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!

1 comment:

New England nanny said...

Love your blog!

Just a note in response to your surprise to the mother's question: identical twins can be in the form of a boy & a girl. While rather rare, it happens...