Everyone has opinions on things. But some opinions are best kept to yourself. Repeatedly, on Kidspot, I hear mothers complaining about what someone has said to them about their family or their choices. Whether it be “You should have more children,” or “When are you going to stop breeding?”, there’s a myriad of opinions given on personal matters and individual choices.
Something which puzzles me is the fact that such things are never said to me. Do I simply have especially understanding or apathetic friends? Nobody has ever criticised my choice to find out the gender of my babies pre-birth, or suggested I have more than the two or three children I want. Nobody has ever told me off when I’ve mentioned bringing my toddler into my bed to sleep with us. My parenting techniques or methods are simply accepted as they are, unless I should happen to ask for advice. That, I think, is how it ought to be, and how I strive to behave towards others. I suppose I am simply very lucky not to have come across more critical attitudes.
I wonder, also, if it has something to do with my own attitude. Whilst, with only one child so far, I can hardly claim to be an expert, I am confident in my own parenting abilities. I wonder if the people who receive criticism are those who project uncertainty or seem defensive. These people might be perceived by those who know them as wanting advice or needing help, even when that is not truly the case.
Either way, unless somebody is obviously mistreating or abusing a child, I do not see that it is anybody else’s business to question a mother’s choices or actions. Motherhood is plagued by guilt and pressure as it is; getting more of the same from unqualified or nosy nobodies will not help!