However, this post is not about that.
I have a degree in Family Science. I loved my classes. When I finally decided on that degree, I knew it was the right decision from the first class I took.
Through the course of my degree, I was introduced to something that has become my passion: Research. One of the hardest parts of graduating, is losing access to our library’s vast database of research articles. I sorely miss perusing EBSCO for articles on topics pertaining to marriage, parenting, and child development.
That being said, my degree did not prepare me for what I’ve encountered since becoming a parent. The battlefield over things like attachment parenting, baby wearing, breast milk vs. bottle feeding, and, of course, stay-at-home vs. working moms.
Holy cow. In all my years of research, I’d never even heard of half this stuff! (Literally, I had to Wikipedia baby wearing and attachment parenting to figure out what the heck they were in the first place.)
Rather than give you my opinion on each of these things, I would like to ask a question–is there any reason for the competition that exists between parents?
I have a few friends who use attachment parenting. I might disagree with the approach (and shake my fists at Dr. Sears), but I think that it’s awesome that these parents have found a parenting style that suits them. Parenting is hard and they have successfully found their niche. Good for them.
The thing that irks me is this snotty attitude that comes with choosing sides. You have moms who say, “I breastfed all my babies until they were 10,” and look at you with rage when you mention that your babe stopped nursing at 10 months. Like the formula my kids consumed was poisonous. Right.
Or moms who think you are crazy if you co-sleep, sending you glares that ask, “You dare risk your child’s life?” Of course I do.
Not to mention the angst that all mothers feel whether they are working or staying-at-home.
After reading post after post in which an author writes scathing things directed at one parenting thing or another, I’ve begun to see a pattern. People desire to take sides over an approach because it makes them feel like they belong somewhere.
But, I have a suggestion: Why don’t we build a community of support rather than of divisiveness?
We are all different, this means that we are also different parents. What works for me may not work for you. And that is okay. The important thing is that my, and your, children are well nourished–emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually. How we make this work is dependent on our individual personalities.
Let’s dedicate today and tomorrow for building each other up. It’s a tough job and we could all use a little validation.