeper babies?)

Rachel said...

You are such a wonderful mommy! I'm always... I don't know, inspired/floored, et al whenever I see you and the babies... You're always radiant, and they're so happy. They got lucky in the mom lottery for dang sure! Also, please write a book. :)

Anonymous said...

The Mommy competition is a HOT topic right now. I hate to sound old fashioned here, but I think most of it stems from social media. If you didn't have a place to brag about the best 5% or lament about the worst 5%, maybe people would be more kind instead of being in constant competition to be the world's best mom. Call me crazy, but I really believe social media sparks a flame of jealousy (at some point, over something) in all of us. I also think it has given people the false bravado to "tell it how it is." I am on the journey to bring my first child into this world and I TRULY dread this type of stuff the most.

Sally said...

I wrote something similar recently, so I can totally relate! Keep on keeping on. Those babes will be so happy to have been raised by you!

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