Sunday, July 10, 2011

Mommy Wars

I read a lot of blogs about raising babies, creating happy marriages, raising kids and stuff that some moms care about. I also read the comments, form my own opinions and do my own research.

In this thing I come across the term "Mommy Wars" a lot. Mom's judging other moms on what they do for their babies and how they raise they children. To most moms, anything different than their method is wrong.

But sometimes it is based on doctors advice and just plain common sense.

A friend of mine just had a baby. She is having trouble with the baby crying and thinks that it is colic. (I think otherwise, but I am not going to say so... she can make her own opinions and if she wants to call it colic she can.) and on her FB post about it, one of her friends suggested giving the baby Karo syrup and water.

I wanted to say: WHAT ARE YOU THINKING????  Karo syrup is High Fructose Corn Syrup. It is sugar. WHY THE HELL ARE YOU GIVING A 5 day old baby that CRAP!?!??!?!  If she is having trouble pooping like the mom says, TELL THE MOM TO CALL THE DOCTOR.

I know people gave their babies that stuff years ago. People put it in milk and called it baby formula.

It is crap. It is junk. We KNOW better today. There is a whole thing now about not eating or drinking foods with HFCS in it, companies are changing how they make their food to avoid it. The hippies had it right long ago, avoiding the stuff..............

But I have to step back and think. Each person makes up their own mind. I am sure the baby will survive a few bottles of sugar water that fill her tummy with empty calories and junk. It won't kill her. It might even work to make her poop. There are moms who give their 3 month olds soda, and as long as they are still getting some formula or breast milk, they will survive. Perhaps not in the healthiest fashion, but they will survive.

I have not interacted with many other moms. I am not sure why, but I have only been around a few. One of them I adore seeing in her role as Mother and look up to her. In my mind, if she does it, it can't be half bad because all of her children are turning out fine. She is real, has moments of doubt, doesn't let her children run the show and still makes time for herself. She thinks about what she is doing and makes choices that are going to be best for her children. She is not overly cautious, but she is not reckless either.

One other mom I have been around made me want to cry. She smoked during pregnancy, handed her 5lb preemie to everyone and their brother's mother's hamster's cousin the day they brought her home, including a guy who had JUST flicked away a cigarette. She plays the TV at epic volume levels and has it on ALL DAY LONG. And she started giving her baby juice mixed with her formula when she was 4 months old and now the baby won't drink her bottle unless it has juice in it. (sure she will, you just have to stop putting friggin' JUICE in it!)

Another mom just seems to be kinda distracted. She is a bit of a hippie and doesn't always read labels and may have screwed up dosing her baby with some live culture stuff and gave him weeks of chronic diarrhea. Feeds him gluten free everything and coconut milk instead of milk, though she did just switch to goat milk... but her baby is ok. A bit extra screamy at times, but he isn't around smoke and people who use drugs and no one died from being a hippie. (Other than the baby who's parents tried to feed it vegan without talking to a nutritionist, but this mom isn't like that.)

Just in three people you can see different ways of raising a baby.

Are they wrong? Is it a matter of how they were raised?

It is a hard thing to hold my tongue at times. But I wouldn't want someone else to scold me. Though where do I draw the line of informing someone who maybe does not know that something could be dangerous? The mother of the 5 day old who had Karo syrup suggested is someone who I think could use a helping hand. I think she needs someone to bounce ideas off of, and she also needs to trust her gut and stand UP for herself. She has an excuse for many things where the only real excuse is that she didn't try it yet.

I don't think she reads my blog, but if she does, I would tell her that it is ok to not know, but I worry that you will not think before you do something. Especially while you are a mess 5 days after having a baby. Everyone is a mess then, everyone is falling apart at the seams, feeling like this whole life is impossible and god I wish I could just fall asleep. If you think something is wrong, call the Dr. If you called 5 minutes ago and don't feel right about the answer, call again. Ask to talk to someone else.

But, I have to realize that I can not change people's minds, I can not show them that spot in my heart and mind screaming DANGER DANGER DANGER. And I have to figure out if I want to be the kind of person who says something like "That might not be a good idea" in cases like preemie + cigarette man... or do I sit here and say "well at least it won't kill the baby" and let people do things their way.

I would want someone to tell me if I was doing something dangerous, or even if they thought it was dangerous. They might know something I do not, they might be wrong, but they might be right and it would lead me to do research and then form my own opinion.

But not everyone is me. And I am not a better mommy than anyone else, as long as the baby is fed, clothed and not sitting in dirty diapers, who am I to tell someone else they are wrong...

But ohhhh, oh the desire to say something is hard to ignore.

1 comment:

  1. Most of the time, it’s best to say nothing. Sometimes, though, you can gently offer advice. You might bring up a subject as a subject of discussion, instead of offering advice. For example, “What do you think of …..?”
    Then again, when it comes to frankensugar (high fructose corn syrup), I do my utmost to not feed that to ANYONE. To feed it to a baby is way out of bounds. Calling the doctor for advice with a constipated baby is definitely the way to go. I think I would have felt compelled to diplomatically speak up.
    You’re a great mom, Jessie. Not everyone is. One thing you need to remember, though, is that you aren’t responsible for others’ behavior, as hard as that may be. I can say that because I’m a recovering enabler – I know how hard it is. The best thing you can do is set a good example (which you do) and follow what I said above. Only intervene when it’s critical and do what you can to educate carefully.


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