Thursday, July 21, 2011

Moms - it would be better if we stopped at "Yes" or "No"


Moms, I think we do ourselves a disservice by always feeling the need to justify our decisions.  I have been thinking about this a lot since my post regarding my love of breastfeeding

If someone asks me if I am choosing to be a stay-at-home-Mom, my response could be as simple as "Yes" or "No".  Why elaborate? 

Even the most well intentioned, "I love being home with my kids" could make the questioner feel as though I am insinuating that she doesn't have a strong bond with her children.  Similarly, if a working Mom responds, "well, I am educated and think that working makes me a good role model for my kids" could come across as implying that only the uneducated would ever stay-at-home, and that they could not be good role models for their children.

This applies to so many of our parenting decisions and might really help ameliorate the "Mommy Wars" tension that seems to make so many of us feel guilty inadequate on a daily basis.


Breastfeeding? No. 
vs. 
Breastfeeding? No, eww.  Boobs are toys not tools.

Cloth diapers? Yes.
vs.
Cloth diapers? Yes, I would never fill a landfill with hundreds of tons of crap.

Do you let your baby cry it out? No.
vs. 
Do you let your baby cry it out? No, I want my baby to be securely attached to me.

Staying at home? Yes.
vs.
Staying at home? Yes, I don't want my baby to reach for the Nanny when she is upset.


Yes or No.  Easy as that.  No smugness, no chance of misinterpretation...just the truth, free of judgment or implications.

Let's try this, Moms!  Maybe we can help each other feel better about ourselves and our parenting decisions with simple Yes/No answers.  What do you think?


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23 words of geekdom:

Kristin said...

I feel like I always have to justify myself (esp with the cloth diapers) but lately I have been saying "because I want to" when I asked why in the world I would cloth diaper. That usually shuts them up ;)

B.J. Caulfield said...

Yes! Thank you! We always feel the need to explain ourselves, even to strangers. Ugh. Hate that.

B.J. Caulfield said...

PS...just noticed you're on Pinterest now! Following you there! Love that site! :)

Jen + Jeff said...

YES!

Eliza said...

A great idea!!

Phase Three Of Life said...

Sign me up!!!

mestills said...

I agree and I need to really work on this.

Jill (Momma Totally in Love) said...

Yes! I hate explaining myself as to why I do things, if you think answering breastfeeding and diaper questions are bad try answering a idiot who asks why I had my child have surgery!! Yes and no from now on or bc I wanted too!!
Great post :)

Jet's Journey said...

I think: YES!

whiskybaker said...

yes :)

Tayshelton said...

Such a good point! I've always felt like I've had to explain myself, but I really like your theory. I'm really going to try this in the future.

Holly said...

yes!

Little Gray Pixel said...

When people bother to ask me questions like this and I say yes or no and they pause to let me explain, I simply say, "That's what works best for our family." People are far too nosy about these very personal choices, in my humble opinion.

Shannon said...

Most definitely! When a parent makes a decision there shouldn't be a need for a explanation because it's a PARENTING DECISION, made by the PARENT. End of story.

Kristin said...

"People are far too nosy about these very personal choices, in my humble opinion." YEP. It makes me want to punch the asker too ;)

diana said...

YES!!!

Jessica said...

Agreed.

Jenny said...

Amen to that!

Allyson said...

Great post! I feel the same way. I do not want to justify my answers.

molly said...

I should stop justifying my decisions. I really should. I think it's my insecurities coming out.

For instance, when I talk about breastfeeding I still justify my choices and tell the saga of what happened to me with both boys. I need to stop it.

Heather from Our Girls Keep Us Moving said...

You rock! Well said, there is no need for justifications but we all do it in one way or another. We also need to support one another more but that's another post ;)

Martina said...

This is a great post. I've been on both side of the coin: Questioned because I worked and questioned because I then decided to stay home with my child. I can completely relate to feeling the need to justify answers. But one thing I've learned is that although everyone is entitled to an opinion, no one should be made to feel guilty about any choice they've made for the betterment of their child or family. Now if only the nosy bodies would be happy with merely a yes or no answer!

Just Janie said...

*standing ovation* I'm using this up until birth - AND BEYOND!
-akajanie

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