Sunday, May 2

J is for Judgment

Sometimes I really hate people. Especially the seemingly well-intentioned yet critical people who exude passive aggression. But let me back up.

Before Milo was born (how many times have I used THAT phrase lately?) I read about the Moby wrap, and I desperately wanted one. The reviews were great. It seemed that once you got the hang of it, it was easy to use, easy on your back, and adored by babies everywhere. And to my delight, I received a Moby at my shower.

But (you knew there had to be a but) it wasn't everything it was cracked up to be. It was difficult to tie properly. It stretched out far too quickly. And whenever Milo was in it, he slowly inched further and further down until I was afraid he'd fall out the bottom. Except when he cried before he even had time to start sliding down, that is. Needless to say, it was not a great success, and after a few weeks, the Moby had been relegated to a pile of stuff that we're not sure what to do with, all the while wishing we had a simpler way to carry Milo around when he refuses to be put down.

Meanwhile, Emily was raving about her Bjorn and how much Eli loves it. She said whenever he goes in the Bjorn, he calms down and stops fussing. I was hesitant to get a Bjorn because I'd heard it can be bad for babies' joints, or something. But my sister used it and never noticed any problems with her son, and of course Eli loved it, and it did look so easy to use...

So I started looking for a used one (these things aren't cheap, people). I mentioned to Emily that I was planning to try the Bjorn, and like magic, she called me two days later saying her mom had found one when she was out at a garage sale, and did I want her to pick it up for me? Yes! Yes, I did want her to pick it up for me! And this afternoon Emily's mom, Judy, brought over the Bjorn (that she had so nicely cleaned for us), and just a few hours later we took it to the grocery store where Andrew wore it to carry Milo while I pushed the cart.

And no kidding, Milo had been in the thing for less than fifteen minutes (ever, in his entire existence) when this lady in the organics section strikes up a conversation with Andrew. I got there just in time to hear her tell us how dangerous the Bjorn is because it cuts off circulation to the baby's legs. "But I'm sure it's not every baby," she said before proceeding to tell us about how she carried all four of her boys in a sling, at one time, all the way up until the 8th grade. Or something. I couldn't quite hear her over the sound of my rage. How dare she tell us how to parent, that we're doing it wrong? She has no idea who we are or why we do the things we do. For all she knows, we could have a sling in every color of the rainbow at home but put Milo in the Bjorn because he has terrible reflux and needs to stay more upright. (Not to worry, he happens to be just fine.)

I just read an article by my favorite blogger about this very topic, and I hope you follow the link and read it, too. After just six weeks of parenting, Andrew and I already feel a little less judgmental about others' parenting techniques, because you just never know. They have their reasons for every choice they make, and chances are, they're just trying to do the best job that they can. And that's all we're trying to do, too. I just wish we didn't have to deal with passive aggressive, judgmental comments from complete strangers while we're at it.


Super Dad Man (Andrew) said...

Seriously lady at Hy-Vee. If I hadn't been Bjorning a baby, I don't know what I would have done.
I think you're doing a great job.

Lindsay said...

Oh no! So sorry you had your first encounter with "those" people who like to point out everything they think you're doing wrong. Boo! I'd like to say your skin gets thicker to these encounters, but I'm not sure they do.

Hang in there!

p.s. If the Bjorn doesn't work, I've got a ring sling you're welcome to borrow. Gavin and I loved it!

Emoly said...

Clearly missing the entire point of your post, I just spent a good hour Googling "Bjorn danger."

Courtney said...

Two thoughts...

1. Did Milo like the Bjorn? Because if he did, good for you for using it! If they were really all that dangerous, we'd be seeing headlines splashed all over Google or something.

2. I loved the blogpost you linked to. You will certainly face more opinionated strangers but nobody knows Milo better than his mommy! There are so few things in parenting that have only one right way to do them and I think you've got those covered.

Love you, sister! Can't wait to see Milo!

katy said...

not that i think there's anything wrong with the bjorn... but just curious how you were tying the moby wrap... because I loved it so... and there was no way that any baby was every falling out or slipping down. not that you need unsolicited advice, i get it... just that maybe you could have someone who liked it show you how they used it? it was a life saver for me back in the day.

but then again... bjorn is fine too ... do what you have to do :)