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In My Opinion…..

Do you watch The Good Wife (MNet Monday Nights @ 20h30)? I do, I watch it On Demand on a Tuesday, cos I can’t miss my weekly dose of hot – The Vampire Diaries. So this weeks episode of The Good Wife saw Will defending another lawyer in Federal Court. The judge was a bit of a stickler for the rules, she insisted that every time Will got up to argue that he end his argument with: “In my opinion”. Will couldn’t see the point, he felt that as it was his argument that it should be fairly clear that it was his opinion, however, the judge disagreed and required him to make that statement after each argument.

I’m starting to think that we need to do the same in blog land. I think every time I write a post about my parenting choices and parenting styles for my daughter that I should end each blog posting with: “in my opinion” and I think when we leave comments on each others blogs we should do the same, we should end our comments with “in my opinion”.

The one thing about becoming a mother that has really surprised me is just how judgmental the parenting fraternity would be. Opinions, and note this is my opinion,ย  on a wide range of subject are peddled as fact, when they are in fact a matter of personal opinion.

Everything from the pro’s and con’s of one, two, or three children, middle child syndrome, private schools versus government schools, how many toys are too many toys, if one is going to have a second child, when to start trying, too early to start trying blah blah blah….

Of course, we blog to engage in conversation and debate, but at times, the conversations feel a bit like judgments. There are some parenting blogs out there that I no longer comment on purely for this reason and there are times when I feel that the choices I’ve made for my child are judged as well.

At the end of the day,ย  in my opinion, the important thing to remember is that each of us is doing what we think is best for our child, after all, isn’t that what every parent wants? And, again, in my opinion, if the attempt is to do the best for our child, then why the judgment? Parenting doesn’t come with a manual and while there are a million books out there on what to do and what not to do, for every pro there is always a con and for every study proving something, there’s another one contradicting it. This applies to the pro’s and con’s of giving your children toys, choosing their schooling, when to allow them to start school, one child versus multiple children, large age gaps versus small age gaps.

Each to his own right?

Again, this is just my opinion!

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18 Comments

  • Reply niseysmusings

    In my opinion, i have become much more sensitive to other peoples comments since i have become a parent. i am doig the best i can, in my opinion, and i get very annoyed when people criticise my decisions. In my opinion, adding in my opinion to all coments is a great idea ๐Ÿ˜‰

    May 21, 2010 at 6:48 am
  • Reply lea2109

    I fully agree with you Sharon! Only you can decide what is right for you and your family. Only you can choose what and how and when and where and if. Nobody can tell you what to do or how to do it. And if they don’t agree, well then that is their problem. What is good for one is not necessarily good or right for another and when you make choices it is made for you and not for others. … In my opinion :-).

    I always tell people who just had a new baby or perhaps still expecting – lots will try and give you advice (sometimes we don’t even realise we are doing it) and the best is usually just to smile, nod your head, take on board what you feel is right and important and useful and ignore the rest.

    And you’ll be surprised to find just how opinionated and judgemental people (and even sometimes family) can get when you move countries (and when your child gets sick and you handle the situation perhaps a bit different to how others would have handled it) – jip we’ve seen it all… But oh well, such is life :-).

    But in my opinion Sharon – don’t let others get to you. You are doing a great job, the decisions you make is right for you and that is all good! You just keep doing your thing! Ava is a very lucky girl, wanted and desired for such a very long time and she is so lucky to be with you and Walter. Don’t let others make you feel guilty for the choices you make.

    May 21, 2010 at 6:54 am
    • Reply Sharon

      Lea, I have found family *read* Inlaws – to be THE MOST judgemental of the lot!!! My MIL and I have an especially strained relationship since Ava was born mostly because she wipes her ass on everything I say about Ava! Really infuriates me. I hate that people think they have the right to peddle their opinion as fact.

      May 21, 2010 at 7:33 am
  • Reply tanyakov

    Firstly, I heart The Good Wife and Vampire Diaries too!

    Second, in my opinion, if it’s your blog, you don’t need to do any of the “in my opinions” as a blog is based on that writer’s opinion anyway. I don’t think you need to excuse yourself in your own blog, or emphasise that it’s your opinion.

    In the outer world, perhaps it’s different. I’ve had “experts” tell me what to do and what not to do, like it was fact, when it was just “their opinion” (which often sucked, in my opinion! ๐Ÿ™‚ )

    May 21, 2010 at 8:49 am
  • Reply thebsdiaries

    When I moved to London everyone in SA told me I was mad. When I moved home, everyone in London told me I was mad. Everybody wants their choice to be the right one so they foist their opinions on to you. It takes a strong person to stick to their choice and not try to justify it to themselves by telling everyone else it’s the right one. IMO. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    May 21, 2010 at 10:20 am
  • Reply mayflowerladybugs

    In my opinion.. ๐Ÿ™‚ I think people are judgemental because they are afraid of being judged themselves. Whatever you do as a parent you leave yourself open for critique – if I send Danielle to school with a sandwidge and a cookie for snacktime, I can asure you there will be someone wondering what irresponsible mom sends a child to school with a cookie. No jacket? Wach out for the mom police! Heaven forbid your child’s face isn’t sterilized and each hair not perfectly combed. Unfortunately this is not said tongue-in-cheek, moms are horrific and actually they are at heart only trying to be the best they can possibly be. BUT no-one can be the BEST all the time, so enter judgement on others – if they are wrong, you are by extention correct, ergo the best mom. I think a lot of this is sudconcious and it comes out in various ways, but at the heart each mom is trying to justify her own choices to every one else so that every one can know she is a good mom. Again, this not good but it is a realilty and it only gets worse as the children get older, I can hardly imagine how primary school will be. This mom thing is hard. IMO!

    May 21, 2010 at 10:34 am
    • Reply Sharon

      I agree with your “opinion” ๐Ÿ˜‰ completley! I think what makes it hard for me is because Ava is adopted I sometimes feel (again, my own insecurities) that some mom’s think I’m not a real mom. They all pay lip service to the contrary but seriously when I feel harshly judged it plays into my insecurities and I can’t help feeling that way.

      May 21, 2010 at 10:42 am
  • Reply thebinges

    LOL, In my opinion… you’re doing just fine ๐Ÿ˜‰

    XXX

    May 21, 2010 at 10:39 am
  • Reply antigone1022

    I read a post from a very sad friend recently and she said she felt that people in blogs and on facebook are boastful of the good things in their lives, their perfect families and perfect jobs and its back to high school feeling you are the one who isn’t good enough and doesn’t fit in. I tried to think if I had been guilty of this and I hope I haven’t. I enjoy your blog because it is so real, it faces all lifes highs and lows and I feel I’m reading about reality in a good way. Opinions are part of who we are and you should voice yours here and I very much like to hear all your news – ups and downs! We should be kind to each other and supportive and inclusive of all views, opions, events. Would make everyone happier.

    May 21, 2010 at 12:00 pm
  • Reply jonivdw

    In my Opinion, this is a wonderful wonderful post and I agree totally with you! Of course this is just my opinion! I know I’m not the world’s best mom but in my opinion I am doing everything I possibly can to be one! But a lot of other mom’s make it feel like a competition on how they raise their kids better than I do which I agree Sharon plays on my insecurities….

    Thanks for this post! I glad I’m not the only one feeling like this!

    May 21, 2010 at 12:03 pm
  • Reply charnetrollip

    in my opininon I LOVE THE GOOD WIFE…

    not going to say much cause you know i think you a good mommy and people should just but out judging other mommys.. in my opinion of course

    xxx

    May 21, 2010 at 12:43 pm
  • Reply tan32

    In my opininon Your doing just great.

    ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Huge hugs

    May 21, 2010 at 12:59 pm
  • Reply wenatcheegirl

    Oh my, yes! The mommy competition! I don’t think some even know how insensitive they come across. Being older, I’m a MIL, and I often have to pull myself up short to keep from telling my daughters-in-laws my opinions on child rearing … and boy is it hard. However, and some of this is due to my reading blogs such as yours, Sharon, I try extra hard not to “parent” my grandchildren. I love them beyond reason, but I’m not the parent.

    Anyway, it’s truly ALL just opinions regarding parenting style, isn’t it? What works (worked) for my child might not work for yours and vice versa. Goodness knows, these little souls are not cookie cutter copies of each other.

    As an adoptive mom I fully understand your feelings of being an outsider of sorts. I always felt like I had become a member of a prestigious club (the Mommy Club), but somehow missed the initiation — the pregnancy and the birth. I had no pregnancy or birth stories to share with the other Mommies over coffee. Nothing is quite so intimidating as two or three Mommies together recounting their pregnancies, labor and deliveries in exquisite detail. And, of course, I got the standard “well, now that you’ve adopted, you’ll have a baby of your own!” Excuse me? These children ARE MY OWN! I’m not renting them! 40+ years later I still feel the sting of these comments, some of which came from family members.

    In my opinion, you have nothing to be guilty or insecure about. You and W are great parents to a wonderful (and beautiful, I might add) daughter. You want only the best of everything for her and NO ONE has the right to tell you that your way is wrong and their way is right. NO ONE.

    I am always amazed at your strength of character and your devotion to Ava. Just keep on keepin’ on, as we say in Georgia!

    Many hugs to you.

    May 21, 2010 at 3:57 pm
  • Reply mozzie01

    You are doing great Shaz…as first time moms, we are all just doing our best, striving to be the best mommies to our babies and give them the best that we can…materially, emotionally, spiritually. And I feel strongly that we should all support each other on this often very difficult journey, even if our parenting styles are different!
    Love ya!
    x x x x

    May 21, 2010 at 9:48 pm
  • Reply anynamesavailable

    welcome to motherhood ๐Ÿ˜‰

    May 21, 2010 at 10:27 pm
  • Reply orbit365

    Ha HA…In my opinion this is an awesome post and you are an awesome mommy and do not need to worry about the rest. And in my opinion, your girlie is just getting to be more gorgeous by the day!
    xx

    Julia

    May 22, 2010 at 10:27 am
  • Reply pandoragelb

    Comment 13 just sums it up doesn’t it? Yes, we do feel we are different to moms with bio children, but should we? we are mothers. In my opinion you can be pregnant and never be a mother, and you can be a mother and never have been pregant. Each one can happen without the other. When it gets to birth stories, I can tell a pretty good ‘becoming a parent’ story if I want to! Yours could be a showstopper!! See if anyone can top that!
    I am scared of the Mommy police! I am scared of the birthday party competitions for the best party pack! ETC. But to be honest, I am more scared of the effect these will have on my child. I can deal with negative opinions, but she is just a little girl who does not deserve to be judged on my choices. So in my opinion, I have kept my opinons (read judgements)on a lot of things to myself over the years, so could people please show me the same restraint? Please? IMO

    May 22, 2010 at 3:24 pm
  • Reply jahni

    I’ve shared with you what I think about the mom police! Your decisions are 100% your own, and you don’t have to justify jack squat to anyone.

    Enjoy your princess and keep on keeping on!!

    May 23, 2010 at 6:23 pm
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