In my last post I mentioned how every mother settles into their own method based on their unique lives & children. I said that most parenting books probably only 100% worked for the mothers that wrote them.

With that in mind, let me say how much I hate hate hate HATE reading stuff from people who accuse mothers of being unloving if they do things a certain way. I hate it! Very few things that I read can get me fired up, but know-it-all folks who act like it is their way or the highway can definitely set me off. Come on people, let's be real here. Different things work for different people and just because they don't agree with YOUR way of doing things does not make them cruel, cold, and heartless!

The "cry it out" way of handling a baby and sleeping has been one of the big subjects where I've seen this annoying trend. Some people who oppose this idea practically paint a picture of parents who are sitting around laughing and eating bon-bons while their child lies alone - cold, crying, in desperate need, eventually giving up on the world and falling asleep in pure exhaustion. Give me a break!! Seriously. Can't we all just acknowledge that 99.9% of parents out there LOVE their children and make choices based on that great love for their child? Did I let Lydia cry it out? Yep. Did I make absolutely certain that she was warm, changed, fed, and otherwise comfortable before I did so? Of course! I also was very careful to assess the situation. If she was happy as a clam and then started screaming the instant I put her in her crib, I knew that she was only reacting that way because she did not want to sleep. Despite being tired, she wanted to fight it and stay up and play. She was reflecting her WANTS, not her NEEDS. She needed sleep.

I also never ever just left her there crying for hours upon hours (though sometimes 5 minutes felt like 5 hours to me!). I checked on her frequently, went in to pat her on the back and help her to calm down, and always made sure I was assessing the situation to know if she truly needed something. And no, she did not lay there screaming until she, exhausted, gave up on the world and resigned that life was cruel. She eventually would quiet down, still awake, and then peacefully drift off to sleep.

Anyway, this post is not supposed to be about my feelings on crying it out. It's supposed to be about my feelings on "to each his own" and the fact that too many people don't embrace that mantra when it comes to parenting. I chose not to co-sleep because I felt it could be dangerous and out of love didn't want to endanger my child. Others choose, out of love, TO co-sleep because they feel it is the nurturing thing to do. Am I appalled by their choice? Do I go telling them how awful they are or how I feel they could endanger their babies? Nope. Because I know they are only making that choice because they feel it is the most loving choice for their family. And I respect that. In the same way, I expect respect from other moms who may not choose to do things my way. I love my baby girl more words can express, please stop painting me as cruel for making the choices I feel are best for MY family.

I remember shortly after Lydia was born looking at an article about co-sleeping vs crying it out. The author set it up as if he was going to explore the pros and cons of each. Yay! Something that acknowledges that both sides have risks and benefits... at least so I thought. I got down to the lists of pros and cons and they read like this: "The benefits of co-sleeping; The so-called risks of co-sleeping... The so-called benefits of cry it out; The risks of cry it out"

SO-CALLED? I immediately wrote the article off as biased and closed it right then and there. I get so tired of know-it-alls. Can't we all just acknowledge that no one knows everything and that all things come with pros and cons? And for the love of God let's realize that, besides the random few psychos out there, every mother wants the absolute best for her children and makes her choices based on love, not cruelty.

I could go on and on about other examples of this. Spanking vs not spanking is another of those hot topics. But the discussion is pretty much the same as above. Bottom line: If I choose to spank, it will be a choice I am making because I love my children & want the best for them. If I choose not to spank, it will also be because I love my children & want the best for them. And I personally choose to acknowledge that other moms make their choices for the same reasons... and I will respect their choices, even if they are different from my own. All I ask is for the same respect in return.
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2 Responses

  1. Nicely put. I know that many people don't believe in how I choose to parent, but I know that it's the best for my family and my situation. Sometimes I get so sick of the "experts" too.

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