I’m a BTDT mom. My boys are 5 & 7, so I’m at the point where I’ve got a little perspective. The thing that has me so amazed about mommy circles is how divisive some topics can be.
I’ve always been of the belief that there are very few truly evil mommies out there – that we all do what we think is best for our child. So why do we fight with each other about 4 furious topics.
We’re an enlightened bunch. We’ve gone back to the “It takes a village” attitude and most of us are part of one collective or another, whether it’s a virtual forum, blog, a facebook group, a mommy-meet-up or a community park so that we can be informed. We don’t just go to our own mothers or look it up in a book, we ask the hive mind, we rely on each other to share info and we check in when we feel self doubt.
And then we get to the furious 4:
Breast feeding vs formula
Extended rear-facing car seats
It doesn’t matter how enlightened you are, there is always someone who is going to look down on your parenting style, who is going to think you’ve made the wrong choice.
Is it better to fill your baby full of chemicals to protect them from potentially fatal illnesses? Or is it silly to use these chemicals when the chance of fatality is so small?
Is smart to keep rear-facing until your child surpasses the height or weight limit of their carseat or are you awful for making them sit so squished and without a view?
Is your child’s penis anyone else’s business? Is it mutilation?
Yet we each have extremely strong views about these furious 4 that can spark a mommy war in record time. Yes, we agree to disagree, but isn’t it simply a fact that you think less of anyone that doesn’t agree with you on these 4 items?
Come on, admit it. There is a mom out there somewhere that you’ve lost respect for because she vaxxed, or didn’t vaxx or circ’d – or didn’t circ.
My favourite part of the furious 4 is the two new words I learned when I became a mom: Lactivist and Intactivist. I’d really like for there to be a carsactivist and vaxxtivist, just to round things out, because this kind of language play just thrills me.
(I’m a grammer nerd, I admit it.)
What I’m going to say is this. I believe in breast feeding – but I couldn’t for legitimate medical reasons, and it hurt. It hurt even more deeply and profoundly every time a lactivist gave me shit in a public space for whipping out a bottle. Who knew these Double D’s were just for show?!?!?
I’m an intactivist – and it pisses me off that my son is having foreskin issues. It’s entirely possible, though not terribly likely, that we’ll have to have him circumcised for medical reasons. My doctor has, however, recommended as a proactive measure, that I use a steroid cream. She suggested I massage his foreskin well with it for five minutes, daily, to help it stretch. I’ve resolved to let him do the cream massaging himself when he’s a bit older. Memories of mommy massaging cream into son’s penis are memories neither of us need!
It annoys me to no end that I was only able to do extended rear-facing until my boys were slightly past 2. I have those 99th percentile baby boys and, even though I bought the highest weight/height seats I could find, my boys outgrew rear-facing maxes very young.
My boys are fully vaxxed. On schedule and up to date. I believe in vaxxing. I don’t care if you don’t. Join my herd – don’t join my herd – just don’t ever tell me why I’m wrong. I’m not wrong for my family. Thank goodness I’m not in your family, because I’m doing the wrong thing for your family’s values, but not for mine.
So with the best of intentions I was foiled on three of the four biggies. Crazy, right? And how can I argue your three-year-old should rear-face when my three-year-old couldn’t? If breast is really best and I couldn’t do the breast, are my kids doomed?
I sure hope not. I’ve got lots more mistakes, experiments and philosophies to try out on these boys before I’m done raising them!