Friday, October 9, 2009

Mommy Madness...

Elsewhere on the Mommy blogosphere, I have been embroiled in battle. (Yes, it's the same thing I wrote about Wednesday, and I didn't even bother to write yesterday. Deal with it.)

And the cake has been taken. I hope it was something gross like confetti cake. Who came up with that anyway?

A mother has informed me that she has "no respect for anyone who never tried to breastfeeding" and that all women should be required by law to consult with a lactation consultant. If this was done, then there would be no question about "who couldn't and who wouldn't."

And I have decided that this is the root of the problem. The whole problem. Not the breast vs. formula debate, but the entire Mommy War issue. This granting of respect.

Will someone please explain to me why I need/want/appreciate/can't live without/care at all about this woman's "respect?" I don't respect anyone who hands out blanket statements. I don't respect anyone who is so pompous and self-righteous that she can't hear words as they are coming out of her mouth (or keyboard) only the vacuous whirring of her head. I don't respect imbeciles who believe that what we need is to ignore child abuse, drug addiction, PPD, poverty, whatever ills of the world, so we can all stand around and pass judgement on other mothers.

Shall we stand in the town square and confess our parenting sins? I can wear a big red F for formula and a blue P for pacifier and a flaming C for CIO. We can all stand around and judge who gets our "respect" and who doesn't.

Since when did any random individual's esteem become some prized possession worthy of war? Since when did we decide that we all have the right to grant and withhold favor like queens.

So, here is my challenge, blogospere: Quit Caring. Quit caring what these morons think. it seems so clear and obvious now that this is the answer. You know whose opinion you need to worry about? You kids. Perhaps your husband, mother, mother-in-law and pediatrician. Although all of those last ones are option. Do what makes you happy, makes your kids healthy, what works and screw anyone who has a problem with it.

This rant will self-destruct very soon. Please be aware that antagonizing the crazy woman is a bad idea.


Jenn-Jenn, the Mother Hen said...

Oh, sweetie. I'm sorry some twit(s) have made dumbass remarks. I agree with you - do what's best for your kid, and mind your own effing business when it comes to someone else's choices. Unless, of course, there's actual child abuse going on. Then - of course - call the cops. But feeding a kid formula instead shoving your boobie in his/her mouth is not child abuse. It's a choice. At least you are feeding your kid something!

I get so angry at people who feel the need to tell everyone else what they should and should not do, what's best for everyone else's kids, etc. I'm sorry you've been bombarded with such negativity. I say - eff 'em all! Well, not literally, of course. You'd be really really tired if you tried. I mean, there are a LOT of idiots out there.

Joni said...

I've been noting with great dismay the trend in modern society where people no longer feel like they have to follow rules of common courtesy and respect. Instead, we all just rain down judgment on each other, probably in an effort to make us feel better about ourselves. But this is driving me CRAZY, and I wish I had any idea of what to do about it! I've noticed it mostly in the realm of politics, but it is ever-increasingly present even in just the daily life of everyday people. Makes me mad and sad all at the same time.

I have to admit that I had very strong opinions about a lot of things related to parenting before I had a kid. I mean, I did the research and decided what I thought was best in order to do it with my kid. However, I VERY quickly learned that there is NOTHING that is black-and-white in parenting. Things I thought would be good really weren't, and things I thought wouldn't work for me did. But I think that becoming a mother has made me humble just because I prove pretty much every day that I don't always make the best decisions. So how could I possibly think to judge somebody else, especially if I don't know them personally to be able to explain the details of why they do what they do?? A blanket statement like "Mothers who don't breastfeed aren't good mothers" makes me FURIOUS. I won't go on a rant about this because you clearly already agree with me and have been doing your own ranting on the subject. So I guess all this is just to say that I understand your anger and agree with you completely.

As far as why do we care what they think? Uh, that's a harder one for me. I think it's just the gross injustice/indecency/disrespect that makes me want to fight it instead of just turn my head and ignore it.

Steve said...

Great blog. I've recently linked to you (FYI).

If I may take my life in my hands and question part of your rant... :)

I'm right with you, except for the bit where you seemed to make considering the opinion of the husband optional. If we're talking parenting, he's a parent too. Surely disregarding him would be an echo of the very dogma you are opposing? And not too great for a marriage. Nor the kids. Just a thought.

Jen Stoll said...

Amen, Sister. I always think it's interesting to keep asking these hardcore "lactivists" about their motives [as nicely as possible] until we get to the real root of their issues. I wonder if this woman (hoping it wasn't me, several years ago) was listening to the whirring in her head or if she felt neglected, isolated, cut-off in some way, shape, or form from her mom. I'm beginning to believe that at the heart of all of our deal-breakers is pain...

And here's what I know: Every mother makes the best choice for her baby, to the best of her ability, all the time.

Jessi said...

Steve - I didn't mean to offend. I included husband in the optional list because sometimes he is and sometimes he isn't. I truly believe that parenting is a two-person, cooperative job. But I also believe that sometimes one of the parents makes the choice not to be included. Either by leaving or just distancing themselves from the decisions.

Also, some decisions are truly more the mother's decision than the father's. Since all of this started with breastfeeding, I think that in a healthy, co-parenting relationship, both partners would discuss feeding options and come to a consensus, but I do believe that as the mother has the "equipment" her opinion bears more weight in this situation. I don't believe women should let their husband "guilt" them into breastfeeding.

All of that aside, it really was a rant. I don't advocate making big parenting decisions without consulting the child's father, unless you are in one of those situations where the child's father isn't part of the picture. Which, really, just drives home that parenting is complicated enough without allowing the opinions of random people on the internet to influence you.