Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Holier than thou? Really?

‎"Women should not feel guilty if they are unable to nurse their baby, but they should feel guilty if they are unwilling to do so, and they should be intellectually honest enough to know the difference." ~ Elizabeth Gene

From "Peaceful Parenting" on Facebook (

I have no idea who Elizabeth Gene is, or whether she positions herself as an expert of any sort, but this quote has been bugging me since I first saw it a few days back. My basic annoyance is with the concept of "peaceful parenting" not only including judgemental posts but applauding them. I have never and will never understand why mothers who favor a certain choice such as breastfeeding choose to make other moms feel badly about their choice to NOT breastfeed so that group one can feel good and superior about choosing to breastfeed.

And yes, I have been guilty of judging my employers, other nanny's employers, etc. when it comes to their parenting ideas and choices. The difference is that I don't deliberately engage in making another person feel stupid, belittled, or selfish for the choices they have made. I avoid being loudly verbally judgemental because I would prefer to remain employed, but also because I find it rude.

Do I think breastfeeding is the ideal? Sure.

Do I think that judging someone who doesn't breastfeed as lazy or bad in their mothering will encourage that woman to attempt to breastfeed next time she has a baby? No. I think that telling a woman that her mothering choice was "wrong" simply alienates her.

If breastfeeding advocates want to urge others to breastfeed, they need to try positivity, understanding, and compassion. And they also need to back off if a woman indicates that she is happy with her feeding decision, and let her and her baby and her family live as they choose.

I think an inability to accept the parenting decisions others have made with at least a modicum of good grace indicates a deep insecurity in the judger. And as a nanny, I have had to learn this lesson fairly regularly. I think I'm getting better at acceptance as time goes by though!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Adventures in Twinland

I'm now caring for newborn boy/girl twins in the morning, and today I went with them and my AM Mom Boss (AM MB) to a pediatrician appointment. While AM MB signed in at the front desk, I wheeled the massive snap'n'go, fitted out with a blue baby bucket and a pink baby bucket, into the baby waiting area.

There was a mom in there nursing her 4 month old, and when she saw us she exclaimed "Oh! TWINS! How exciting! Congratulations!"

Once I went through my spiel about being the nanny, she asked me, "Are they boys or girls?"

"One of each!" I figured she was just too sleep deprived to note the BLUE and PINK carseats.

Nursing mom then asked me...

"Are they identical?"

I blinked a few times, figuring I had misunderstood her, but she was looking at me with absolute fascination, obviously waiting for an answer.

So I reminded myself that she was likely sleep deprived, and sweetly replied, "Oh, no, they are definitely not identical."

With a big smile and a nod of her head, she sagely responded, "So they're fraternal twins! How sweet!"

At that point AM MB walked in and rescued me.

I would like to pat myself on the back for being sensitive and not responding with a sarcastic, snarky, or wryly witty response.

I would also like to apologize to all parents of multiples on behalf of the world for all the dumb comments you have ever or will ever get.