By Fredrica Syren:
What I never expected before I became a mom are all the pressures, opinions and sometimes even judgments from people regarding our parenting skills. What really blew me away was how this started even before my baby was born. But believe me, once people realized we were raising our child in a more natural style, it really got bad. I still remember how others reacted when we announced that we did not want lots of people in the delivery room or even at the hospital. We felt that we really wanted it to be just us three the first days and for us to get to know our child. People were really hurt and voiced their disappointment. Once we told everyone we would be raising our child as a vegetarian, we received emails with articles attached about parents starving their child with a vegan diet. And when we told people we were not having a birthday cake on her first birthday because she was not eating sugar, their opinion was that all kids should eat birthday cake and that somehow we were depriving our child of something.
I have to admit that, during times like these, standing up against the pressure of society and its opinions about how we should raise our child has been darned hard. It has made me sometimes question my decisions. For example, we really had to defend our stand against circumcision of our boys and had to listen to endless tales of how they would be teased, get diseases, blah, blah, blah. It really made us question our choices a lot, but in the end I’m so happy we united and took a stand on what we wanted and believed in.
Raising a child is one of the most personal things you can do, and everyone does it a bit differently. But we all have to follow the path that works for us. As a new mom or dad, I know how hard that pressure can be, and of course you want only the very best for your child. So, hearing from someone that you’re doing something wrong can really make you back down from your beliefs. I wish I could say the pressure goes away, but it really does not, and people will always think they know better than you. If, like us, you practice natural parenting, well, you will be judged more than ever. I can say that, as I became more confident as a mom, these opinions bother me less and less. However, sometimes it still does make me wonder whether I’m doing the right thing. Then I look at my three beautiful children and say yes, I am…this is what is right for us.