That’s what my blog posts are–my opinion. And that’s what all the other posts and comments are–your opinion. And how we grow and learn is generally not from the things we agree with, but those we disagree with. We think about them, mull them over and incorporate them into our worldview or reject them.
Writing these blog posts has been an education for me about a new “generation gap.” I am still taken aback by the pugnacity and vitriolic content and tone of what I read in some of the posts, but particularly in the Comments. We can agree to disagree and hear each other out without putting other people down for their heartfelt, authentic feelings and beliefs. To her credit, our most in-your-face blogger (hey, Mayim!) who takes very strong stands in what, in my opinion, is quite an aggressive way, doesn’t seem to suggest anything other than–this is my way, it doesn’t have to be yours.
Perhaps I am not so successful in making that point myself.
You can really get a new understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian problem. If moms can’t speak civilly to each other and recognize that everyone is doing what they believe to be in the best interest of their children and families and yet can still validate the Other, what hope is there for the rest of the world?
So let’s start with the premise that most moms are good moms. Certainly most of us try very hard. And we will all make some not-very-good parenting decisions along the way. It comes with the territory.
To those of you who feel “judged,” I humbly suggest that you are not as confident as you might be (and probably should be) in your own positions. It seems worthwhile to appreciate, rather than denigrate, the other perspectives out there for consideration. So when I object to cell phone use when a mom is in a toddler class, or point out that nursing in public can make people feel uncomfortable, or a letting a baby cry herself to sleep may not be in her best interest, you get to consider how your actions may be affecting others and, perhaps, to take that into consideration next time you engage in those behaviors. Or not.
And I get to hear, and learn from, what a new generation of moms is thinking about and doing as they raise their children, facing the same dilemmas that I, and generations of moms before me, did. Sometimes I feel like applauding, sometimes I am given pause, and sometimes I am horrified. So be it.
Moms, trust your gut! If co-sleeping works for you, go for it. If crying-it-out has the desired result and is in the best interests of your family, then that’s the answer for you. I shared what worked for me, why I made that choice and some research that appeared 25-35 years later which appeared to validate my choice. I did not think I was wagging a finger at all of you saying—you’re kid’s gonna be a cabbage-head if she cries it out! Heck, some of my own grandchildren cried it out and they are perfect!
A lot about parenting is only learned in hindsight. Each child is basically a guinea pig for a job with only on the job training. But as I raised my children, I always did believe in trusting my “mother’s intuition” as well as discussing issues with my friends who had older children to get their opinions and suggestions. (Hi, out there Rochel and Zelda!) This virtual community is your generation’s equivalent of the park bench, a co-op playgroup or a “Mommy and Me” class. I again suggest that you listen, consider and then do what you think is right for you and your family.
But please, cool it. Take it down a notch. A mom who can voice her opinion respectfully, and listen respectfully to others, is a great role model for her children.
And, maybe… buck up! Have the confidence to hear what others have to say but listen to your inner voice and be able to say, “That’s a different perspective but, hey, I really don’t agree with it! I’ll do it my way!”
But that’s just my opinion.
One more thing–I don’t write the headlines for my posts and I must admit that sometimes when I see them, I think they sensationalize, rather than reflect, the content of the piece. It’s Kveller–not the Daily News!
To the Kveller editors, I hope you don’t feel dissed by that remark.
To Carla, I hope you don’t feel judged by this piece. And, Amy, I hope you don’t feel that I washed your mouth out with soap. Truly.
Again, it’s just my opinion. And I know that all you moms out there are just trying to do your best. Just like we did as your mothers.