Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Hey, Do You Have My Cool? I Seem To Have Lost Mine.

So you guys. Here's a fun fact about yours truly: I HATE conflict. I hate it so much that I will be patient with you for an inordinate amount of time even if you're mean to me or call me names or insult me. I avoid confrontation at (almost) all costs. This is the story of today. When I didn't avoid it. Because I got so mad it made me feel like I had a little, angry alien baby fighting to get out of my stomach in order to strangle something.
So once upon a time, I got called out on my parenting by someone on facebook. Not once, not twice, not even three times. In fact, it was frequent enough that I kind of lost count. And got more and more annoyed about it. And finally, I snapped. Because my telling this person that "I feel good about the decisions I've made here" wasn't enough. They would not let it die. They continued to berate and quiz me on my knowledge of 'fill-in-chosen-parenting-style-here'. 
Here's how I decided to respond. If you should ever need one, this can be used as a form letter addressed to whoever it is in your life that feels like they should be raising your kids:

Dear Person Who Thinks They Have All The Answers,

Quite honestly, this is not about [fill-in-chosen-parenting-style-here] to me anymore; it's about the lack of confidence you seem to have in my ability to make informed decisions in regards to my children. I find it insulting that you feel the need to abrasively defend your point of view when I was never attacking your opinion; I was merely stating mine. It was fine for you to tell me what you believed about it at first, but when I countered by saying I'd made my mind up about this and felt in harmony with the Lord, it would have been nice for you to then just allow me to make my decision instead of continuing to challenge my choice.
This subject is not one that I'm as passionate about as you are, which results in my not being as thoroughly researched as you. I don't believe that because I haven't researched as much as you have in this area, that I am making an uninformed or unintelligent decision. There are many parenting methods out there that I choose not to practice even though 'research' has shown that it's the 'right' thing to do. I don't believe in absolutes. I believe that since every child and parent are different, results will vary regardless of whether or not you co-sleep or don't co-sleep or exclusively breast-feed or use formula or cry-it-out or don't. There is no one right way to parent.
The choice to [participate in 'fill-in-the-blank-parenting-style-here] is my choice to make. And I get to also choose HOW I make that choice. It's okay that you feel like I'm not in harmony with the will of the Lord because I haven't researched 'enough' or haven't landed on the same side as you have on this or other issues, but I just don't really want to hear about your disapproval. I am far too hard on myself in regards to parenting as it is and I don't need other people scrutinizing and disapproving of the decisions I make.
I know this comes across as being harsh and I feel badly about that; but I've sort of reached the end of my ability to stay patient. I was patient 2 and a half years ago when you messaged me with a ton of information about why I shouldn't circumcise my son when I didn't even know you and hadn't asked for your opinion about it. (By the way, I'd already reached my decision about that by the time I received your message so my 'limited' research at least allowed The Lord to inspire me with a decision that aligned with yours in that area.) I was patient again a few years later when you turned my 'I need encouragement about breastfeeding because I think my milk is making my baby sick' post into a lecture as to why formula will make my son unintelligent and/or suffer from a long list of possible side-effects. And I was patient again when you refuted my claim that my oldest was exclusively formula fed from 4 months old and hasn't suffered AT ALL by informing me that 'effects aren't always immediately seen' as though I now have something horrible to look forward to because I fed my firstborn formula.
I appreciate your passion. I think you are an amazing parent. I respect and admire the decisions you are making for your family and I have every confidence that you will do your best for your babies, even though I don't agree with everything you choose to do. I hold my tongue when you post articles about parenting which differ greatly from the way that I do things. Why? Because I don't think that the way I parent is automatically absolutely right for everyone! I believe that you will be inspired to do for your children what is best FOR YOUR CHILDREN. And I wish you believed the same, but it doesn't seem like you do.
I hope that you can believe that my babies are in good hands. I hope that you will know how much they are loved. I hope you know how seriously I take parenting and how desperately I want to do the best for my boys. But even if you forget all of that, or just choose not to believe it, I hope you will remember that when I do mess up, the Lord- who loves those babies infinitely more than you or I can comprehend- will make up the difference.


  1. LOVE THIS! You are a wonderful parent! I honestly saw some of the posts that this person posted for you, and I really didn't like how she was approaching things with you. It even made me uncomfortable with myself when I was reading them. Here you are struggling with something very serious, and she is just ragging on you. I have been there. You are a wonderful person, and I'm glad you reached out and went out of your comfort zone with this. You definitely inspire me! Thank you!

  2. I firmly believe in "live, and let live". You live your way, I'll live mine. You have your own ideas, I'll have mine. But the problem with some people is that they are so rabid in their views that it becomes their mission to somehow force people to think their way. You see this most often in politics where no one can just have a sharing of ideas any longer. I know I'm a hundred years older than you, but you will learn over the years that friends who suck so much energy from you and only shower you with negativity, are not friends. Time to edit your friend list...maybe even press the "block" button....sometimes you just have to get free of people.

  3. Ugh, NO. Everyone parents differently, and every child is different. Even two children in the same house might have different needs. You just have to trust that the parent knows best. I'm sorry someone is being so obnoxious... you're a great mommy!

  4. Hugs! You are more patient that I would have been. This person would have been blocked years ago. Everyone is entitled to their opinions but they should not be forced on anyone else. Sure, topics can be discussed but the minute it becomes an insinuation that you are "wrong" is when the conversation needs to end. We Moms are far to hard on ourselves to have a thoughless person push their opinions and negativity on us. Good for you sending this letter. I'm sure you will not be received kindly and that is ok. It would appear that this person cannot handle differing opinions on a major topic like parenting. I can only imagine religion and politics.....yuck!

  5. This also happens when it comes to birth itself. Some people feel that using an epidural is proving you are less than a woman or something. For me, it was a Godsend. Every person and circumstance is different and we should never act like we are any better than any other woman.

  6. Good for you! I am the exact same way with confrontations but when I do snap.... look out! Haha. Good job on this.It was very tastefully done!