Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I Vaccinate, Cuddle, and Drink Diet Coke... and So?

I am raising my children alongside me in the Catholic faith. (But I do not believe your Protestant soul is destined for hell.)

I serve my children 1% milk and I truly believe it is good for them. (But I do not think you're stupid or wrong to choose whole, raw milk.)

I choose to avoid all soda and gum for my children, even on "special occasions." (But I don't take issue if you give your preschooler some root beer.)

I firmly believe I am doing the right thing for my children and my community by vaccinating them. (But I also believe you've done your research and have your reasons if you choose not to.)

The thought of "sleep-training" makes me feel a little ill, to be honest. (But I'm not going to debate with you if you've found it works for your family.)

I think routines and early bedtimes are best for small children. (But I won't judge you if that's not how you do things.)

I like Diet Coke and will continue to enjoy it now and again. (But I do hear you when you tell me why it's not so good for me.)

I am completely proud to be a stay-at-home mom and I do it because I think it is fantastic for my children and husband too. (But it is not my belief that "staying home" should be the measuring stick by which we gauge a good wife or mother.)

I am as likely to make my own from scratch macaroni and cheese as I am to serve up the stuff that comes in a blue box...

Because both get the job done adequately and neither is an indication that I am better, smarter, or "right."

How about you? How do you feel about those issues? Have you ever felt put-down because of how you do things? (Just so you know... I love you just the way you are. )

Image source

Linked to WFMW because, after all, aren't we all trying our best to find what works?


Debby Kelly said...

I feel like I could have written this post! Btw, my 13 year old told us last night that he's lookibg forward to Lent. I can't wait to see you friday recipes.

Jenna said...

preach it. you are doing what you feel is right, and you do it intentionally and by being informed. I am glad to see you are confident in owning your own choices. Took me a while. Ive only been a mom 11 yrs, but have had to defend my choices to too many people in that time. Not worth the discussion if people are going to condescend/end a friendship over YOUR choices which they may or may not agree with. HELL YEAH ive been made to feel badly and judged. Go girl. Own it. :)

Miranda said...

I feel like I often had to defend that I wasn't not breastfeeding. I truly wanted to but it just didn't happen. I always felt so guilty bringing out the bottle and seeing my friend breastfeeding her little one. But, I think I had to defend myself most against me. I often put these pressures on myself but in the end I knew I did what was best for us.

Mellodee said...

One of the things that most bothers me about soooo many people is the prevalence of those whose main philosophy in life appears to be "My way or the highway." To hear them tell it, they have the correct way to do everything and if you don't do it the same way then you are wrong! Period. Full stop. It doesn't matter too much what the topic is either....parenting, dieting, exercise, education, safety, smoking, driving, discipline, nutrition, car repair, drinking, religion, world peace, fashion, music, entertainment, tattoos/piercings, make-up, bottle vs breast, health....plus everything and anything else you can think of. I'm not kidding! Our society is chock full of people who have absolutely no reluctance to tell you what you are doing wrong in every aspect of life!!!

I have always believed the best that any of us can do is what we think is best for ourselves, our children, and our country. Unless someone is lying on the floor bleeding from multiple sites, none of it is anybody else's business!!

I won't judge you and I won't let you judge me!

Most of the time those who judge others, are in no position to do so! They make mistakes, they make dumb decisions, they are not infallible. The opinions are no more right or wrong than mine are. In other words they are just like the rest of us!!

Can you tell, this kind of behavior drives me absolutely friggin' nuts!!???

Laura V. said...

This is one of the reasons I like you so much!! You are open and honest and stand your ground, but do it all with understanding and compassion.

I wish everyone could understand that aspect of it. Simply because my husband and I have different parenting methods, make different dietary choices and lead different lifestyles doesn't mean that we aren't doing it to the absolute best of our abilities and making what we believe are the best choices for our family.

It's so sad that even in the Christian community I've felt judged for our choices. I'm confident that I know why we make the choices we do and that we accept the choices others' make as their decision and right to do what they feel what is proper for their families. It would be nice if everyone lived with that same mentality.

Heather Benza said...

I just don't know if I can be friends with a diet coke drinker.
Ha ha..just kidding, but seriously it is gross, I'm just sayin'.
If only we could all be this confident in our own choices and understanding of everyone else's. I don't think too many dads are sitting around the playground judging each other. I wonder why women have to be so hard on each other.

Lisa@BlessedwithGrace said...

Thanks!!! I felt like I was reading my own thoughts! I don't want to be made to feel bad if I don't home school, or use raw milk, or don't have a "family bed". But, I totally respect those who feel it is best for their family. We do what we think is right for us and our family. Celebrate the differences and love each other through this process called parenting. :-)

Dawn said...

Excellent post! I struggle with knowing where I fit in. I work two days a week, so I am not really a stay-at-home-mom. But in the work place, I am looked down on because I don't work full time. We eat healthy but aren't on the organic band wagon (do you have any idea how expensive it is to eat organic whole foods in ND in the middle of the winter?!?) We make choices we KNOW are best for our family - why that is not ok with some people is beyond me.

Sharon said...

I hear ya! You're following your God-given maternal instinct in raising your kids. I haven't been brave enough to be so open to others about doing things "different" with my baby. But I'm a firm believer in that what works for one may not be best for another! Maybe one day - thanks for the inspiration!

Damsel said...

Excellent post!!! I wish I could wear this on a lapel pin or tattoo it on my forehead or something.

I wrote about early bedtimes today, too. :-)

Rachel said...

Love how you are so blunt! We are similar in that way but opposite on health views. I want everyone to make the best decisions for their family and not to be judgemental. Do what works for you! Awesome way of putting how you feel!

Bitterroot Mama said...

I loved this post. Deciding to do things differently doesn't mean we can't be friends. It means we can celebrate the beautiful diversity of people and thoughts. (But I think you're right about the vaccination thing.)

FishMama said...

Preach it, sistah!

Kate said...

Great post! Too often motherhood seems like one big debate and/or competition. Especially online. It's refreshing to read your perspective!

Anonymous said...

My 4 year old does not attend preschool nor does she know her letters; she cannot write her name or read it for that matter. We have chosen to let those things wait... it does not make my child stupid or dumb. However, if your child attends preschool and likes it, I am happy for you.

Anonymous said...

I love this post by the way! Thank you! I am going to share it!

Amy @ Finer Things said...

Call me crazy, but I love the debate. :) I WANT someone to either 1)prove me wrong so that I change to something healthier/better or 2) challenge my thinking/beliefs so that I KNOW what I stand for instead of doing things "just because." (Totally not saying you do things just because or you don't like the debate.)

Now, about that diet coke that could take the rust off our old nails... LOL. (Shhh, I drank a cherry pepsi on the way to last week's ballgame.)

Anonymous said...


My husband (and a dear friend) will quell 'near arguments' about such things by saying, "This isn't a matter of faith and/or morals".


Charissa @ MiMi's Babies said...

I totally agree with everything you said!!

Recently, at a baby shower, we were asked to give the new Mom our best baby advice. My advice - Do what is best for you and your little man. Whatever works for your family is the best, no matter what other say.

Have a great day!! :)

Lisa C said...

I like this post. I feel like it kind of acknowledges that there are some ideals, but we can't do all of them. And in some cases it's just not possible to be certain what really is ideal, but you can only do what you figure is best for your own family.

I've changed my mind about too many things to think I have the best way anymore. Well, I still think some things are better if you can manage them, but we just can't all manage them. You have to play to your strengths.

Mama Tao said...

I've just found something that takes the "sting" out of the vaccination argument.

Rather than get involved in a pointless, cross exchange I just send this and hope that they understand why I came to a different choice.

At the very least it softens the tone of the conversation ( =