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April 25, 2006

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leora

AMEN, MD! If there's one thing I've learned as a parent, it's that one should never criticize another parent's techniques. No good ever comes out of it.

euphrosynely

I love how you're 3 years shy of the big four-oh and still can and feel comfortable reciting hip hop lyrics and allude to pop culture.

Meg

AND THAT'S WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT.

Nice, MD, nice.

Meg

And my mom COULDN'T breastfeed me -- it made her boobs turn into giant, blood-red, horrible, infected orbs. Her doctor told her to stop trying IMMEDIATELY.

She didn't feel guilty, partly because she believes it's all about choice, and partly because she COULDN'T HELP IT.

That didn't stop a few women from giving her the gears, which she found totally ironic in the light of the burgeoning feminist movement.

Choice! Choice! Choice!

There, done now.

weigooksaram

You're right, we should all chill out. I think what happens is that sometimes it's hard to talk about our own reasons for making a particular choice without (however unintentionally) sounding like we're attacking someone else's parenting.

I also think bloggers like to stir up controversy to generate traffic.

Wood

Judgmental hate comes from insecurity right? and parenting is a really freaking hard job, one that certainly makes me insecure. So we all slog through this job wondering if we're doing the right thing and feeling terrified that we're not, and then we take that insecure energy and turn it into judgmental hate. That's what I think happens. Not that it should -- and I think your post is the perfect response.

ryan

Sorry. I'm still laughing at the "all pho one and one pho all" line! You crack me up, MD!

Kara

Great post. This whole phenomenon is so strange. I truly believe that the majority of parents wake up one day and say HOLY SHIT WE"RE PARENTS and then then most of their our days just trying to love their child and avoid messing them up too badly. Some, however feel the need to show us what great parents they are by putting down those who don't parent in the same way. This thing we do, raising kids, is the single most important thing most of any of us will do (that's what I believe anyway. That's why I think people get all nuts over it (If YOU'RE doing a shitty job, then I must be doing an AMAZING job). At some point, we'll all be judged by somebody because of how well (or not) our kids turned out. Failing at being a parent is about the worst thing one can fail at and therefore people get really weird about anything that threatens their parental superiority. There's no one right way to be a parent or a partner.
Anyone up for a beer?

Amy

Coin slots! I love it!

Great rant, MetroDad, I totally agree. I just don't have the time to get all worked up about this stuff. I'm doing the best I can, and I assume (for better or worse) that you (the universal you) are doing the same.

Kara

then again, there are those who don't proofread their comments on other people's blogs. I think we should start a movement against them. what I MEANT to say is:
HOLY SHIT WE'RE PARENTS and then spend most of their days just trying to love their child and avoid messing them up too badly
(oops)

nonlineargirl

Thanks for the great post. I agree that people have too much time if they are bitching out strangers for their personal choices. Stress is bad for the health. To protect mine, I try not too worry about what others do.

R2dad

Oh, come on, MD. A little well-deserved evil-spewing is good for the soul, as long as one is honest about it. But you're right, letting your one year old watch TV will not turn them into the unibomber any more than depriving your kid of the boob will make them a Donald Trump. Unfortunately, we can't all get along because there are some truly bad people out there procreating and raising monsters. That said, ranting about bad parenting does nothing for your blood pressure, confidence or self esteem and certainly won't make anyone change their mind. Best to save rants for all the really bad drivers out there who are an actual hazard to people other than themselves. I've inadvertently trained my kid to call them wankers--makes mum and dad laugh and keeps the hate down during our frequent car rides.

Melissa

MD, you rock! I am so with you. I will tell you though, that you won't get the hate that gets spewed around like someone else would. It's not generally dads who spew around the blog world. It's moms. And really, it makes me sad. Some days it makes me want to stop blogging. But I don't, because I love it too much. And also my personal thought is that people have no tolerance for differences of opinions. They are convinced that their way is the only way.

Says the woman who did not breastfeed, gives her kids candy and plastic toys, whose 4 year old has an iPod, and who won't read blogging baby anymore, because I got sick of the drama and the "If you are shallow, you'll love this for your kid" posts. But hey, it's all about choices. However, I don't feel the need to ridicule or name call people who don't feel how I do. Especially not on their personal blog.

Eryn

I have been a lurker for awhile, but I just had to comment on this post. Love it! People get too worked up of crap that really doesent make a damn difference in the long run. We're all just doing the best we can.

mo-wo

Meg + Wood sorta stole my thunder. You are more wisely vague than any of us I'd guess.

yep it is choice
yes we fear making the wrong choice

truth be told. no right answers people. 'tis a crap shoot, often literally.

kristied

i was as amazed as you while i was reading all of these controversial posts and their comments.

what u said man!!!!!

people need to chill the fuck out and worry about teaching their kids not to be insensitve jerks like them.

Anne Glamore

Well said. I have OPINIONS about all of the above, but they apply only to my children. I don't have time to raise anyone else's, for God's sake!

It's interesting as well how different my 3 boys are turning out, when all 3 have been raised with the same rules. What the hell?

kristen

I get so much shit because I don't want our 5 MONTH OLD WATCHING TV. C'mon people, he is an infant. That cracked out glaze that comes over his face, staring at the tube, scares the daylights out of me. That is my choice, no biggie right?
Wrong! Somehow I am commenting on other people's parenting styles?!
Not likely, I am barely getting by obsessing over my own kid to care what you are doing. However there is this picture on Amazon where you can add your own images and it is a 5 mo old jumperooing away in front of the tv. I can't find the image now, but it breaks my heart.
And my parents think that because I don't want him to watch tv, i think they did a terrible job raising me.
All these loaded issues.

AlieMalie

All I wanted to say was AMEN but it looks like someone beat me to it. Ah, what the hell.

AMEN!

Amy

Preach it!

Jason

'Jes so ya know, I got called out by the Dutchman on that particular link; he put up a link to a post I did eons ago (last December, actually)regarding the numerous (!) bloggers who chose the holiday season to state their case against "consumerism", questioning the message sent by parents who buy shit from Walmart, Target, et. al. I did send him an email (I practice what I preach, and don't put trollish comments on other's blogs) after reading that particular "Rage, Rage" post, in which I said the following:

"The bottom line: in the Blogosphere, nobody really knows anybody. Do I disagree with some of the things you've written? Sure. Do I go to bed at night thinking, "Damn that Dutch! I don't need no lawyer who's also on AOL's payroll tellin' me my bidness! Now I'm all whipped up! Gotta watch me some Leno!" No. Do I think you're an "asshole"? No. (Not even when you say bad things about us frat guys, monsters though we may be.) Nobody knows anybody, Dutch. Unsolicited advice: challenging widespread beliefs does not make you a snob. But if you're truly hoping to change hearts and minds, realize (and I'm sure you do) that parents live in very insular worlds. They're constantly bombarded with people telling them that this is right, this is wrong, do this and your kid's on the fast track to a career operating a Softee machine or worse. No wonder we circle the wagons and fill the moat, because who the fuck is anyone to say what's right for anyone else's kid? You can either not challenge those beliefs, not care about the opinions of those who don't subscribe to your beliefs (my choice, about 95% of the time) - or adjust the message so that you do strike some kind of chord with those folks. It's relatively easy to bag on, say, WalMart if you don't have to shop there. (Of course you don't; I don't either, and even if my economic circumstances made it a desirable option, the Greeters freak my shit out). Parenting is akin to religion to most people; is it any wonder that you get such reactions? Regardless, if we were to meet, I'd buy you a beer. You're an interesting cat, and a good dad. That much I know."


Jason

Wow - that took up a lot of bandwidth. But I feel no remorse, not after my taste in footware has been insulted! Et tu, Pierre? I am a PROUD Birkenstock wearer! If you cut me, do I not bleed?

landismom

Can't we all just get along?

JustLinda

Preach it, brother!!

I just wrote a post last week about how I'm DONE with the same mommy wars... Ack, it's enough to make a person go childless by choice! Except THAT group has its NUTS too. Nowhere to run! Nowhere to hide!

Besides, it's really easy - I'M right about everything! Ha!

LeeMarv...

Yo MD,

Go on en TELL IT !!

You have a unique perspective on many things; a view that most others can't comprehend on a good day.

That's what make you so freakin' interesting.

On another tip, I wanna give serious props to your parents. It sounds like they raised you & MetroBro right. I'm SURE it wasn't easy for them.

And, if you are ever accused of stealing a bunch of money or going postal, I'll take it all back!


Great Post, as usual.

Arnie McKinnis

Looks like it's time to and create the official manifesto at ChangeThis! dot com. Great post.

Kristen

For real. I always wondered what is really behind the mommy wars. Perhaps that's it. We all just need to have a big fat drink, relax, and realize, we're all in this crazy thing called parenthood together.

Stephen

Parents need to stick together or we're going to be outnumbered! Way to spread the peace, MD!

By the way, those links were genius!

Meredith

Word.

It's exhausting enough keeping track of myself. I'd sure hate to get so twisted up over everyone else. Egads.

Comparing those scooters to our car seat laws is some kind of contrast. Yes, we live among HIGH class problems. Rejoice!

A.Tsai

You're like the Dennis Miller of the parenting blogosphere. Who else can drop references to Black Sheep and Moses Malone in a post about parenting controversies? Keep it up, MD. Keep it up!

MoMMY

I have learned to never critize. Every kid is different and every situation is different. Having more than one kid does that to you. Just like how BEFORE you have kids you always say, "I will never let my kids XXX." Then you have them. And you promtly do XXX. I had a good sleeper. Thought I was all that. Then I had a crappy sleeper.

When will people learn - DO NOT ANGER THE PARENTING GODS!

Izzy

Thank you! FINALLY...a voice of reason. I wanted to say everything you've said but I'm almost afraid to. People are so high strung and ready to fight. One day everybody's all "Yay sisterhood!" and the next day they're ripping someone apart and calling them names because they don't agree on something that doesn't even MATTER. I can't stand it. So thanks again for putting this out there.

As you noted...there are so many other things to worry about and we do have it so easy here. If only we could harness all this energy and channel it into something positive.

(And I kind of agree with Weigooksaram that I think people sometimes use controversy to up their stats and drive traffic)

Tawnya

Thank you, MD. Your post was brilliant and said everything I want to say to anyone who questions how I wish to raise my munchkin.
The way I see it, unless you see a child that is obviously being mistreated, neglected or abused...keep your nose out of it!

tpon

but if I am not judging, how will I know if i am winning? : )

margalit

I think most of the people who are stuck in the mommy wars are first time parents of young kids who aren't really confident in the parenting yet, and so tend to need to be aggressive about their parenting choices. By the time you all have teenagers, you're going to know what works with your kids (and taking away the computer, phone and XBox controllers are all brilliant strategies) and you just go ahead and do it because it is the right choice for your particular kids.

Now, I have no issue with most mommy blogs EXCEPT when people ridicule other people's parenting choices without even giving a lick of thought as to why that person might have made that choice. For example, I got in a raging bitch session fairly recently with someone that yelled at my kids and me for taking an elevator all of one floor. This person thought we were horrible wasteful people, lazy, and that I sucked as a mom by allowing my (naturally skinny) kids to ride rather than climb the stairs.

I guess this jerk didn't notice that I was parked in a handicapped space legally because I'M HANDICAPPED. That kind of instantly stupid judgement drives me nuts. And that's why the post on the leashed kid bothered me. Because as the single mother of twins, I used leashes to protect my nutty kids from running off in two different directions. I had a good reason for my parenting choice and I don't think whomever that blog belonged to gave one thought that there MIGHT be a reason why that woman was using a leash. Like, maybe she had a heart condition and couldn't run????

Oy, that so gets my goat.

hannah

I think you have a cool and interesting perspective on life that is pretty rare. Plus, you're really funny. After the past week, I'm completely enamored of you, BossLady and MetroBro. Can I come to NY and be part of your family? Puh-lease! I'm a great babysitter!

Chag

Sometimes people just need something to bitch about, so they'll start attacking any little thing they can find. It has been ugly out there recently.

Mom101

Leave it to a daddy to put an end (as I see it) to the mommywars. Sometimes people just need a good old fashioned, STFU.

I'm not a regular dooce reader but those comments made me sad for so many reasons. I can hardly believe that people spend their time writing hate mail to anyone other than George Bush. I mean, she's just a writer. You don't like the writing? Um, don't read it? Crazy, I know. But it's not like she's leaking CIA operative names or sending your kids to war, for God's sake.

David

Thank god for the internet. Now I know what a coin slot really is. But do you put your loose change in one, when you see one?
On the serious side, I get worried about the lengths we are expected to go to to succeed at work, at play, in politics, whatever. Look at the obsession of that guy who was after Clinton for the Lewinsky affair. Or the religious right when they take up an issue. Or Disney when they market a film. Or, or, or... Just doing a good job is no longer good enough. Letting things be is a weakness. No wonder such attitudes appear in such debates as bottle vs. breast.

Grins

I'm one of those moms that doesn't mommy blog. At 17 my son is past most of the mommy topics thank goodness but I remember enough of the unsolicited advice to try not to give it myself.

Mr. Big Dubya

Ok - the other day when you mentioned that your greatest sports moment was the '86 Mets, I wondered aloud why I continue to read. This is why.

AdventureDad

Well said. Those are some pretty intense subjects you're bringing up. I only tend to get very upset when people are risking their childrens lives or not treating them well. Like driving around without a car seat or let their 1 year old play unsupervised near a pool. The other issues are just personal choices.

Some people don't have a very good perspective on life and I found that to often be the explanation for the hate and discussion. Thejust haven't seen much in their life. If travel a lot and meet many different people from other cultures I personally think you have a better chance of not getting into these ridiculous discussions. The more you see of the world the more you realize that we're all different.
Remember, life is short and when we die we'll be dead for along time.

I've never been brave enough to taste breast milk. Perhaps I'll have the courage when our girl comes in August?

Glad you made it back safely from your trip.

Take care

AD

clearlykels

Seriously, why don't people realize that some situations are best for some parents and some are best for others. That is life. We are all different. People just need to chill.

Nothing But Bonfires

Pho sure, MD.

(That was terrible, wasn't it?)

Stacy

Word.

Louise

Right on, Metro. I'm so sick of hearing about Mommy Wars or criticisms of people's parenting methods. It's time to stop all the hating!

misfithausfrau

True Dat, Metro. What works for some doesn't work for all. I was raised to say nothing if I had nothing nice to say.

Connie J.

NOBODY is commenting on that fabulous photo of Fergie peeing her pants? I thought that was awesome. Never really liked her.

freezio

All this confusion and strife on the parts of the good citizens who are doing nothing more than trying as best they can to determine the best way to lovingly raise their precious children, this parental infighting can only mean one thing: The government has got to step in and regulate parenting. Apparently, all this choice is just too upsetting for us.

Rogan

I couldn't agree with you more. I really don't understand the need for other people to harsh on other parents. Do they do it to make themselves feel better? And do they really feel better after criticizing other parents? It's a sad state of affairs. I agree with one of the other commentors. Unless you see a child who is in potential harm, we'd all be better off minding our own business!

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