I co-sleep. Still.
I baby wear. Still.
I nurse. Still.
I am a stay-at-home mom. Still!
And I am tired of telling all of you who express their concern that I'm creating an over dependent, shy, unsociable child that, at almost two-years-old, she is doing just fine developmentally. Thank you very much.
You might think she needs sleep training. Yet, you don't hear me complaining about her waking every three hours to cuddle and nurse.
You might think she needs to go to a daycare. Yet, you don't see me cringing about spending every waking moment having enormous fun with her, be it reading, cycling, grocery shopping, melting pony beads or making gratitude cards.
You might think she needs to be weaned. Yet, you don't see me feeling any angst at nursing her on demand, day and night, so we can cherish these special moments that won't last forever.
You might think I need to go back to work. Yet, you don't see me missing my desk job or pining for time with adults.
You use blanket statements and spit out generalities without once considering my unique situation or personality. You label my child within minutes of having met her without really knowing what a fun, effervescent individual she is shaping up to be.
You comment, question and exclaim with wild abandon because you are sold on the idea of "it takes a village." You aren't shy about expressing what you think about my parenting style, my woeful choices or my bleak future and I have quietly, graciously let you have your say.
But I'm tired of smiling and letting you think you're doing me some good.
Because, frankly, you aren't.
When you question my choices, you insult my intelligence. When you offer unasked-for-advice that very obviously goes against my parenting style, you are being presumptuous. When you label my child "shy" or "unsocial" or "introvert" without spending any time with her, you offend me.
I realize now that you're not coming from a place of goodness. You don't like that I'm not complaining, that I'm not struggling, that I'm not suffering.
I haven't said anything in return because I don't believe I'm better than you. Because I have sincerely believed that you had my best interest at heart. Because I thought you were, in your own offending, insulting, presumptuous way, trying to help a first-time-mom.
But I realize now that you're not coming from a place of goodness. You don't like that I'm not complaining, that I'm not struggling, that I'm not suffering.
You can't stand the fact that I am actually enjoying my role as a full-time mom.
You can't comprehend how I can give up a six-figure salary and a promising career for sun catchers and Legos.
You feel insecure, inferior, and judged. And in turn you try to place your burden on me.
So, let me tell you once and for all: this isn't about you. The way I parent my child is a very private thing that doesn't reflect on your choices. The way I raise her has nothing to do with how you raise your offspring. The way I role model for her has no effect on your having broken the glass ceiling.
You are a great parent. And so am I. No one is better at this parenting thing. We are all trying to do our best, in our own different ways.
Can we just let it rest at that, please?
This post originally appeared on The Cultural Misfit.
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