Saturday, June 18, 2011
Choices and their potential ridicule
As a holistic parent, there comes a time when your choices will be given less than positive attention. Sometimes it is your choice of poo catching devices that get the side eye. Other times it is the lack of happy meals that you bring through your drivers side window that will demand explanation. No matter the choice in question, the challenge is always tough. I never enjoy the moment when I have to divulge my parenting choices to a person who I know will disagree. The moment that they decide if they will be offended by your decision, taking it as a slight against their choices. It truly makes my skin crawl. I avoid those moments at all cost and have faked-it like a champ as a freeze pop is handed over to my two year old. But as I grow as a parent and individual I have gained the strength in my decisions that boils down to the simplest idea: I demand the same respect for my choices as I give yours. I try my darnedest to treat all members of the child-raising community with the same respect, keeping in mind that to each their own. I slip, daily. I cringe when i see a child eating a lollipop at 9 am. Mostly for the mom who has to spend her day in wonderment as to why Johnny is bouncing off the walls and throwing tantrums that could shift the rotation of the earth. But I would never engage that parent in a face off of values. It diminishes the parent-potential in yourself. I find that when I look at Johnny's mom and wonder what possessed her to hand over said pop at the wee hours of the day, I force myself to think of any choices that I made recently that went against my own parenting ethos. I may have bent the rules on tv that morning to get in a much needed chat with a sister or friend in need a few non-screaming moments. I may have overlooked the mess of toys to get out the door to a playdate to get some much needed mom time. No matter the reason, it was a sacrifice I made to keep life running smoothly for my family. I make decisions that work for us but look a hot mess to an outsider. Who knows, johnny may have finally peed on the potty that morning and not in the dog's kibble. I would gladly hand over a pop for that feat. It would be organic and I would feel a bit better about myself for thirty seconds until I felt the earth shift a bit as the tantrums began. I hope that before you start judging you remember that there are eyes pointed in your direction. We all need a break sometimes, and commiserating with a worn down member of our parent community will always go farther than judgement. I personally accept the most help when I feel my ideas are respected and will assume others do as well until I am proven otherwise. It keeps me in hope that someday I won't have to explain why I don't go to Walmart and why my three year old prefers our necks to a teddy bear as a bed mate.