Let’s get one thing straight here. I do not profess to be the world’s greatest parent. I do things that others disagree with, but to be honest, having the World’s Most Feral Twins (TM), I do what keeps me sane.
I survive on wine and coffee, I feed my kids things like chicken nuggets and pizza, I try to feed them stuff like broccoli (aka the Devil’s Vegetable), my kids have toys that expand their minds (as well as ones that are just, well, f*cking sparkly noise machines) … but in all honesty, every parent knows it’s about survival. We do what we do in order to help our kids grow and develop.
I get that there are many, many ways of parenting. Everyone has their own style, follows their own methods and I completely respect that. After all, we’re all individuals, with different upbringings, different cultures, and different motivations. We all have one thing in common though – we want to do what’s best for our kids.
So, what’s the purpose of this post, I hear you ask. Good question.
Let’s all start giving each other a break. Really. Lay off the bullshit guilting that goes on. Stop telling people that their method is wrong. Stop telling people that their choices are ok, but there’s better ways out there. Stop forcing your ideals onto people!
I couldn’t give a f*ck if you’re a anti-vax/pro-vax, formula feeding/breastfeeding, puree giving/baby led weaning, essential oil rubbing/antibiotic giving, placenta eating/medical waste disposing, baby wearing/cry it out person. What you do in your spare time is your business. As long as your kids are happy and healthy – more power to you for the choices you make.
All I ask is that you don’t come into my life, telling me that I’m doing things wrong. Don’t tell me that because I’m choosing to vaccinate, I’m pumping my kids full of autism juice and that I should read the inserts. Do you think that perhaps I’ve already weighed up the pros and cons of vaccination, and based the decision on my own information, research and personal experience!
My child was born severely low birth weight. Please don’t tell me what to feed her to ‘fatten them up’. I’m paying a dietician and paediatricians to help me help her gain weight in a natural way that won’t impact her system. Also please don’t question my choices in how I feed them. Again, the decisions we made are informed and researched – and we’re comfortable with them.
I get that you’re concerned over what foods we eat, and that big companies are potentially doing things to our food in order to profit. Please don’t preach to me that we’re going to die from chemicals/GMO/Monsanto/Pig Fat. Currently, I don’t care – if those chicken nuggets are made from chemically filled genetically modified chickens deep fried in pig fat are keeping my kids from screaming at me and preventing the Devil’s Vegetable (Broccoli) being thrown at my walls, I’ll take the consequences. Have you ever tried to scrap dried broccoli off the roof? Be my guest …
I totally understand you’re into alternative and natural therapies. But I’m not going to find a random breastfeeding stranger to squirt breastmilk onto my kid’s eczema. Nor will I rub any untested or unproven home remedies onto it. I’ve seen my doctor, and yes, I completely support using less antibiotics and drugs – but the doctor can suggest treatments other than these IF YOU ASK. And, if these fail, then I will move onto a medication based solution. Perhaps they are taking money from pharmaceutical companies, but most probably they aren’t. I’m yet to see definitive proof of either camp – so until this one busts wide open (like a pus filled wound) – I choose to play on the side of tested, proven medicine provided by my GP. After all, they’ve kept me alive for 38 years now – I think they’re reliable.
I support your choice to use organic, eco friendly educational toys sourced from sustainable factories and using non-child labour. Hey, I get that one completely. It’d break my heart to know that my kids are playing with something that a child not much older than them made on an income of 30 cents a day. But you can’t limit your child’s horizons. There’s going to be a point where they’re going to obsess over that Peppa Pig talking telephone and want it. You’re not going to damage your child by buying it. You may even grow fond of it – because it gives your child happiness and it gives you 5 minutes on the toilet in peace. Just don’t judge me because my kid now spends hours on the phone talking to Peppa. I’ve got a wine to finish over here.
Don’t start me on Facebook. I respect that you’re trying to spread your message – but please, do me a favour. Check your links. Don’t share things from people like David Wolfe. All he’s doing is making money off your clicks. Examine the things you share for affiliate links. The people who are doing the loudest bleating (for example, The Food Babe, Moms Across America, Natural News) are making money from your shares! (And I won’t provide links for the above. Seriously, they get enough publicity through misinformation.) You are being used by the people who are ‘rebelling’ against the system. Make sure that when you share a link – you’re doing it because you’re informed and reading all the information from reputable sites. By all means, I don’t want to stop spreading your message – it’s your passion, and your right. I admire you have the convictions and want to share and educate people. Just please, stop sharing the clickbait.
The bullshit has to stop somewhere. It’s no matter where you turn – mummy groups, friends, even sometimes the professionals – the sentiment seems to be the same. ‘I see what you’re doing there, but …. (insert statement about my way being better)’. We all have one thing in common – raising happy, healthy kids. How about we change the “but” to “I support your choices. You’re doing a great job.”
Because that’s what this parenting gig is all about. Doing the best job we can on a bucketload of information, misinformation, choices and decisions – and somehow turning out the next generation who probably will harbour resentment against us because the choices we made for them were all wrong in the first place. Or that’s at least according to them when they’re raising their kids. Or talking to their therapists.
In the mean time, to all the parents out there. Young, old, whatever.
I support your choices. You’re doing a great job. I ask only one thing in return.
Just let me ruin my kids my own way. Thanks.