There is a more I want to add to the “Are You Being Judged?” saga.
Regularly (or less so now, because I have learnt), I’d find myself embroiled in conversations that frustrate and upset me on a range of parenting websites that all seem to have a particular flare; i.e. someone said something about me, therefore, they must be judging me.
Sometimes, although, again, less often now, I find myself defending a comment I have made, or justifying something I’ve done because it has been assumed that I am ‘judging’ based on my expression of a belief I hold, or a particular behaviour or practice I choose to partake in. I’m often taken aback as I own my thoughts and behaviours, and rarely, if ever am even thinking the other party may be doing The Wrong Thing. I’ve seen others in the same boat.
A relatively recent example of this was just after I’d been interviewed for The Age regarding the act of Controlled Crying (something I am for – and also appreciate there is a LOT of grey in this area, misrepresentation and misinterpretation of what it is). Essentially, it is something that worked for me and my family, and I couldn’t give a flying fuck if you like it or don’t, use it or don’t, or whatever. You do what’s right for you.
At no point in the conversation had I expressed a distaste for anything that wasn’t controlled crying, nor had I even remotely eluded to the fact that anyone else do anything other than the same. It was, as far as I was concerned, me stating “I prefer to use controlled crying in my house” … I wasn’t aware that it was a debate, discussion or that I was, indeed, telling anyone else they were wrong.
Which is why I was a little confuddled, after being attacked, harassed and blatantly told I was ‘wrong’ and shouldn’t be telling others to use this method (oh, and one person expression concern that I “had a blog devoted to the promotion of controlled crying” which only saw coffee snorted out my nose and the inability to stop laughing for ten minutes), when someone stated:
With all due respect, I tried controlled crying once and it was the most traumatic experience of my life.
Well, um, yay??? I wasn’t sure how to respond, because I wasn’t exactly suggesting she try/continue with it. So I replied in kind – and not with “I’M NOT TALKING ABOUT YOU!” which is what I wanted to respond with – and based on what I WAS being told I ‘should’ do:
With equal respect, I tried co-sleeping once and it was the most traumatic experience of my life.
And that’s the truth.
The interesting thing is that someone felt as though they were being judged when, in fact, I had been asked which of the two I – me, myself – preferred and I answered it. Truthfully.
This was possibly one of my first experiences of the Quick, We’re Being Judged, Let’s Retaliate Bandwagon.
Not long after I was muddling around the social scene of another parenting/kid-centric website, just after some ‘I was told I can’t breastfeed here’ story. I found myself in the midst of a The World Is Against Us maelstrom, where each woman was attempting to outdo the previous in how she had been wronged.
One stood out for me; a woman complaining she was in the waiting room at a doctors’ surgery and had to feed her bubs. In her words, the receptionist quickly came out from behind the desk and attempted to usher her away, clearly displeased and wanting to get her out of the view of other waiting patients.
I queried this, as, for me, I viewed the actions of the receptionist as thoughtful. That, perhaps, she was actually thinking of the woman, and wondering if