As I've mentioned before, there are 4 women in my life who are also having babies within 6 weeks of my due date (all before mine). Well, a few more have been added to that list (due shortly after me) which makes me even more uneasy. So, as you can imagine there is a lot of typical talk of babies and parenting choices. One of the women who will go by the name of Bambi here was in my salon (she is a client and somewhat previous friend) talking about her scheduled c-section. We both agreed that since we can schedule our deliveries we'd like to do it on a Monday morning, for her it was the particular day that sounded good to her. For me, it is because most people will be working and it would give me time to come down off the morphine, get the catherter out and have some privacy while learning to breastfeed, before a borage of people come to see us. (That's probably NOT gonna happen for me because nothing is ever that easy)But hey, it's nice to dream once in a while that something might go my way. Anyway, she mentioned seeing a friend right after a c -section trying to breastfeed and she felt bad for her because she was frustrated. So, I asked -what I had no idea would be -a loaded question, "Did you breastfeed at all with (we'll call her) Daisy?" You would have thought I asked her if she committed a murder! Immediately she snapped back that she wanted no part of that, oh no, no way, she's heard too many horror stories and she will not be doing it with this child either. Plus she thinks it's just wrong that her husband wouldn't be able to feed their children. She went on and on then about a mutual acquaintance who's baby is still in bed with them at 17 months because she breastfed and now baby won't sleep in her own bed, she's too dependant on mommy blah blah blah ..... Then she asked me if I plan to breastfeed. I tried to lighten the mood a little by saying," Heck yeah, it's free food...we're cheap!"
Let me pause here for a moment. I guess you could say I'm in more of the "crunchy" or "granola" camp, but I in no way judge others who chose not to be in my camp. There are so many ideas and choices parents make in raising kids and the most important is they are loved and nurtured. Bottom line. We can all sit and debate on topics like attachment parenting, baby wearing, cloth diapering, co-sleeping and nutrition. You get my point the list goes on and on and continues throughout early childhood, adolescence and beyond.
What makes me mad is when people remain ignorant about a choice that opposes theirs and criticize those who've made that choice! She is basing her decision to not breastfeed on two people she knows, which is fine with me, it's human nature. If that is the only experience she has with it and it clearly left her with a negative impression I can understand. So, when I said, "I hope all goes well and I am able to breastfeed, it's just something I really want to do." She said, snottily " Yeah, if I didn't have a bunch of kids running around then maybe I would, ya know if I was home alone. And, if I didn't want husband to be able to feed him."
(OUCH ! THANKS FOR REMINDING ME I DON'T HAVE OTHER CHILDREN)
I say, "I plan to pump too, so that I am not solely feeding her."
She says, "Yeah I just really don't want any part of it....blah blah blah," back to the same tirade as before only getting snottier!
Here's where I couldn't get her outta there fast enough... She starts to go on a tirade about co-sleepers (attach to your bed, like a pack-n-play) and how she's heard that even if your baby is put in those you'll never get them to sleep in the crib. She knows someone who's kid won't sleep in a room by himself and he's 18 months old, can't soothe himself ect. ect.... She then started bragging on her skills of not spoiling her kids from day one, they sleep in cribs from the day they come home from the hospital, they aren't super dependant on mommy and daddy, blah blah blah. I thought ah, the hell with it, she can belittle me all she wants, I said, "We have a co-sleeper." She responded with a SUPER snotty, "Well good luck with THAT! You'll never be able to put her in a crib, she will be sleeping with you for god knows how long. We just wouldn't have that!" And again, she repeated herself with more of the same vomit as earlier.
I just responded with, "Well, a lot of people ARE okay with that and I don't know if we will or won't be. "
I wanted to say "LISTEN HERE BEEOCH, I'LL BE HAPPY TO HAVE A BABY TO CARE FOR AND IF IT MEANS SHE SLEEPS IN THE SAME ROOM AND ISN'T ABLE TO SELF-SOOTHE THAN SO BE IT! YOUR WAY ISN'T THE ONLY WAY TO PARENT. I NEVER SAID ONE NEGATIVE THING ABOUT YOUR CHOICE TO BOTTLE FEED SO SHUT YOUR MOUTH. YOU DON'T HAVE TO LIKE WHAT I HAVE IN MIND FOR RAISING MY CHILD, SHE'S MINE, BUTT OUT!
And all the while her 5 year old was acting like a typical undisciplined child does. I have to tell her not to pull my mirror off the wall, not to take my shears off the counter, not to flip the lights off and on, not to stand on a cart with wheels while leaning up against a window, because mommy doesn't say a word, just watches her do it all. That's not to mention all she puts me through during the haircut. Maybe Bambi is snotty because I say something to her kid everytime she brings for a service. Sorry but I'd feel responsible for Daisy cutting a finger off in my salon!
My point in writing this is 1) I vented all this and more to my dear husband who didn't say a word, he does'nt get why I got so upset 2) to encourage others to look into why parents do what they do. I find it very refreshing that we have so many options for how we raise kids. If one way doesn't work, we can seek out other parents who have different ideas. We can be support to each other. And even when I don't agree I can be objective about it and not be so vocal.
Here's a few questions to you readers... What are some of the parenting choices you plan to make or have made and what kind of opposition have you expirienced? How do you handle it when someone disagrees with you?