One of the things I never realized I would do when I decided to become a mom was research. And research some more. And when I was done, research again. Always looking for the newest and best information to raise my children the best way. From education options to food choices to medical decisions to discipline (specifically gentle parenting) and so much more.
Whatever decision that I make as a mom (in partnership with my husband, of course) is done so with prayer and a lot of solid research (yes, actual science). And then I keep researching to ensure it is still the best option, because let's be honest, research changes. What was known to be the best thing 10 years ago is very different than what is the best thing today.
We don't homebirth or cloth diaper or see a chiropractor or homeschool because it's "cool" or "different", we do it because we feel it is the best for our family.
People don't always understand why we choose certain things and that's okay. I don't need people to understand, but mutual respect is important.
Many times I have had people ask questions, make assumptions, or simply just share their opinions that aren't based on information. They're clearly based on their own beliefs about a situation. I have been accused of child abuse because I take my children to see a chiropractor. I have been told I'm crazy and I'm endangering my children because I choose to homebirth with a midwife. It's been expressed that I'm overprotective because we choose to rearface our carseats as long as possible.
I've had someone tell me I'm killing my marriage because we cosleep.
I've been called stupid because we didn't circumcise our sons.
I'm really not sure when it became okay to ask someone else about their child's private parts or medical history.
I've had numerous comments regarding our choice to homeschool and cloth diaper and pretty much everything we choose to do. People even have something negative to say about baby wearing.
People really need to think about what they're saying before they say it. Assuming that we choose to do something because we are uneducated means that you truly don't know me. And instead of trying to get to know me more, you've already written me off.
God entrusted my kids to me. And I will do my very best for them every single day. Motherhood is my greatest calling and don't think for one second that I don't take it as seriously as I should. To assume that I would intentionally put my child at harm is insulting. I will always respect what others choose for their family (even if I don't agree or even understand), as long as it does not harm their child. I ask only for the same respect and understanding that my choices may be different than theirs. And if that's not something that they can do, then I really don't think I need them in my life.
So next time you think about saying something or making a comment about someone's choice, take pause and remember that the person you're speaking to may have put a lot of thought and research and prayer behind the choice that they make.
Have you ever experienced this? What was said to you? How did you handle it?