This morning I was having a conversation with my mom about some of the things I am admittedly judgemental about towards the parenting practices by other parents I know. I'm not even talking about the big things I'm pretty passionate about, like breastfeeding or not letting your little one cry it out, but more mundane, everyday sorts of things. I would be happy to name them, but being that they really are nit-picky and not a big deal and that I don't want to offend anyone (especially anyone in real life that I know who reads this!) I don't really need to go there.
Now, in my defense, I always try to acknowledge that I KNOW I'm being judgemental. I have never insinuated that someone else is doing a terrible parenting job while I've got the whole thing figured out, but you know, I'm human, and every once in a while I go off on something that bothers me.
It was really funny because I started to realize that there are definitely many things I do as a parent that other people would absolutely be against and have strong judgements against. Like extended breastfeeding and co-sleeping. I was debating with my mom over what people would generally be more strongly against-- the BFing or the co-sleeping. She voted for the BFing, I for the co-sleeping. My arguement is that it is easier to "prove" the benefits of long term Bfing over the benefits of co-sleeping. Who knows. In alot of people's minds, I'm probably going to hell for doing both. I also find it interesting that many people wouldn't bat an eyelash at seeing a toddler walking around with a bottle, or a pacifier, but a breastfeeding toddler?!?! Holy geezus, that's about as terrible as you can get! If you can imagine the conversation a mama of a pacifier-loving toddler would have, explaining that it's just too hard, their child is too attached to the "binkie". Everyone nods, smiles, ah yes, they understand. Now, a mama who nurses a toddler? "Can't you get that kid off the boob?!?!" Yep, here comes the astonishment. Like the mama must be doing something wrong to have a child who is still "on the boob" (I hate that expression, by the way). Never mind that the child and mama are benefiting physically and emotionally. Never mind that the child might actually need to still be nursing.
Obviously there are so many parenting standards in our society as a whole that aren't the most healthy for the child (or sometimes, the parent). You can back up your choices with facts, concrete evidence, anecdotal evidence, or just because you're parenting how you feel is right, but if you're doing the right thing for your child, and it's not the popular choice, well my goodness, be careful.
So, my judgements come out. I am not sure that they are in response to being judged or not, but it certainly doesn't help me keep my claws in.