Hamden Patch, North Branford Patch and Branford Patch collectively did something for women last week that I have never seen before. They publicly displayed the Universal Breastfeeding Symbol and wrote in support of breastfeeding.
One blog, by Doreen Currie and by yours truly, were coincidentally featured on the same week. Most comments came out in support of a woman's right to breastfeed in public or on Facebook. Some did not.
The most noticeable argument was not about whether or not a woman should breastfeed but about HOW she should breastfeed – cover up, stay inside, let people stare etc. It started me thinking about how freely judmental we can be about how others parent their children.
This applies not only to the choice of breastfeeding but other decisions parents have to make. Cloth vs disposable, organic homemade vs jarred store-bought, vaccines or anti-vaccine, medications or diet.
According to Irene S. Levine, Ph.D, a psychologist and award-winning freelance journalist:
"Unfortunately, some mean girls never grow up, continuing similar behaviors as adults. So the insidious practice of woman-on-woman bullying – often used to dominate and control subordinates or colleagues – is common in the workplace. Similarly, stay-at-home moms are still victimized by frenemies and neighbors. They and their kids become the subject of gossip, and are systematically excluded from play dates, playgroups and birthday parties. This is a particularly pernicious form of bullying because it attacks not only a grown woman but also her child." (Psychology Today Aug 13, 2010)
I wonder if the same phenomenom happens amongst fathers. Do they whisper about the clothes other children are wearing or if a baby has gone to long without giving up his binky?
When we first become pregnant, we start planning on how WE are going to parent? But can every way be the right way? Or are there too many "children" the sandbox?