I have a four-month-old boy, of whom I affectionately refer to as Monster. He has taken over my life, become my love, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I make decisions based on what I believe is best for him, and our family.
Why am I ridiculed?
I am a cloth-diapering, home-made baby food making, breastfeeding naturalist. Mainstream parenting doesn’t understand or accept that I am making these choices out of educated reasoning rather than to “show you up” or pretend that I am superior to you in any way.
You stand by your disposables? Go ahead! They work for majority of parents and they make life simple. You buy formula and jarred baby food? That is your choice! My choice is to use glass bottles, avoid over-produced plastics, stray away from processed food and to feed my baby from my breast, or prepare him food in my own kitchen.
Every parent makes decisions based on their lifestyle and currently I am a journalist working from home and I have extra time to put in that effort. That doesn’t mean that I think that I am better than you or I am judging your parenting ways, but that also doesn’t mean that it is okay for you to judge me either. I get it from strangers, and I am okay with that. Unfortunately I also get it from friends and family.
My brother (R) just recently welcomed his second child into our ever-growing family and I have always been very close with my two brothers, so of course I wanted to instantly rush off to view the little wonder immediately. My partner insisted that we not take our son to the hospital, for obvious reasons, but we had yet to leave him with anyone and I had yet to be away from him for an extended period of time.
We decided to leave him with my other brother (J) who lives just down the road from the hospital. It would be close and I could get there quickly if need be. I changed my Monster into a fresh new diaper and fed him until he was almost asleep before we left. I even warned my brother that he was going to cry because he doesn’t like to be without me… as any typical four-month-old baby.
We left and I was filled with worry. I cried walking to the hospital from our car because I was worried. I am overcautious, admittedly. We got up to my sister-in-laws room and received our first text that our Monster was crying. My partner manned the phone because I was already beside myself.
It isn’t easy leaving your little one for the first time and I was feeling the anxiety because I knew he was going to be difficult for them. They (my brother (J) and sister-in-law (A) go whom were watching my Monster) called us and asked if he was hungry because he was rooting. My partner insisted he wasn’t and told them not to feed him anything, told them again that we had just fed him and that we would be there soon. He was looking for comfort rather than sustenance.
We left with urgency, quickly got into our car and returned to get our son. Upon walking into their house there was a quick shudder and my sister-in-law (A) quickly said “I don’t care what you say I fed him sweet potato.” I walked around the corned and there she was shoving spoonfuls of jarred sweet potato into Monster’s mouth.
We couldn’t believe it. My partner was FURIOUS. We demanded they immediately stop and they just laughed at us and continued to tell us that we were lucky they didn’t send him home in a disposable. I would have preferred the latter any time.
Some, at this point may think we are overreacting, some may think we are being prudes, but let me explain how we were feeling at this moment… Not only was it his first time eating sweet potato, but it was his first vegetable and we had plans to go home that very night and make him some sweet potato and feed it to him together.
My partner and I are very keen to involve each other in everything, especially because this is our first child. He also works all day and already feels like he misses everything. My partner stated it best in his heated rant upon returning home.
He feels like they robbed us of something. We expressed that we didn’t want them to do it and they did it anyways, then had the audacity to say that they weren’t going to tell us they did it but we walked in on them!
What if he had some type of reaction?! What if we were waiting to give him solids until he was older? What if it was the first time he had ever had food. And they just did whatever they pleased with no regards to us, then continued to ridicule us.
I’m not sorry that we actually care, I’m not sorry that we are mad, and I am not sorry at all that my partner doesn’t want to go back there or ever leave our child with them again!
I am sorry that we missed his cute little face the first time he got to eat vegetables. I am sorry that he didn’t initially enjoy the sweet potatoes I had given him later because he was already keen on the processed jarred ones.
I am crushed that not even my family can respect the decisions we make and that they openly mock us.
I am mortified that my partner was robbed of one of the few things he actually gets to be involved in. Judge us how you will.
Go ahead and judge us for always wanting the best for our son, for wanting to instil good and healthy eating habits in him right from the start. Judge us for being upset over something that seems so little to most people.
But what is a molehill to you may be a mountain to me. I am a great parent, I have sacrificed and withstood all obstacles. Don’t judge me because you do not understand me. Show some respect for other people’s parenting, even if it is unlike your own!