Thursday, April 15, 2010
The vast majority of mail we receive (both via email and snail-mail) is amazingly supportive. I cannot even tell you how many days I've wondered if what we do *matters* when just at that moment an email will come through telling me of someone's breastfeeding baby who is now happy and healthy because of our suggestions (to eliminate cow's milk from mom's diet, for example); or little boy #3 growing up intact despite his brother's experience of circumcision because his parents chose to become fully informed before his birth; a father who is elated because now his toddler doesn't cry every night when she goes to sleep on her bed that has been snuggled up next to her parent's bed; a woman who writes with abundant joy because she just experienced a gentle waterbirth at home after 2 previous c-sections; or a mother who just says THANK YOU for providing a community of support that she would otherwise be without.
If we can even impact one person, ONE child - it is all worth it.
Rarely is hate mail received here, and when one filters in the 'delete' button is readily available. But it also breaks my heart that some people are so blinded by their own hate/ignorance/guilt/mistakes/regret/brainwashing/desire-to-please-the-herd that they cannot let others reach out to them, or fathom that there could be a gentle, natural, baby-friendly way of doing things.
We ALL make mistakes -- I've made my share of them -- but when we know better, we do better. And who doesn't want to keep learning, growing, improving and doing the very best we can for our little ones and those to come? Who wouldn't want to help their friend/sister/neighbor with genuine love and compassion and accurate information?
I do hope, however, that people are not advocating for the condemnation of others and using this site as justification in those actions. It is the babies and children born to parents who have never stumbled upon any attachment science literature; who have never known someone who wasn't cut apart at birth; who believe that the Ezzos and Pearls and Lessins are righteous examples of parenting; who see sub-par, artificial feeding of babies as the norm, and get zero support in looking elsewhere -- they are the ones that need love and encouragement and research-based information the most.
I'd enjoy to solely be surrounded by those already in 'the choir.' Friends and colleagues joke about moving to an island of peacefully parenting families only... And it does get overwhelmingly sad at times to see the destruction brought upon innocent little ones in a world that has become quite cold, baby-UNfriendly, and full of mom-and-dad substitutes. We've grown accustomed to seeing babies and children ignored and parented in an aloof, unattached, unresponsive, often unethical, manner. But it is those babies and children that need their parents to find these resources and empowerment the most. As Gerhardt stresses in her book, Why Love Matters, these babies and children will someday be repeating the same measures upon their own children, or they will be making wise and conscious choices to take different steps in their own parenting. This is where seed planting can be pivotal.
Please speak up! Do not stop. We cannot end any form of violence with silence. To sit by and do nothing when babies and children are being harmed is just as bad as partaking in the destruction ourselves. As MLK Jr. said, "He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it." But also be cautious, be gentle, with those who are hearing such things for the first time - those who were likely damaged themselves as infants years ago when they, too, had a brutal and unfair start in life.
An email we received yesterday. Spelling/punctuation left intact as it was received:
I am very disgusted with a couple of your fans on Facebook. I cant help that they are horrible mothers with an IQ of a stick of gum and feel the need to put down mothers that raise their children in a different way jus to feel like there worth something. Why dont you keep your fans in check? You call yourselves peaceful???? Wheres the tolerance for other ideas and opinions???? Stuck-Up-Bitches Parenting seems like a name just a little more fitting to me.
In response, the following status was posted on the FB page, and we sent a letter of apology back - if this mother was indeed 'attacked' by anyone on our page, she should not have been.
While we certainly cannot 'control' the actions or comments of almost 8,500 people, please do not send each other hateful/hurtful private messages and attempt to pair it with our site. Our purpose is education and empowerment - not condemnation.
Another email was received:
I can see that contacting you and asking you to actually discapline someone thats a fan was a complete waste of my time. Thanks for nothing - you can bet that I will never have anything to do with your organization. Peace, love, boobs and no spanking...yep, thats the way to parent! No wonder our juvenille detention centers and jails are full. Because there parents are the dumb ass hippies that your site and organization promotes!!!! You cant even CORRECT someone when they are wrong. Wow, what a bunch of waify LOSERS!
And it is for your child, sweet momma, that we will march on.