A royal decree

I need to clear something up. Not because I should. But because I want too.
Poke the sleeping Bear. I dare you.
It has come to my attention that not everyone lets their kids sleep in bed with them and some people actually let their children scream themselves to dreamland.
Shut up. Really?
To be more accurate, its come to my attention I’m a bad parent. And because I don’t do things the normal way, my kids, apparently, manipulate me and will grow up to be freaks.
Normally this is where I would play nice and say “we all do things different, and different isn’t wrong. Its whatever works for each family!”
But today I’m feeling more like, umm…
Lets be real here, my Mommy friends. We all don’t agree on certain parenting issues. And the reason we don’t agree ISN’T because we live in this nicety-nice playground world, where you just happened to choose to let your kid cry it out and I just happened not too. If it were that easy, everyone could play nice together. But its not. I choose not to let my kids cry it out because I simply don’t believe in it. Other parents do.
And its like religion or politics. Either you tolerate and listen to the other side’s reasons, or you act like an ass and try and convert everyone to your ways. Admittedly I think all cry-it-out parents are wrong. But it works for them. So who am I to tell them not too? I also think Christians, Jews, Hindus, Muslims, etc. are wrong…but so long as they are happy and not hurting me, live and let live baby. (Republicans suck too, by the way)
BUT, some of those on the other side of the issue have not-so-recently told me I was wrong. And instead of living and let live, I was told I was hurting my children.
In case you haven’t noticed, I am the Queen. Big Mistake, asshole.
So I am sick of playing nice. I’m sick of saying we should all try and support eachother’s parenting decisions when clearly we think some of them are dead wrong. Why should we hide this fact and try and placate eachother like we’re back in high school?
Oh Suzie I think you’re hair looks so cool today, and I really love your shoes.
Nope, you know what. I’m done playing pattycake with you other mother’s out there. You want a piece of me? You got it.
And for those of you who just live and let live, and are nice about it…bravo. Apparently you are above this crap. Most days I’m with you, but today…I am not. Here we go:

Formula sucks. I breastfeed because its the best thing for my kids.
I breastfeed on demand. Find me a person who is hungry at the same exact time, every single day, and I’ll consider scheduling feeds.
I breastfeed for nourishment and for comfort. Suckling at mom’s breast provides everything a baby could want in the world, the sucking motion, and Mamma close.
I don’t use pacifiers. They interfere with breastfeeding.
I don’t use bottles. They interfere with breastfeeding.
We cosleep. Breastfeeding is much easier this way. It provides comfort to both children. My husband works long hours and loves reconnecting with the kids everynight. “If Mommy and Daddy get someone to sleep with, why do I have to sleep all by myself?” Is not an issue.
Slate did a great defense of cosleeping here. (the original url has moved…but that link has the full text)
No, I don’t think my kids will be freaks for having slept with us. In case your small mind was not aware, most of the REST OF THE WORLD does this. But I suppose you are the type of person who thinks foreigners are freaks.
My kids will leave our bed when they are ready. My kids will wean from the breast (the Count weaned at 19 months, gasp! he’s very well adjusted, just so you know) when they are ready. Its a milestone. Its a right of passage. I will help both issues along, but ultimately its up to the child to grow up and gain that independence. I am in no rush to rush my babies.
Now, the big one: we don’t cry it out.
I was never a fan of Ferber. It just seemed cruel. And wrong. But I thought I was alone. Then, early on in my first pregnancy I read Elizabeth Pantley’s The No-Cry Sleep Solution.
Horray! There were other parents who found ferberizing EVIL!
Basically, I believe what Pantley says on trying to Ferberize: “I thought, ‘This approach is responding to a child’s needs? This is teaching her that her world is worthy of her faith and trust? This is nurturing?’ I decided…they were horribly intolerably, painfully wrong. I was convinced that this was a simplistic and harsh way to treat another human being, let alone the little love of my life.”

She goes on to quote other experts:
“A child can not comprehend why you are ignoring his cries for help. Ignoring your baby’s cries, even with the best of intentions, may lead him to feel that he’s been abandoned.”

Basically you stick your kid in room, and after a few nights of screaming her/his head off, they realize that Mommy or Daddy WON’T come. That he/she can NOT rely on Mommy or Daddy. That he/she’s only way of communicating is IGNORED. And that they are alone. So they GIVE IN TO THEIR BASIC INSTINCT, and fall asleep.

I’m sorry, but I’m teaching my children that not only are their voices heard, but Mommy or Daddy will always respond. I’ve been told this is how the child manipulates me.

Fucking ridiculous.

If my baby is crying simply because she wants to be held, and its 2am, I am going to hold her at 2am. She has a basic need, and I will meet her basic needs. COMFORT IS ONE OF THOSE NEEDS. And as difficult as it may be for you to haul your ass out of bed at 2am, you are not just a day time parent. Shutting your child in a room and letting them cry so you can sleep is LAZY parenting. Must be nice not to have to work nights.

Ok. Now that I’ve gotten all that off my chest. I’d like to say that I know many of you don’t have kids that will breastfeed, or you are not able to breastfeed. Or kids that will sleep with you. Or do anything BUT cry before they pass out. Even when you are comforting them. And I’m sure you’ve found a way that works for you. Good for you.

I’ve found a way that works for me. And I’ll defend it to the death. And the next time I’m called a bad parent, and told I’m fucking up my kids, I’m punching you in the face instead of blogging.

Huh, so this is how all those holy wars start.


  1. Perhaps this post is long done. Perhaps not…

    I do parent training with families, and on occasion, I address how to deal with sleeping/eating issues (or other types of discipline). When I ask about sleep, I generally ask about co-sleeping. Some families feel that it is a problem that the child is in bed with them, some want the child to be in bed with them more, some love and cherish sleeping with their children. Do what works for your family and your child. In all likelihood, the little child who responded so well to the Ferber method would do just fine with attachment parenting. The children who respond perfectly to the first method you introduce are frequently happy-go-lucky children who can deal with whatever method a parent wants to use.

    Both categories of parenting have their good points and their bad points. For example, schedules are a good thing, children need them. Let’s not be ridiculous though: zealously following a rigid schedule that causes your child distress isn’t a good thing. Comforting your child when they are distressed is wonderful too (and EVERY BIT AS IMPORTANT as setting up a schedule.) However, parents also need to remember that children need to develop their own strategies for self-soothing. In 99% of homes, regardless of what “method” is used, these things naturally occur. Using some form of attachment parenting can led to a regular schedule, and the Ferber method can contribute to promoting secure attachments. The problem is with the 1% who follow the “rules” blindly and zealously, refusing to fit the system to their child. Instead fit their child to the system.

    Anon, meeting and satisfying your children’s needs in a responsive and nurturing can be accomplished in a variety of ways (that may appear contradictary): Do what works for your child and you and assume that every other parent is as capable as you are. Every child is unique with their own needs and personality, so why should we expect that every method of parenting should work equally well for everyone. Parenting is not a one-size-fits-all process.

  2. Your majesty, your entry got me all teary-eyed… (and to think I found your blog for the first time today via few other blogs!) Our Abby is 9 months old today – I breastfeed her on demand except when I am at work… then my hubby feeds her on demand. (I have older co-workers who’ve been vocal about our choice not to wean until Abby is ready – they tell me it’s creepy. I don’t say anything back – but I do want to call them fucktards. Then I want to tell them they’re basing their opinion on ignorance, outdated trend, and small mindedness.) Abby sleeps with me and I won’t send her to that scary crib unless she’s ready. She’s a well-adjusted baby who’s easy going, rarely ever cries… so when she starts sobbing in her crib, I will go to her and let her know that she’s not alone in the world. And yes, the fucktards in my world also stick their long pinocchio noses into our sleeping arrangement – I usually tell them that I’ve found it to be an American tendency to criticize co-sleeping and that the rest of the world is okay with it. I act all cosmopolitan and make sure they feel provincial… but it’s still stressful when everyone chooses to tell me Abby will sleep with us for the rest of her life because I’m letting her sleep the first 1 or 2 years with us. The other day, someone criticized the lack of structure in Abby’s schedule. She said I’ll run into problems getting her up for school. WTF?
    So, HURRAY for this post. Thank you for making my day.
    Oh, and Anonymous ‘male’ poster – I did ask my hubby and he told me he trusts my instincts because I know more about these things than he. And that comment about most of us being single moms… how fabulously ignorant and judgmental in so many ways! If I had to choose between a hippy freak and a gigantic ass like yourself, I’ll take a hippy freak any day.

  3. Ummm…I’m a Republican…so do I suck? -giggling- I love your feisty attitude! You rock!

  4. I agree – the way you raise your child is none of my business, the way I raise mine – none of yours. I don’t care if you breastfeed or bottle feed, make your own food or feed your kid from a jar. Up to you. Don’t criticize my choices, and I’ll do the same for you.

    Well put as always! Much better than I could have done!

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