Now normally I'd say when someone feels the need to justify why they do what they do, they are just reassuring themselves because on some level they feel guilty. In most situations, I don't care why you do what you do! If it's not affecting me then it's not any of my business, please don't feel like you have to defend your actions to me because I'm really not judging.
This is a bit different though. This is everyone one of my decisions being questioned. Not me just lashing out and offering justification, this is me being outright doubted. My family and the "in-laws" are questioning my actions- not to me but to my loved ones. My Aunts are making comments to my mother about what I do and my in-laws are making comments to the hubby about what I do. It's getting rather annoying to be perfectly honest!
Every. Single. Parenting. Decision. I. Make. Is. Thoroughly. Researched. BEFOREHAND. Why can't they grasp this? I don't just go lunging into things head first. I research. I present the idea to hubby, share the information I learned from researching and then we discuss. Every choice we make is what we HONESTLY feel is best for OUR children. Yes, OUR children- not my aunt's children nor my in-laws children. These are OUR children and WE are the ones responsible for their well being. Us and us alone. So why does it matter to everyone else what the hell I'm doing? Ugh.
Little man's cloth diapers are being questioned as well as my breastfeeding him. Our attempt to homeschool Bigger Little Dude was also addressed. The fact that we cosleep was critiqued. Everything just gets questioned.
The cloth. Heh. Hubby and I have discussed this and we're very firm on our stance. We're not budging. My Aunt N's comment was something to the effect that cloth is nowhere near as absorbent as disposables (sposies) and cloth leaks. Neither statement is even remotely factual. They're both flat out wrong. My Aunt L's comment, well I'm not quite sure what she said exactly other than in essence I do everything wrong as a parent- because we all know that she's perfect *rolls eyes* I could really lay into her and expose her for what she really is but I'll move along and be kind. Step Mother-in-law (SMIL) commented to Little Man that if she ever watched him, she'd have to buy him some "real" diapers. Uhhh yeah, no. She hasn't really said anything since- at least not to me. Mother-in-law (MIL) however is constantly insisting that Little Man's teething rash is cloth diaper induced. She bought us sposies and expects me to use them. The kiddo has been in cloth since he was 4 months old. He's now 19 months old. He ONLY gets a rash when he's cutting teeth and to me that makes it quite obvious that he's NOT rashy because of his dipes. She also believes sposies are more absorbent.
Breastfeeding. Breastmilk is natures perfect food. It's what babies thrived on before formula. It's a live fluid containing antibodies that help build a healthy immune system. The WHO recommends nursing until AT LEAST 2 and then for as long as mutually desired. That's exactly our plan. After he's 2 I'll be letting him self wean and I have no intentions on budging on that matter either. My Aunt L, being the genius she is *rolls eyes* felt the need to inform my mom that since Little Man is allergic to milk, I have to watch what I eat too. Ok, again, he's been nursing for HOW LONG? I know this. The woman who has never breastfed and is not a lactation consultant should not be giving the woman who has breastfed for 19 months and aspires to be a lactation consultant breastfeeding advice. As arrogant as it sounds, I think I've got this covered L, I don't need your help. Leave me be and please, don't give up your day job, FSM knows we need all the "nurses" we can get. SMIL and FIL pushed for the longest time to get me to wean or pump exclusively for Little Man. No. Ain't gonna happen. I know that pumping exclusively can harm ones milk supply and I'm not looking to wean him before he's good and ready. I've done the research. I know what's best for him. He's going to be my booby baby for as long as he needs and until he's at least 2. MIL now has this CRAZY idea that Little Man's milk allergy and his eczema are caused by my breastfeeding. Say what? Oh no way! Hubby even told her "that makes no sense". If breastmilk caused allergies, how the hell did we even survive as a species? Wow. I know better but just wow. FIL has made it clear to hubby that he does not approve of our extended nursing. Hubby just ignores him. He's a good hubby like that. He supports my decisions and I take comfort in that. There is no way he'd let me choose to do something that he felt was harmful to our children.
Homeschooling. Ok. There's no argument here. Statistically speaking, homeschooled kids are better off. Public school teachers teach for the dern standardized tests. The kids don't really learn anything. I graduated in '04 with a bunch of folk who can barely read, can hardly write and can't spell worth crap. They're fairly close to being illiterate despite graduating highschool! It's not just this area though. A lot of the public schools are like this now. A homeschooled child is taught to learn- not to pass the test. They are taught differently and because they have a 1 on 1 opportunity with their teacher, and less distractions, they learn better. Colleges do indeed accept homeschooled children. I want to homeschool BADLY. I've seen the statistics. I feel it's the best choice but there's not a nearby homeschooling group so I was pretty much on my own in this journey. Not knowing where to start, I sought help from the online charter school. This is a program that allows the child to learn from home but using the public school curriculum. It's paid for entirely by the public school. It IS public school. They had get togethers too and it seemed like it would be a great stepping stone into the homeschooling journey. What happened though was all the IL's didn't approve and voiced their disapproval and then when Bigger Little Dude refused to pay attention to me they all acted like children and pretty much went "neener neener neener". They think they were proved right. No, they really weren't. Bigger Little Dude had issues in where he didn't view me as an authority. He's getting much better with this. We've agreed that if we move to an area that has local homeschool groups we're pulling him out of public school. We will try again because we feel it's the best choice.
Cosleeping. Well...I've heard it all. With Bigger Little Dude I heard how unsafe it was, how I'd roll over on him, how he could roll off the bed, how he'd never be able to sleep alone, how I'd regret it, blah blah blah. Well, at first I did regret it. I tried for a few years to get that kid OUT of my bed and into his own. When I gave up and let him leave at his own pace, it was only a few weeks before he chose to sleep in his own bed. We saw what happened and have decided that we're a cosleeping family now. The kids will leave the bed when they're good and ready. MIL has told me how I'll never get Little Man out of our bed. WRONG. I'm happy to report that as of this very moment both offspring are fast asleep by themselves. Now, Little Man will wake up shortly, get his dipe changed and I'll whisk him off to my room and nursie him back to sleep and he'll stay there all night- that is if he wakes up. Some nights he sleeps in his bed, by himself, all night long. Other nights he needs me. The point here is that he coslept most of his life and is perfectly capable of sleeping on his own- in fact he can put himself to sleep too!
What it boils down to is simple lack of respect. I am the mother of these 2 kiddos. Hubby is the father of these 2 kiddos. No one else's opinion matters unless they're asked. I'm the one doing all the research while they're all spewing ignorance trying to imply that I'm making bad choices. Furthermore, even if they don't agree, I'm not abusing my children, I'm doing what I feel is best for them and that should be respected.