Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Walk the Line

Here's another post from my drafts folder that I started a long time ago. I was surprised at how timely it was in my life right now...

Walk the Line- v. (idiomatic) to maintain an intermediate position between contrasting choices, opinions, ect.

There is a line. With almost everything in life, there is a line.

I was talking to my mom the other day and we were discussing how she and I both have a very opinionated close friend. She was saying how sometimes it is so refreshing, because they are so honest and don't hide their views, but sometimes they are hard to take.

I know that I'm very opinionated myself. There aren't many things I would say in real life that I won't write on here, but there some. And there aren't many opinions I have that I wouldn't share (especially if asked), but there probably are some. Lately, though, I think I've mellowed. Especially about parenting issues:

- I think it's sort of unusual when people chose not to have children and do agree with this great article, but in a way I'm glad these people aren't having a child that they don't want, just because of society's expectations.

- I get pissed off when people continue to have children they did not plan for and use the goverement's (read: my) money to pay for them, but I also applaud them for having the courage to carry those children to term.

- I think children are significantly better off in a two parent, heterosexual family; but I'm not going to attack single or gay parents.

- I truly believe breastfeeding is best, but I won't sit in judgment of someone for formula feeding their child.

- I think children flourish with siblings, but everyone has to choose what is best for their own family. I can't expect people not to criticize large families if I do the reverse.

- For a long time, I thought that children were best off at home with a loving parent or caregiver. And, in large part, I still believe this. But if the person staying home is going to resent their child for it, it is not worth that cost. And if it's a true financial impossibility then it's a financial impossibility.

- I think learning to sleep is a life skill that ALL children need to learn and it is really easier taught in infancy, but if you don't agree with me I'm not going to call you a bad mother.

- I think how you chose to give birth is a very personal decision. There is a part of me that would really be interested in an unmedicated birth next time around, because a part of me thinks it would be best (To be clear, I think most things are best without drugs- we overuse SO many drugs in this country from antibiotics to antidepressants to medications that control ADD. I know because I'm married to a "dealer", ha!). That said, regardless of how I choose to give birth, I am not going to make sweeping generalizations about other people's choices.

- I feel pretty strongly about vaccinating my child. I think it does more good than harm and it obviously benefits the society. I'm not going to have a throw down and call you on the carpet, though, if that is not what you feel is right for your son or daughter.

I had a conversation a long time ago with a dear friend and something she said really stuck with me "what it comes down to is this: I need you to say to me, 'as your friend, I support you, and I know you are doing your best to make the right decision for you're family'. Period."

That really stuck with me. That it what I want from my friends. And that is what I want to offer my friends.

And that's what we all need, as mothers, and as people. We need to stop judging and start loving. I'm working on it.....

Okay, I'll go build the fire. You start the first verse of Kumbaya.


Ashley said...

I was about to write a similar post--it's been brewing in my head. But sometimes I have no idea how to word my thoughts when it comes to parenting. Very good things to think about :)

Tiffany said...

Beautifully said!

Allison said...

I totally agree that I should be accepting of other people's decisions, and not force my opinion on everyone I come in contact with. This is especially true in a one-on-one situation.

I also agree that if someone asks me directly my opinion or stance on a subject, I should be truthful to them even if it goes against what they do/think/believe. There have been so many times that, say, a friend is dating someone I really don't like and I really don't think they should be dating, but that's not really my business unless that friend asks me directly what I think of the situation. In that case, I feel like I owe it to my friend to tell them my truthful opinion, even if it may upset them.

That said, I (obviously?) feel differently about a blog. Maybe it's because I haven't had the same experiences through my blog as you have with yours (I've never gained real-life friends through it, and I don't really feel like many people read it), but I feel like my blog is a place where I can say what I feel (as tactfully as possible, of course) without worrying about whether or not I'm pissing someone off. Inevitably, I will (and do) anger some, but that's their right to disagree with me as it's my right to publish my opinion.

I don't know... I just feel like everyone needs some outlet to vent and not feel the need to constantly edit themselves for the sake of others. That's why I really enjoy reading your "personal" blog entries, because you're honest and say what some people would be afraid to. To me, that's what makes an interesting blog. But I don't know...maybe I should just start writing in a diary :).