We read, we research, we decide what is best for our kids, our families, our lives, our unique situations, our individual babies.
But no matter what you decide, it seems like there is always someone who thinks your decision is wrong...and that someone is usually another mother who made a different decision for her child.
Why are moms so hard on each other and so prone to attacking each other in order to "defend" their lifestyles? It seems like there are so many moms out there who can't say something like "I'm breastfeeding" without also adding something like "I can't understand why anyone would ever choose to feed their baby formula", which of course starts an all out debate/war because someone out there did choose to feed their baby formula and that comment just left them feeling attacked. It's okay to state your opinion or choice. However, I think that we should learn to do so in a way that doesn't make those who chose a different option feel attacked.
I've seen a lot of posts lately about the recent Milwaukee cosleeping ads. We had billboards like these months ago all over Birmingham. I thought they were sad (anything about a baby dying is sad), but the message of the billboard didn't offend me, even though my baby sleeps with me. I think women who cosleep certainly have the right to discuss why the ads upset them. However, I feel like it's gone too far when they turn to attacking those who put their babies in cribs to sleep. This week, I've seen women write things on blog posts and Facebook threads like "I could never let my infant sleep all alone in a crib- that's just cruel" and "It's just not natural for a mom to give birth and then lay her baby in a bassinet, away from her." If you don't like people attacking cosleeping, please don't turn around and attack those whose babies sleep in cribs.
It makes me sad when women fight over these and other issues. I've been made to feel bad for sending my kids to daycare, for cosleeping, for not cosleeping, and more. I am my own worst critic and give myself a hard enough time over parenting issues. I think most moms are doing the best they can, making the decisions that they deem right for their children and families. Every family is not the same. Every child is not the same. What worked for you might not work for someone else. What was best for your baby might not be best for someone else's. Moms have a hard enough time as it is. We should support each other, and when necessary (such as in issues of car seat safety) look for ways to gently educate each other without being condescending and rude.
Everyone is not going to parent the same way you do. They won't make the same choices for their baby that you do for yours, and guess what? That's okay.
Have you ever felt attacked for a choice you made for your baby/family?