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.

Xx

21 comments:

  1. There's more than one way to skin a cat, fact. I've never thought about skinning my children, but you get my point. Who makes the rules anyway?, conformity to some construct of what parenting is.... Not me, that doesn't reflect individualism or specific needs. You do whats best for you and yours ! ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't even make the rules up in our house, let alone anyone else's! I'm pretty certain my daughter's in charge. In charge of everything. Ever.

      Thanks for reading!

      Delete
  2. Great post. I have no idea what our parenting style is and I can't bothered to find out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you!

      And yes. Maybe it's best if you don't find out. That way you won't have people telling you that you're not doing it quite right!

      Delete
  3. Good work. Such a cliche to say there's no right and wrong way but I know I feel much better qualified to doubt my OWN parenting style than other peoples.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks.

      I doubt my own parenting all the time: am I teaching Bug too much/ not enough? Does she watch too much TV and not eat enough greens? etc

      For me it's healthy; it's how I learn :)

      Delete
  4. Anyone tells me how to do what I do and I'll shove it up their cock. As my gran once said, the best advice any parent will ever get is to ignore all others advice and to go with your instinct. It's seldom wrong.
    Great post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A friend said something with similar sentiments recently:
      the problem with them baby manuals is that them babies haven't read them.

      Instinct it is. Smart women that Gran of yours :)

      Thanks for reading.

      Delete
  5. Love your post, and couldn't agree more! (And by the way we don't have the same parenting style but who the hell cares)

    To all the critical naysaying mywayhighway parents - Don't tell me how to raise my kid and I won't tell you how to raise yours. Also please don't try and justify your parenting style to me as if you are trying to protect it! Do what your gut tells you and be the best parent that YOU can be.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 'Mywayhighway' parenting. Love it. So true. There's such a huge difference between offering a bit of advice and forcibly telling people they're getting it wrong.

      Thanks for reading :)

      Delete
  6. Great post - the phrase that springs to mind is "each to their own". We've found some of the most vocal online critics to be the breast-feeding police and the "rear-facing car seat til they're teenagers" brigade.

    We're fortunate enough to live in a society that allows us freedoms to choose what we believe is best for our kids; it's a shame some folk don't realise that!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I find it's the extremes of anything that seem to be the most vociferous, whether that be parenting, religion or politics. There seems to be a certain desperation to be right.

      Thanks for reading :)

      Delete
  7. Your post just had me rolling, well done! Pretty sure my parenting style falls somewhere between survival mode and staying sane. Also pretty sure those parents tweeting all that crap and writing the perfect blog post about their perfect parenting kids are busy cutting the neighbor kid's hair, unattached.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. RE Survival mode/ staying sane. I'm certain that sums up everyone's style; it's certainly mine!

      Thanks for reading :)

      Delete
  8. Sorry, finally got round to this today. Yesterday was a little crazy because I was busy parenting - my way. Thanks for the mention and also thanks for hitting the nail on the head. Twitter may ignite these debates but some of the people I interact with restore my faith in humanity - and you're one of them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's reassuring to know regardless of parenting style, most people still allow you just to get on with it.

      There's part of me thinks it's a shame that the minority are so noisy, although at the same time it does bring out great life affirming posts from folks such as yourself.

      Thanks for the comment :)

      Delete
  9. Ahhh a good solid smack of common sense here. Not sure how "common" sense may be but it's apparent here in spades. Parenting advice? You show me yours and you show me mine. The evidence of a constructive, loving, positive, affirming parent style shines in the eyes of the child. Everything else be damned. I also like your Fritzl reference. Pure zing baby.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's been a lot of common sense written recently. It's lovely.

      Like most things in life (other than banking) you get out what you put in.

      Thanks for reading!

      Delete
  10. Hi - loving the blogs! As such I have awarded you the Verstatile Blogger Award! Details at www.thenews-on.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. 100% agreed. Well said that man. Have a high five or a leg hump from me as an expression of my gratitude for such a sensible and generally ace post. (Your choice).

    ReplyDelete
  12. Your article is so funny and you are just intelligent, in one word, you make my day...And it will be good if you keep updating your articles here.I am looking forward to your new work. rs gold , runescape gold

    ReplyDelete