The weather here in South Carolina has been divine as of late. The temperature rises to about 77 each day and the wind blows in cool air to soothe the heat rash.
Today started out just the same. The weather was gorgeous. I stood at my french doors and pressed my nose to the screen, peering out into our back woods. The sky shadowed the trees and it was darker than usual outside. The wind started to pick up.
I opened the screen and shut it behind me as I descended the stairs and hit the grass with my bare feet. The wind tickled my face and my hair flew in a whirlwind around me. All I could see was blue.
I smiled. A wave of joy swept through my body and propelled me to move, as wind in my sails.
I walked to the clothesline to retrieve the receiving blankets I had placed there the day before. As I plucked the discolored wooden clothespins from the brightly patterned receiving blankets, I shmooshed the fabric deep into my face and inhaled.
The wind has a funny way of marking its territory. The scent that hangs within the fibers of cloth that are hung from the line is such a clean and honest smell (if smells could be honest). Perhaps it’s a mixture of the sun’s warmth radiating through the clouds and warming the fabric to receive the wind’s hug. Either way, the smell still lingers in my nose.
I retreated to the house, skipping on the way, and grabbed my quilts off of the bed. I wanted more of that intoxicating scent in my house.
I lugged three quilts out to the lines and threw them up over the wire. I made sure to clip them well with those creaky wooden clothespins, as the wind was picking up.
An hour or two later, I sensed a shift in light in the room and walked over to the window. It was dark and sprinkling rain. I ran outside barefoot, skipping gingerly on the grass as I knew not of the sticks waiting to pop up out of nowhere. Two of my quilts (the smaller ones) were already tackled to the ground, but not soaking wet.
I scurried around the yard to pick up the quilts and ran back inside, smelling them as I went. Sure enough, the wind had marked them with the wonderfully honest smell. Soon after, rain down poured and didn’t stop for an hour.
Boy, do I love the smell of clothes from the clothesline. Although clothes that come from the dryer smell fluffy and good in their own way, they also smell processed. Forced dry. Clothes dried from the line age naturally and dry on their own timeline. This leads to the fact that no good thing can be forced (except for a nice glass of cold water on a hot day. You can force that good thing on me any day).
Speaking of good things, I have enjoyed being a part of a group on Facebook for moms who had November 2012 due dates. These women have offered so much advice and support to each other. This has been an endearing thing to watch for the past .. well, for nearly a year.
Not everyone agrees on child rearing techniques and some are more vocal about that fact than others. A woman felt called out and judged by another woman on the board and put her business out in the public eye for all the other women to see. So the witch hunt began.
Parenting is multifaceted, kind of like different diamond cuts.
Some women, like my sister in law, have diamond shaped stones <>. Others, like my sister, have round diamonds O. And there are some, still, like me who have square diamonds.|_|. Each cut yields a different shine, a different glimmer of light, and are multifaceted.
Some women prefer to not vaccinate their children. Some women choose to breastfeed rather than formula feed. Other women, furthermore, choose to drink or smoke while pregnant or breastfeeding. These all are personal choices made by a parent.
I think it is awfully silly to comment on other people’s parenting styles. When a woman and a man create a child, and that child is born, a mother and father are also created. A person has no right to force a specific parenting style on another parent. Voicing opinions, respectfully, can be helpful, but there is a fine line between voicing opinions and judgement.
There are some women I know who chose to drink alcohol through their pregnancy. Did I say anything to them about it? No. I am sure they did their research on the matter and did not need me to tell them something they already knew. I chose not to drink alcohol through my pregnancy for my own reasons, just as Sam and I choose our own values in parenting (No Santa, minimalism approach to belongings, vaccinations, breastfeeding, cloth diapering).
Is it presumptuous of me to assume other people give due diligence to child rearing and parenting research?
If you want to comment on other people’s child raising habits, why not have one of your own and practice what you preach?
If a person has a problem with my parenting style, even if they tell me, it shouldn’t matter. Sam and I choose to raise Daphne in the way that seems right to us.
It is so easy to judge another person, isn’t it? To look at a stranger and make presumptions about his or her life situation, looks, or methods of living life. When you do not have all the facts, a fair observation cannot be made. To speak judgement, authoritatively and objectively, is foolish. How can a person presume to cast judgement on another person when he or she is not perfect?
Are we talking about judgment or tacky opinion here, people?
So the witch hunt begins. When you are hurt by someone you feel is ‘judging’ you for your lifestyle, do you assemble a witch hunt? Gathering your pitchforks to retaliate verbally or emotionally, pricking with biting insults or more hurtful words? You scream at the person who wronged you “Don’t judge me!” while you yourself are judging them.
Tact is becoming a lost art. Tact is defined by Merriam Webster Dictionary, as “a keen sense of what to do or say in order to maintain good relations with others or avoid offense.”
Most people are tacky. You know it’s true. The cashier at the store will offer you advice you didn’t ask for. Someone casts you a nasty look when they see that you are disheveled (little do they know that you might have just lost a family member and are not in a good place emotionally). Someone calls you a bad parent or disagrees with your parenting methods in an obviously negative manner. It’s tacky. It’s rude. But it’s also life.
Each person who lives and breathes in this big ol’ world judges the people around them. Each person believes something- true or false- about each person he or she comes in contact with. These beliefs are formed by a multitude of possibilities: religion, family history or experience, education, or personal experience. We observe and come to conclusions based on what we see. Often, this method leads us astray, as I said before, because we do not have all the facts. The sad part about that is that most people don’t search to find the facts. They believe and cast judgement/tacky opinion based on unfounded observations and conclusions. It’s a messy game of ‘connect the dots.’
In all this rambling, I hope to convey these ideas: you can control your thoughts. You are in control of what words come out of your mouth (they flow from the condition of your heart). If you do not agree with another person’s parenting methods, leave it be. That child is not your child, and respect that fact. Reverse the situation and wonder if you’d want to be told how to take care of your child. Don’t just spit out whatever comes to your mind, but rather think about your words: the effect they will have once heard and your reason for speaking them.
Yes. This was quite a rambling bumbling group of thoughts today, and I apologize dear friend. I thank you, however, for making through to the end and listening to me rant.
Life is too darn short to get so worked up when someone else hurts you. If that person is a big part of your life, mend the bridge. If that person who hurt you is a stranger or someone you don’t know well, don’t burn the bridge, but rather, just keep walking. it’ll crumble on it’s own accord and you don’t need to set it aflame.