“Never waver! Be strong! Don’t hesitate to stand up for what you believe in. As a parent you have to teach your children the difference between RIGHT and WRONG.”
But not today. Today I applaud lukewarm parents.
I want to honour the average.
Congratulate the common.
Sing the praises of the standard.
Run of the mill.
Everyday I see mom’s annihilate each other on social media and in the real world because their views are scalding hot or ice cold on a certain topic. Let’s just stop. Here are 4 parenting topics about which we can all just calm the duck down and have a lukewarm point of view.
- Natural birth VS Caesarean Section
Let me just jump right into the deep end here with one of the most controversial topics today. And yesterday. And tomorrow. Especially in South Africa where people are always saying our elective c-section rates are “amongst the highest in the world.” By the way, I sometimes wonder about all these “stats” that people throw around all over the place…in a 2013 survey it was found that less than 30% of South Africans had medical aid. Are you telling me the other 70% of moms are all going for elective caesars? I could unfortunately not find any more recent surveys I am sure the officials taking the survey were too busy having natural births with no pain meds. Anyway, that is not my point today. My point today is that it just totally KILLS me when moms start throwing around personal horror stories or made up statistics by overworked gynaes to try and convince everyone in the world to have the same birth as them. It does not validate your choice if others follow your example. Your choice is validated if your baby is born! Stop making this such a scalding-hot topic because it only burns people’s fingers.
- Breastfeeding VS Bottle Feeding
We all know what the World Health Organisation recommends and we also know that life is never that simple. What we don’t seem to know is that it makes NO DIFFERENCE to you and your family if another baby was on the breast for 10 years or bottle fed from birth. None. Stop judging other peoples choices and stop trying to force people to agree with your decisions. You think a Youtube video of yourself sitting topless in a shopping mall, defiantly looking strangers in the eye and breastfeeding your baby is helping the cause? As a proudly breastfeeding mom I can tell you: you will win over waaaay more people if you just show them how easy and discreetly it can actually be done. Stop making this topic such a blazing hot one and just calm down to a lukewarm simmer.
I feel so strong about this topic that I actually wrote a whole separate article on it. Dear parents-to-be. As soon as you have almost recovered from the icy stares you received whether you bottle-fed or breastfed your baby (it’s equally bad either way), the well-meaning judge-patrol will start on what your baby is eating. Organic or two-minute noodles? Banting...home-cooked…McDonalds and everything in-between. Of course the kitchen is a place that gets very hot but let’s all stop boiling and just be kind. The secret is that child nutrition is not about “one or the other”. It’s about maintaining a healthy balance. The same can be said for our opinions…
Disciplining your children is a very personal thing. We all have different ideas on this topic. I personally believe in choosing my battles. Therefore sometimes if my youngest daughter wants to drown her fries in half-a-bottle of tomato sauce in a restaurant I will leave her be. You, mommy at the next table, can raise your perfectly-plucked eyebrows all you like. However, if that same little princess throws a tantrum and screams at me in the supermarket because she WANTS the Barbie with mermaid-hair I might or might not give her a little smack on her bum there and then. Done. However these days it seems to me that we kinda forget about the kids and end up trying to discipline other parents on their choices instead.
Extreme temperatures are not generally a good thing. Fever. Frostbite. Hot-and-bothered. Ice queen. These words don’t exactly make you feel happy, do they? Wars are not started by the average people in this world. Stop being a cold-blooded opinion-killer. It’s okay to hear out the opinions of others. It’s okay to be kind. It’s okay to be a lukewarm parent.
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