I don’t know if any of you have noticed, but even though I have three children, I almost never blog about parenting.
Is it because I wrote one article on getting your baby to sleep through the night, thereby jinxing myself with a 2 year old who still wakes up at least twice a night?
Is it because there are so many other “mommy” bloggers that can write me under the table with their pithy takes on parenthood?
Is it because after the age of 5 I would rather keep my kid’s issues private and let them choose to tell their stories?
Actually all of those reasons are true.
But there is one major reason I don’t write about parenting: I don’t think my choices as a parent are correct for anyone other than myself.
I’ve been a parent for almost 11 years, and let me tell you- it is no joke the most mentally difficult (and occasionally physically demanding) thing I have ever done.
I had no idea just how much of my brain power it would take for me to raise a few kids.
I mean I’ve got my conscious working all the time (get the kids up, get them dressed, feed them, get them to school, homework, dinner, etc) my subconscious is always activated (why is it so quiet? That can’t be good.) and even when I am unconscious I swear I am still thinking about the kids (*what’s that noise? Is the baby awake?).
Ladies, I am exhausted with all the brain power used to keep three rug rats alive and fairly stable. The last thing I want to write about is all of the minutia that goes into making decisions on how I discipline my kids, especially when I am just winging it most of the time.
But there is a larger reason I don’t write about my kids.
You see, I think there is a trend of taking other people’s choices personally. I mean there are entire blogs dedicated to deriding other parent’s decisions.
Do you remember when Alicia Silverstone chewed up some food and then fed her baby with the masticated substance? You would have thought she had ripped her baby’s fingernails off by the way the internet/media reacted.
Now is that something I would choose to do for my baby? No. But is there really anything wrong with her choice? Nope.
Have I “cleaned” my baby’s pacifier by popping it in my mouth and handing it back to her? You betcha!
Why did the internet loose its collective mind because one mother wanted to feed her child like a bird?
Or what about Blossom’s decision to breastfeed until her children were in high school? (I jest! I jest!)
Personally I hated breastfeeding, but do I think she is a nutter because she loved it and enjoyed the closeness it brought her? No way!
Her decisions have no bearing on my life and my decisions are correct for one person- me. (and by default- my children and/or husband). So why does everyone think that her choice to breastfeed is either wonderful or akin to child abuse? And why is it anyone’s business except for her and her husband?
I am not going to write an expose about the history of publicly judging other people.
I could care less where or when it became acceptable to deride others, I would rather discuss how to change the paradigm.
First of all I think each person should realize that other people’s choices, especially if those other people are strangers, have no bearing on our lives and their choices do not define ourselves.
Secondly I think it is important to understand that there is more than one way to raise a child and your way is the best way for only yourself and your family.
Finally I think we need to ask ourselves why judging others has become such a popular pastime? Why does condemning other’s decisions make us feel better about ourselves and what does that say about us?