I often hear from AP (attachment parenting) parents that they feel judged by mainstream parents. It’s as if the very fact that they have chosen different things for their family is an affront to those who have made more mainstream choices, regardless what those choices are or why they were made. It’s a common complaint, and yet one that AP isn’t immune to, either. The finger pointing occurs in this group just as often, if not more. It often seems as though the mommy wars see their hardest battles in the AP world, where supposedly, a higher percentage of parents research their parenting decisions. The one-up-man-ship practiced by some of these parents has them calling judgment on other AP parents who don’t fall into the mainstream AP world. It’s all about being mainstream, in one way or another, isn’t it?
So, what is it that causes these accusations and exclamations of judgmentalism? Insecurity, stemming from two sources. The parent feeling judged is insecure in their decisions, and therefore feels that any decisions contrary to theirs are a reflection on their parenting and/or their personhood. They lash out in an attempt to make themselves feel better. After all, it couldn’t be their insecurity at fault, requiring that they take ownership of their feelings and actions; it must be the fault of the other parent, and therefore attacking via name calling results. The second side is that these same parents are threatened by the simple fact that other parents may be secure enough in their own parenting decisions to simply state what they do or not bow to the majority rule.
I make decisions about my life and my family because I believe they are right for me/us. It has nothing to do with anyone else. I don’t choose to nurse my children, practice child-led weaning, have a family bed, live my life with my husband and children consensually, unschool, use ASL with my babies and toddlers, or any other decision because of someone else or the choices they make. I make these choices for myself. It’s not my intent to make anyone feel inferior (which is impossible, anyway, as people are responsible for their own feelings) or some asinine attempt to make myself feel superior. Frankly, you (a collective you, although if you are taking this personally, feel free to insert an individualized you here) and your decisions about how you are raising your family don’t even register when I am thinking about my family. While I am against acts which I deem to be abusive of children (or people in general) I otherwise don’t bother myself with what you do. Those are your decisions. Own them, and I will own mine.
My decisions are not about you; they are about me and/or my family. If you feel threatened because we do things differently, that’s your own issue and has nothing to do with me. We are secure in our decisions. My constant striving to learn more and be a better parent is about me. It’s something I want for myself and my children. This blog itself is not about anyone other than myself. I use this as a method to help myself think about various topics or share something. I’m not out to force my beliefs on anyone else.
You put words to what I have been feeling for the past three years – thank you.
You are so right. I see it like this. I don’t have to agree with how other people choose to parent their children but I do have to be open minded and tolerant b/c everyone is different and we are all just trying to find the right way to do this parenting thing.
Stopped by from SITS.
Thank you! I feel the same way.