On Tuesday my son had a horrible dentist appointment and I told our story as I was sitting in the waiting room, powerless. I stated I was/am angry that I didn't know my baby should have his teeth wiped or brushed after nursing and that falling asleep nursing was bad for his teeth.
I got some comments, boy did I. I got some great comments from Moms who were like me and didn't know, Moms who were grateful for the information on nursing and on baby going to the dentist at age 1 instead of age 2. But I also got the 'mommy war' comments. Oddly enough all of the 4 comments I got that were negative were anonymous. (You say a lot when you say it anonymously.)
Well it got me thinking about my personal views and how little I share my opinions. I am a big believer that we each should have our own choice and right to make those choices. Yes, that means I am pro-choice (but that's not what I meant by own choices). But its not because I am anti-life, I just don't think our government should be involved. Now before you give me the pro-life vs pro-choice speech and try to correct me please understand that it is very important to me to respect other peoples beliefs and opinions. We each have the right to our own opinions and beliefs. We also each have our own reasons for believing the way that we do. Even if you disagree with someone else you can still be respectful and considerate. In turn I expect others to treat me with the same respect and consideration. (Even on the big ones like religion, political, life/choice, etc).
I think we tend to get wrapped up in why we believe a certain way and forget that other people have good reasons for why they believe the way they do as well. Every life experience we have pushes us one way or another. It is rare to find anyone with more than a few of the same life experiences we each have had. Most people aren't interested in sharing their life histories with others so that we can understand why they believe the way they do. And who can blame them? There are plenty of experiences in my life that I don't want to talk about to my closest friends and those are the ones that have shaped who I am the most. So if we all can take a step back and just remind ourselves that the person we completely disagree with probably has a very valid reason and life history that has molded what their beliefs and opinions are, then I think we have a greater chance of being a more caring and understanding person.
With that said, I am going to take a leap of faith and type out how I specifically feel on some very controversial subjects (and some not so controversial). Here are a few of my standings on such things:
Nursing (vs formula fed)
Sex education (which helps prevent needing to make the "choice")
Bearing Arms (although I also am very strict on how firearms are stored in regards to children and safety- My daddy is a retired sheriff, I grew up around guns.)
Choice (with extensive education on alternatives) I have always chosen life, but I don't want any bureaucrat telling me what I can and cannot do
Separation of Church and State
Public (discreet) nursing
Co-Parenting (even if mom and dad are divorced, children deserve both parents to be active in their lives)
Corporal punishment in children (ie, spanking, washing mouths out with soap, saucing, etc)
Health care profits (I sincerely believe all health care should be non-profit, no one should profit from the illness of another)
Judging (unless you are on a jury, its not our jobs to judge those around us)
Emotional child manipulation [abuse] (best example is when mom and dad are getting a divorce and use the children against each other and don't even see the pain they are causing their children)
Using food to control anyone (especially children). I have a list of Food rules I came up with while I worked full time and had nanny's taking care of my children.
Those are the ones I can think of right now. There are of course things that don't fall into a category of for or against. Religion is a big one. My religious preferences and beliefs are something I keep very private. I had a very unpleasant experience with my ex-husbands church members (Seventh Day Adventist) in California. So I guess you could say I am a little gun shy when it comes to sharing my religious preferences. It is always shocking to me how judgemental people (who proclaim to be non-judgemental) can be. But that is a whole other story/post/subject.
Anyway, in regards to my post earlier this week, I very pro-nursing. I have nursed all my babies. I was very lucky to be able to easily. I have a lot of sincere sympathy for those who had difficulties nursing their babies. However, at the same time I don't judge moms who chose to bottle feed their babies.
[With one exception...if you chose not to nurse your children because you wanted to preserve your lovely breasts and didn't want your baby to ruin them (you may giggle and say who does that, but my ex-sister in law did just that and was very verbal about it) then I think your a selfish woman. But aside from that, everyone has their reasons for what they do.]
I provoked what one of my readers called "the mommy wars" by being angry that there is no education in regards to possible tooth decay with nursing. I had one person share links that 'prove' breast milk can not cause decay and was told by the same person I was going to cause hysteria. Wow. Really?
All I want is someone to make a flyer that is put in those bags we get when we go to the OB/GYN and the ones we get when we come home from the hospital with our new baby. A flyer that says, "Babies who fall asleep nursing have a high chance of developing tooth decay. To prevent decay and promote healthy habits in the future, wipe your babies gums and teeth off after nursing." And to mention its important to take your child to the dentist at 1 year of age. Its a quick and easy appointment more for introducing your child to the dentist and a quick check to make sure there are no problems with babies teeth.
I don't think that I am discouraging nursing or causing hysteria by saying that or by what I said last Tuesday.