Gentle to whom?

I recently wrote about kindness between mothers that warmed my heart. I was so endeared by the grace that women can show to others when parenting is at it’s peak crazy hour. Women, it seems, can lift the burdens of the earth off of each other with just a gentle word and a loving smile.


This week, I witnessed the exact opposite and it left me… befuddled? Hear me out on this one, I think I need to talk this out.


I have two friends that posted similar questions on their Facebook walls. One, a mom of a 9 month old, asked how best to get her baby to sleep at all, not sleep more or sleep longer, at night. The long hours of a nocturnal baby were taking their toll and she needed help from moms with experience raising bats, uh, I mean babies that don’t sleep. The other friend (it should be noted that they do not know each other or one might have seen the carnage on the other’s post and avoided the topic completely) asked how best to keep her 2, almost 3 year old in her new Big Girl Bed after a move to a new house.


On BOTH posts mothers from the crunchy team came off the bench to write a diatribe on why ANY KIND of sleep training at ANY AGE was an incredible disservice to these kids and that they would grow up lacking feelings of attachment to their mothers and security in the world. I was shocked that, while subscribing to a “gentle parenting” philosophy, women could feel so free to be heavy handed with the disappointed “This makes me sad to read” (literally written on both posts) dripped comments.  It seems as though gentle parenting ends where someone else’s methodology begins.


Doesn’t having a healthy mama count for anything? I think we all agree that self care is important if we are trying to raise happy, healthy, well-adjusted humans in this wild world. How frustrating it would be to reach a tired hand out after nights of no sleep and have it slapped by women you had hoped would hold you up. Let’s acknowledge that babies, moms, and families as a whole all have their nuances. If a mom reaches out, lets not be so quick to impose what works for us as the hard and fast law of raising kids. If you don’t have help to add, offer hugs and move on. Let’s be as gentle to each other as we try to be to our littles.

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