Okay, so how does one give advice to a parent that has a different parenting philosophy than you? I don't really label myself as any one parent philosophy but let's face facts, I'm more or less an Attachment Parent. I hate that label, makes it seem that I"m calling other parents de-ttached.
I want to share the lessons I've learned but I know that my life works for me. I don't live anyone else's life so how can my lessons really benefit them? I can talk in general but it is hard to give an example without making people feel singled out. If I talk about letting a baby "cry-it-out" and how I think it is horrible then someone will think I'm talking about them. Besides, how do you talk about something like that without passing judgement. Yes I think letting a baby cry themselves to sleep is horrible. How can you stand there and listen to your child cry? But then that is me. I can't do it. Maybe you can and may you raise the Supreme Court justice and I raise the serial killer. Who is really to say?
I think a classic example is babywearing. I babywear (shocking right?). I think there is a right way and a wrong way and there is definitely a deadly way. Yes, there is research to support my way but wrapping isn't for everyone (most days not even for me) or MeiTeis or SSC or ring slings. Maybe the Baby Bjorn is the best thing for that family. Anything else could result in dropping the baby or never wearing that baby. Which is worse? Never wear or wear in a Bjorn? I had a Bjorn! I thought it was great. Then I got my Moby and I hated my Bjorn. Then I did research and attended some babywearing meetings. I decided that for Audrey I would Bjorn no more. That doesn't make me a better parent. It made me a better parent for Audrey. Happy Mama = Happy Baby?
Even that statement, happy mama + happy baby makes me think twice. I would love to out drinking with my friends, getting my nails done and spending money on me. That would make me happy. I don't think that would make Audrey happy. I could shove formula in her face so I can get drunk but that would not make either of us happy (I'm not a big drinker). But there are mamas who are happier giving formula. Breastfeeding makes them feel trapped. Happy Mama = Happy Baby? I just don't know.
So to the point, I will not shut my pie-hole but please don't assume I'm talking about you. I will live my life and you will live yours. I don't feel guilty about my choices and neither should you. We are all doing the best we can and it is a crap shoot. My happily attached cloth-diapered breastfed Audrey could wind up a murder on death row and your happy Bjorn formula baby could cure cancer. I'm thinkin' it's a crap-shoot either way.