Wednesday, March 3, 2010

my rant of the day: baby etiquette & etiquette in general

I tend to be very straight forward with people. If I've got something to say I feel like I really HAVE to say it & get it out. Of course I do try really hard to say it politely & to sometimes just bite my tongue no matter how much I don't want to.

And I also analyze (I analyze EVERYTHING in life it seems) to decide if it's really necessary. Is it just my opinion, just my way of doing things, or a fact or serious enough matter to be opening my mouth for.

A lot of people think I'm shy & I guess I am a little bit. I think more-so I'm just so busy analyzing what I'm gonna say (to make sure I'm not offending someone) that it slows me down in a conversation & makes me seem shy. (I do struggle with making small talk, but if you give me a subject I'm knowledgeable on I can talk for hours).

I know someone who always complains that a certain someone always wants to tell them how to drive. And yet the person complaining about it tells everyone else how to drive. Personally, when someone is doing something that bugs me, I make a note to myself to not do that to anyone else. But I guess that's just me.........

So now I'm a mom. And yes, I've been a step-mom for almost 5 years now, but my step-kids have always been older & independent, so when it comes to baby stuff & mothering stuff it doesn't really count. I definitely have always taken my role as a step-mom very seriously. I always have the kids' best interests at heart. I love them very much, care about them & everything that affects them. I try to make sure I set a good example for them & definitely try to not set bad examples for them.

But back to the topic at hand. So now I'm a mom. And suddenly the whole world wants to tell me how to take care of my kid. Now I must admit I had no clue about any of this stuff just a few months ago. But I read a lot of books, listened to what people had to tell me, & then jumped in (as we all do). It's basically a learn-as-you-go thing. And I'm really good at learning from my mistakes, I've had lots of practice with that. So so far I think I've done really well & so does hubby.

I am the type of person who will ask if I need/want advice. Anything else given to me I will listen to & consider & decide what to do with it. And there's been tons of people wanting to give me all sorts of advice since I found out I was pregnant. I always consider the source though--are they Christian, knowledgeable on health, etc?

But then there's people who want to tell me how to do things & INSIST on it as well. This is unbelievable to me. Now for example I know someone who has several kids & she was at my house a few months ago & I observed her putting her littlest one in the car seat not quite right. I was about to correct her, but then I bit my tongue. After all, she has several children & has done this many times. Who am I (new mom & all) to be telling her what to do & how to do it? I struggled with this a bit because it's a safety issue. But again, I am much more concerned about car safety than anyone else I know simply because I've been rear-ended so many times. So I bit my tongue & let her do her thing, wrong or right. I didn't want to be one of those irritating people telling you what to do with your kid.

So it's surprising to me that other people aren't that considerate. There are people who come in my house & insist on what my son can & can't put in his mouth. When I tell them it's ok or vice versa they completely disregard me &/or correct me. I have people who come in my house & want to take him out of his highchair--WHILE HE'S STILL EATING--to hold him. (they even TELL me they're going to, not even ASKING.) And when I (politely) tell them no they get really offended. If it was someone who's never had children I would totally understand actually, but these people are people who have had several children. When we have company over little J gets so excited that his whole nap schedule gets totally off & makes for a difficult day, but I at least do my very best to keep his eating schedule on track or else he won't sleep through the night (he'll wake up hungry in the middle of the night). I am sure any parent knows this & I would expect them to respect that for me, but I guess I expect too much out of people. I also know how clean I keep my floors & that we have a no=shoe policy in our house, & how often I clean all his toys, so I feel comfortable with him putting toys in his mouth that have been on the floor. It's gonna happen when you're not looking anyways, so why cause such an uproar & upset little J over it? I am extremely careful about that sort of thing when I'm not in my own home though.

And besides, if you shelter them from germs they end up with weaker immune systems. I work really hard to not be overprotective, to the point of being criticized that I'm not paying attention to him (although I am totally). He has to learn to be careful or else he'll hurt himself. The earlier he learns this the better in my opinion. As he gets older he'll only be bigger & stronger & do even more adventurous stuff where he could hurt himself even more than he can right now. And he is learning & doing really well now. I think you do your child a HUGE disservice by hovering over them & babying them all the time.

I appreciate so much when people ASK if they can hold him or whatever it is they want to do & I always give an honest answer. If I say yes or I don't care or whatever, it's totally the truth. I don't like to ask people to hold him or feed him or whatever it is, but if they offer I'm usually thrilled. Especially when he's overly tired & cranky & wiggly--I just don't have the patience to hold him when he's like that & I would never ever ask someone to hold him when he's like that, but if they offer I jump all over it gladly.

That's my rant for the day.....I feel better now..

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