I am 23 years old. I’m a part of the first generation to have social media follow you everywhere. I won’t say social media is a bad thing in moderation. It’s actually awesome in plenty of ways.
But it sure would be nice to be able to make one single parenting decision without someone telling you you’re wrong and belittling you for it.
I feel SO jealous of past generations sometimes. They didn’t scroll through Facebook and read about how the choices that they made as parents were wrong, abusive, perverted, lazy, unhealthy, etc. They just did what they thought was best and were able to move on with their lives. There were no social media arguments and influences.
Breastfeeding is perverted past 6 months and you’re not allowed to do it in public or show one inch of skin while nursing because it is a sexual act. Formula is for parents who are too lazy to try and breastfeed and garbage for their health.
If you circumcise your son, you have mutilated their body, violated their rights, and permanently damaged them. If you leave him intact, it looks weird and he’ll be bullied.
Spanking is abusive and cruel, but alternate discipline raises up sissies and kids who grow up to abuse drugs and get into trouble.
Stay at home parents are lazy, dependent, and no contribution to society. Working parents are letting daycare raise their children for them while they miss out on their lives.
Hospital births are for moms who don’t know how to research and put too much trust in doctors. Home births are dangerous and for irresponsible parents who think they know better than doctors.
Vaccinating parents are poisoning their children with toxic chemicals and aborted babies. Anti-vaccinating parents are all hippies with disease-infested children.
That’s not some random garbage I’ve spewed off the top of my head. Those are actual statements and stereotypes associated with all of these choices.
And those are just the MAIN topics. There are so many other things to argue about. There’s co-sleeping, sleep training, crying it out, homemade baby food, processed foods, fast food, organic food, public schools, homeschooling, private schools, cloth diapering vs disposable diapers, single parent homes, blended families, mixed race families, family size, babywearing, using a stroller, forward facing, rear facing, giving medications, taking medications, essential oils, homeopathy and herbalism, kissing your baby on the lips, the clothes moms wear, dads staying home while mom makes the money, using swear words around your children, in-home day care vs family only babysitters vs public day care, screen time, epidurals, natural birth, and how you choose to teach religion and gender identity to your kids. Even kids falling into gorilla enclosures! There are arguments to be had with every single one of these things.
When did we start deciding to care so much about the choices other parents make? If you eat all organic, post all the pictures you want. If you like using oils or herbal remedies, by all means share them. If you are babywearing, show off your newest carrier or wrap. Be proud. But don’t assume that the parent next to you is somehow wrong by not doing it your way.
There is literally no right or wrong way to parent. All of those things I just listed up there? Those are not right or wrong options. Those are parenting choices.
You are 1000% allowed to feel confident and proud of your choices. You are allowed to share about things you’re passionate about. But WHY be judgmental when someone doesn’t do it the way YOU see fit? Educate people on your views. There is nothing wrong with that. But you telling a parent that they are a child abuser who just mutilated their son’s body parts is literally the slowest way to ever get anyone to see the benefits of keeping your babies intact. Plus, it’s just plain rude. And yes, I have seriously been told that exact thing.
Everyone parents differently. It’s past time that some people realize that. We are all doing the best we can. There’s loads and loads of information out there that can already get overwhelming when trying to make big decisions about your children. There’s no need to add to it by shaming people for their choices.
Different strokes for different folks. We need to learn to coexist and not get so caught up in what every other parent is doing. Parenting is hard enough without worrying about what someone will think of you for how you choose to raise your kids.
Let’s start encouraging other parents around us and lifting each other up instead of picking each other apart.
“There is no one perfect way to be a good mother. Each situation is unique. Each mother has different challenges, different skills and abilities, and certainly different children. What matters is that a mother loves her children deeply.” -Elder M. Russel Ballard