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Defend equality

Take it from me – there are a lot of issues in parenting you can lose a friend over.

You can argue endlessly about which way is better:

  • To have a natural birth or a C-section by choice?
  • To Breastfeed or to bottle-feed?
  • To use a pacifier or not to use a pacifier?
  • To co-sleep with your kids or to sleep separately?
  • To use controlled crying or to not use it?
  • To put a child in a care center or to become a stay at home mom?
  • To immunize or not to immunize?
  • To start solids early or not to start solids early?
  • To home-school or not to home school?
  • The list goes on, but my point is – why should we have to defend our choice? Why do we feel like forcing it on others?

    Clearly there are arguments for and against any of these options. If there was just one, “right” way, people wouldn’t battle these decisions. The thing is, when you become a parent – this is your journey into the unknown. All kids are different; all parents are different and even within the same family things that work with one kid won’t necessarily work with another.

    If someone breastfeeds their baby and you’re not – there is no right and wrong here, there is “right for you and your family”, and “right for them and their family”. If someone decided to not immunize their baby, wait up before you snap at them – there could have been very good reasons for that decision.

    I know, sometimes it’s very tempting to prove to the other mom she’s got it all wrong. It’s very tempting to feel like you are the only one who does the right thing. But then it feels really bad when a bunch of snobby moms put you down, because you co-sleep with your baby, or admit to feeding him at night, and you feel like letting them have it.

    Save you breath. There is no need to argue. This is not about being right – this is about being tolerant, and tolerant here wins. It will save your energy otherwise wasted in a pointless argument. It will keep your friendships from tearing apart. It will save you from getting angry at people who impose their version of reality on you.

    And if you find yourself caught up in this situation, trying to explain why you do what you do – there is a way out: don’t discuss it. As an adult, you don’t need to be running around seeking approval or “enlightening” other parents. Some things are only a matter of personal preference.

    Did you have to defend your parenting choices? How did it make you feel?