Our Babies Our Choices?
I recently came across an interesting blog post on BabyCenter:
Recently on Twitter I have engaged in conversations with several mothers that are having disagreements with their parents and in-laws over a variety of parenting topics. Food seems to be a hot topic. Disagreements range from whether to give an infant drinking water to starting solids as soon as humanly possible.
There is tradition and there is research. Modern mothers tend to err on the side of research and modern science which in many cases tends to be in direct contradiction of our parent's generational wisdom. Many grandparents are offended when their children choose to raise their kids differently than the way they were raised. They see it as an attack on their parenting choices. This is not the intention of any parents I know.
I am very fortunate that my mother is thoughtful enough to never give my child anything without checking with me first but even she made a statement once. She remarked "I did not have access to organic food or the time to make homemade baby food for you guys and you turned out ok". I told her that while that is completely true I do have the ability and time to purchase and prepare local organic food and since current research has shown the benefits of avoiding pesticides and preservatives why not give it a try. She agreed and continues to be a fabulous grandmother.
I wanted to make sure that she knew that I was aware of the fact that she did everything within her power to keep me healthy as a child. She was a single mother with two children with no outside support. My mother struggled so that I would not have to. I have support and I have the means. I chose to feed my child what I do because I can. This is in no way a judgement of anyone else's choices. Unless you give your baby soda or juice in a bottle or sippy cup. That is just gross :)
I know I am more of a hard ass than most people most likely due to the fact that secretly I wish I was a hermit so I do not therefore care whether anyone ever speaks to me again with few exceptions. I keep it simple. If you attempt to feed my child anything without checking with me first you will never be alone with my child again. Ever. I do not care who you are.
If someone is going to be sneaky with something as important as your child's health and your parenting choices should you trust them to be alone with your children? It is a tough question to ask oneself but it is necessary. In a worst case scenario a child may have severe allergic reactions to certain foods. If a person chooses to ignore parental direction it could mean the difference between life or death of the child (not to be alarmist).
Grandparents had their opportunity to be parents and make parenting decisions without input from us. In fact most of us probably got told to shut the hell up if we told our parents what to serve us for dinner :).
It is our turn. Do things our way or not at all. Simple as that.
My Mother & My Son