People in our society have a very "clear" understanding about how things should look in a child/parent relationship. Some people seem to think it is just fine to let you know when what you are doing doesn't match that image. It is a special challenge when it is done by someone you know. BUT, when you are being accosted by a stranger you can expect to never see again, I have discovered an entertaining way to keep my own humor. It may not be your style. But, it floats my boat.
To set the scene: I take L3 with me to Zumba class. I am wearing baby in a carrier. "Friendly" older woman approaches, intent on enticing a smile from my chubby bub.
"Oh! Aren't you an adorable chunk! Snuggly with mama! You should tell mama to bring your car seat next time so she can get her workout!"
1.) I hate when advice is given as a dialog to my children.
2.) I have found a workout with baby to be just as much of a workout.
3.) There is information pointing to car seats as possibly trimming baby's oxygen levels, and general use outside of the car can be hazardous.
I could just smile and nod. I could gently inform this stranger of the information available that led me to the decision to wear my baby. Or, I could conjure up a dramatically confused look; "That would be really big and heavy to carry in! This works well for us."
"Doesn't she use a little car seat with a handle? She should be in a little seat still, not a big seat."
I decided to stick to dramatic, but decided on a slightly horrified look. "Oh! No! We don't use those bucket seats."
The message was finally received, and we were left to enjoy our class. I know I would have been nicer, and generally I am. But, it can start to weigh on you when your methods are always being questioned by
nosy well-meaning people. The point is to find a way to have faith in your choices and escape the naysayers with the least amount of impact on your day. Most of the time I do this by explaining the reasons I do what I do. After so many justifications, that drags me down and I just can't do it one.more.time. Making it a game just makes it easier to play next time.
Visit The Positive Parenting Connection and Authentic Parenting to find out how you can participate in the next Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
- Stepping out of the box and dealing with criticism — Stoneageparent shares how she deals with criticism over her parenting choices
- BEWARE of Sanctimommy — Amanda at Blinded by the Light talks about how recognizing your own inner-sanctimommy and how it will facilitate ways to deal with other criticism in your life.
- We're on the same team — Brittany from The Pistachio Project shares about how we should support and respect each other because we already get enough criticism from the outside world.
- 30 Responses To Parenting Criticisms — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares 30 ways in which you can respond to parenting criticisms.
- A Case for the Dramatic — A smart-alec response to a stranger's view by Jennifer from True Confessions of a Real Mommy.
- I Could Never... — Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children discusses how the phrase "I could never" really means "I would never want to" and how owning our words and actions can lead to understanding and empathy.
- Admiration For A Parent's Strength— Jennifer at Our Muddy Boots shares her admiration for parents who continue to make parenting choices in the best interest of their child even when those closest to them disagree.
- Assumption Free Zone — Paige @ Baby Dust Diaries challenges us to cultivate kindness for everyone; even if you disagree with them.
- Perfection, Criticism, Parenting and The Sock Police — Ariadne @ The Positive Parenting Connection is sharing how parenting has been an excercise in overcoming perfectionism and handling criticism.
- Silencing the Voices In My Head — At Authentic Parenting, Laura writes about fighting her inner critic.
- Tackled from the Sidelines — Marisa from Deliberate Parenting reveals what parenting choices she makes that are most often questioned and how she is coming peacefully to the defense of her decisions.
- Different Strokes — Justine from The Lone Home Ranger shares the method she uses to explain her family's "crunchy" differences to her preschooler.