Friday, March 1, 2013

Parental Judgement

Before actually becoming a parent, we all have these ideas of what kind of parent we are going to be, or what we will and will not do with our children.
Then we become parents and every thing (well, maybe not everything) gets thrown out the window. 
I came across a blog post today on Facebook that described this same dilemma. It is titled  

 After I finished laughing through it I was thinking about two things that I said I would NEVER do with my children, and I didn't with my first. But the circumstances were a little different when Bug-A-Boo came around. The first was that I was not going to let our kids in our bed, because that space was reserved for me and my husband. The second was that I would never nurse in public without a cover.  Well, Squirrel couldn't breastfeed, he was too lazy and I didn't have support in the hospital so I gave up pretty quick. I pumped and bottle fed for a month before caving to formula. There was no reason to have him in our bed. And obviously I wasn't breastfeeding in public... so that takes care of that.  

Then along came Bug. I was dead set on nursing and had support in (a different) hospital. I quickly learned that breastfeeding was far more time consuming than I had thought it would be. During the nights I nursed him sitting up in bed until I finally mastered the side laying position. That was a good day! Then while Squirrel was napping I would curl up with Bug in bed to nurse and take a little nap myself (something you can't do when you bottle feed). This made nursing at night so much easier. He still slept in his pack-and-play for the most part, but every few hours when he was hungry he would be in bed with us, some times for an hour at a time. My husband is a pretty heavy sleeper and rarely woke when Bug came into bed with us, which is why I had to return Bug to the pack-and-play, because Josh would roll over him and not notice. 

When I was 8 months pregnant with Bug I recall being out to dinner with a few friends. Here I am, a mother of one (having never breastfed) and expecting another, with three childless friends who also had never breastfed. Across the isle from us was a woman, her older son, her baby and what I am assuming were her parents. At one point we noticed she was nursing her baby... without a cover! We were disgusted. That was just not right. I said something along the lines of "This baby [pointing to my belly] will be breastfed, but I will be using a cover!" As they say, hind sight is 20/20. What I should have done is given her a warm smile of encouragement. For the first, maybe 6 weeks, when I was nursing in public I used a cover. But then it became too much work. He would continually pull the cover off. If you are using a cover, you are not prepared when baby pulls it off... and you are way more likely to be exposing your breasts to strangers, than if you were nursing with out a cover (but not exposing anything) in the first place. I found that the easiest way to nurse in public was to wear layers. A nursing tank under a tee-shirt. I could pull the tee-shirt up, the nursing tank down. Everything was covered, nobody saw anything! Just like the lady in the restaurant. 
We didn't see anything!

We are all so quick to judge. Whether we have children of our own or not. There are so many different parenting types out there and we need to learn to accept that what is right for us may not be right for someone else and visa versa.  God made each one of us different, inside and out. From the way we look to the decisions we make for our families.  I continue to pray that God will help me see when I am judging someone and allow me to embrace the difference rather than condemn it.

What are some things you thought you'd never do when you had children? 


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