Sunday, 5 August 2012

“Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain - and most fools do.”

Our parenting philosophy can be best described thus: accidental attachment parenting. 

We're breastfeeding 21 months in. We never set out to go this long. When we started we aimed for 6 and ended up at 21. We're probably not the only ones.

We fucked up when we bought our first buggy. We're 3 floors up so bought one that was lightweight. As it was lightweight it was only front facing. Bug hated it and called us bastards every time we took her out. There's only so many times a 2 month old can call you a bastard (82) before you do something about it. We couldn't afford a replacement so for most of Bug's outdoor life we've had her in a kennel sling.

Bear uses cloth nappies during her Bug days. She cares about Bug's bum and the environment. I use disposables during mine as I obliviously don't give a shit about either.

There's no sleep training. It wasn't right for us. As a result we co-sleep. Bug's still feeding overnight so it's easier for Bear -- I say easier, they're often up a dozen times. I've occasionally woken and said 'cracking nights sleep!' only for Bear to growl 'she was awake every 30 minutes.' Bad Dad.

We split childcare between us. We felt it best for Bug to have one of us around at all times as opposed to sending her to nursery. Bear has her Thursday to Sunday while I work in retail. I have her Monday to Wednesday while Bear does a full-time PhD in part-time hours.

There's no naughty step. No time outs. We let her do whatever she wants while saving for any future court case. 

I'm mentioning these things to reiterate the first sentence: accidental attachment parenting. We never set out to raise Bug this way over a more robust Gina Ford style of parenting. We just made shit up and our shit was closer to AP's than GF's.

A couple of weeks ago I posted a rant about parents who feel it acceptable to criticise the way we do things. What instigated it was folks who do controlled crying telling me I'm wrong not to. Not that other people have a say. In all fairness, I barely get a look in-- Bear takes care of most of that, leaving me to sit around scratching my balls and trying not to nod off when the plot of Something Special gets a bit triksy.

So around the time I was having a bit of a rant, I stumbled upon this blog posted by Sophie.

I'm quite certain Sophie and I wouldn't see eye to eye. She's lefty loathing, I think the Tories are a Boris short of a cunt factory. She's a Gina Ford devotee and I'm obviously not. I bet she even says 'scone' while I clearly say it right: scone.

And yet here she is, ranting about exactly the same thing I was blathering on about: know-it-alls entering the realm of  'None Of Your Fucking Business.'

I read the post agreeing with the emotions on display. She sums it up perfectly: you do what you feel is best for your child. And I'll do the same.

A few days later I started to notice odd tweets on Twitter. People I follow and interact with were getting abusive messages criticising their parenting. The messages were sent via fake accounts from someone clearly convinced that attachment parenting is the only way to raise a child. Phrases like 'child abuse' were spat at anyone not parenting strictly as AP prescribes. It was fucking embarrassing.

Not long after, @slightlysubdad wrote an excellent piece discussing the event.

All these things combined, as well as a funny and honest post by @ministryofmum, led me to start wondering why people feel the need to attack other parents.

Let's look at the Twitter zealots: faceless entities that created accounts simply to attack people who dared to do things differently. It is both cowardly and a damning indictment on their own parenting. If you're so confident in your beliefs to behave this way why not do it from your own account? Either step up or off fuck. Twat monkeys.

Why do people criticise other parents in general?

They criticise as a way to feel better about themselves: I may be a shit parent but at least I'm no Fritzl.

Or to make themselves feel worse: that Fritzl gets all the girls.

They criticise because they see traits in others that they don't like about themselves. 

They criticise to cover up their own insecurities, as a way of justifying their own choices even when doubting them.

They criticise because it's Sunday, it's raining and they've yet to decide what to do with the day. Maybe they'll put down the laptop as the sun steps out from behind grey. Maybe they'll take the kids to the park and laugh and dance and be grateful for the utter joy that is their children and forget, for a wee while, everybody else's.

Bye for now.