Wednesday, May 6, 2009
So it seems that there is no other topic more polarizing than mothering. What I mean is that, it seems no other subject can make us as defensive of our own beliefs, or as judgmental of others, as the way by which we choose to raise and rear our children. At least among me and my peers.
And really...its probably a good thing.
We all want to be good mothers. We all want to do all the things we think are absolutely best for our children. And based on our own personalities, experience, knowledge and examples, we all come to slightly--or in some cases, drastically--different conclusions on what that means. And so we feel threatened when an alternative is suggested because it could mean that possibly...if a different way exists...a better way exists. And we feel guilty. Or Critical. Because we all believe that our way of doing things is the best way of doing things...or we wouldn't do it. Right?
I often shy away from talking about some of my mothering practices or philosophies. Because although philosophically I think I am basically on the same page with most mothers I know, in practice, I find myself often in the minority when it comes a lot of the fundamental, day to day goings on. So I try to keep my mouth shut (although if you know me you might seriously disagree) Partly because I don't want to have to defend my parenting choices (especially ones I hold dear and sort of sacred), and partly because I don't want to make those mothers around me feel like they have to defend theirs.
However, I think that sometimes people mistake my hesitancy to discuss, as me being hesitant or haphazard in my decisions or beliefs. On the contrary I have pretty firm and deeply rooted fundamental parenting philosophies and practices to go a long with them. And although I am perhaps later than most women my age to have started having children, I don't feel that makes them any less valid.
So lately it seems like I have been getting a lot of questions about some things I do as a mother (really, as we do as parents). Most often I get asked about co-sleeping. Although I would guess there may be even close friends of mine who don't know that we co-sleep. We do. And I really am happy to answer questions about it.
In fact I set out to write a blog about it...not to defend it or say its what everyone should do, but to explain it, so that it (and we) will more fully be understood. I think that some people who know me are honestly concerned that I am making a horrid mistake. I'd like to set their (very well intended) minds at ease. And I think some people are honestly just curious about it and can't imagine how it would work.
The thing I realize though as set out to try to write about co-sleeping, is that its hard to really address that one isolated part of my parenting practices without delving into my much broader parenting philosophies (if that's what you want to call it...it's what I am calling it...several times already actually).
So I am going to.
Since its almost Mother's Day, and since it's been on my mind, and since its really the "thing" that I am most passionate about,
and because I want you to know that about me.
And I know I can talk about this stuff and we can still be friends...right? (Or feel free to ignore it all and spend your time enjoying the beautiful weather instead!)
Because the last thing I want is for you to feel judged. Or that by me saying what I believe to be true, makes me think what you believe or do is any less valid or correct.
OK so that's settled.
So over the next week...maybe two (I am not a rigidly scheduled person...something I'm sure you'll realize as this gets going) I am going to write lots and lots about mothering.
I make no promises of profundity (or even proper grammar). I am not an expert on any of it (except in my own mind). And I can't guarantee that in a year from now, I won't have changed my mind (although I doubt it).
It should be fun (for me anyway).