Still running for the cheese (or why this blog still exists)

As my regular readers can tell, this has been a dry year for me. Just look at the number of posts this year vs. 2008! Awhile back, I had considered either shutting down the Maze, or starting a new blog that would more accurately reflect where I am in life now. Truth be told, sometimes I come here, look around, and feel distinctly hypocrytical about the things I want to write. I'm sure I'm not the only one to ever be in that kind of place.
As the time in between posts has grown longer, I came to realize something. Without the past years' material, where I am now makes very little sense. What good is the destination without the journey? As Christians, so much of the best stuff that happens to us is in the times God is molding us to His image. To throw away the evidence of that process would somehow cheapen the result, I think.
So, here we are, dear friends. I think my little mousie may just have rounded a corner finally. Some things will change around here to reflect the changes in my heart. And you know what? That's ok. As much as I typically rage against anything changed in my life, I'm learning to accept the God-given ones. My prayer is that some of you may be encouraged by what you read here. Hey, you may even be challenged. And of course, if you know me, then you know you always stand a good chance of being offended too. Not intentionally, to be sure! Just know that what you find as you wander this Maze with me may surprise you as much as it does me.

All that to say this:

Welcome to

Monday, March 21, 2011

Car seat cacophony

Sigh. It seems every time I get back in a mellow groove, free of Mommy Wars drama, there's an updated news release or headline that fans the flames.
Today, the AAP released it's newly updated carseat recommendations for American kids and parents. With it has come an uproar in self-styled educational advocates, out to show just how ignorant the masses truly are.
Lately, that has become my biggest pet peeve. Snark, superiority, and general nastiness all wrapped up in the guise of "educating other moms, so if even 1- just one!- changes their ways, it was all worth it". Sigh. Anyone else tired of it all?
Perhaps it's because there is not a single issue or hot topic that gets me in a tizzy. I can't honestly think of anything that I'm passionate least to the degree most of my friends are. Or maybe it's because I find that way too many of my recent parenting choices have been made out of fear- fear of being torn up and lit on fire by my fellow moms, fear of being criticized on the streets, and fear of forever screwing up my kids. Whatever it is, "armchair advocacy" is getting my goat in a major way.
It never occurred to me how bad it was until I realized I'm afraid of bringing Ladybug in public. Because of the zeal I've seen in moms correcting others, I worry someone will have something to say to me about any number of things, but her car seat is my prime concern. I've seen mothers "educate" strangers online, on blogs, and Facebook pictures. I know I do not have it in me to show grace, "be educated", and not burst into tears if I am confronted. Let's face it, those sort of things are never done in love. There's always at least a small air of superiority when it comes to parenting issues.
So there's no real point to this post, I guess. Just expressing my frustration with extreme motherhood these days. What do you think? Can advocacy go to far, or is it worth alienation in the name of education?

Til next squeak,

11 Squeaks from the Maze:

gidget.e said...

I understand where you're coming from. I have met all kinds of wackos telling me what to do with my children. For me, it depends on what they're "educating" me on. Most of the time, I just smile and nod. Some of the time I walk away in disgusted shock. I know they mean well though and I try to just leave it. As Miss O says, "Zip it, lock it, put it in your pocket."

Brooke said...

I can relate, though maybe in a different way. I know the choices we've made for our boys have been made with a lot of prayer and research, but I still fall victim to my own insecurities and the so-called "mommy Wars" (don't we all?).

I've been guilty of sharing links on fb, not to educate others per se, but to justify my own choices to a few certain people I know IRL who've said things. And usually an article from an expert shuts them right up. Still, I need to get over that--why should I have to justify our parenting choices to others?

I haven't had anyone I don't know say something outright to me. Yet. The most offensive thing someone has said was when J was a newborn and we took him and A to a swanky mall to see the Christmas lights. I was wearing him in a Moby and someone asked me if I was wearing a DOG. Okay, so I get that a lot of people aren't familiar with babywearing, and that's all good, but only in Hollywood would someone expect me to be wearing my pet! What's next, carrying babies in handbags? :P

Mrs. P. said...

Gidget, tell Miss O I said she's a really smart cookie.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry that people have made you feel that way. I do not remember feeling pressured or uncomfortable when my children were younger. I did my own research, made my own decisions and let what others said just roll off of me for the most part. You are always going to find somebody to disagree with you and you will never make everybody happy. Be confident in the woman that you are!

Samantha said...

I couldn't agree more with MNKristy! Well said.

Jodi said...

When I was pregnant with my first child I quickly became overwhelmed by the "extreme mothering" like you mention. By the time he was one - I realized that I needed to just do my own research and make my own decions that are right for MY family. I am responsible to God and God alone for how I raise my children so I read the information presented and then make my own decision.

Stacy said...

another ditto to Kristy. Well said!

Jenn said...

Girl, you're doing a great job! I agree that by holding your head high and having an air of confidence, the likelihood of someone confronting you about something dumb will go down a lot!

I know what you mean about people that try and advocate in an unloving manner. I would like to say, though, that not all advocates do so in a hateful or condescending way - sometimes, at least, it's done in a loving and gentle (and non embarrassing!) way. I've seen it before when we were at a field trip to a fire station. A grandma drove up with her 3 year old in a rear facing bucket carseat and was asking for help installing it. A friend of mine ran over there to offer some advice on getting the proper seat and educated her on the laws and limits of the seat she currently had. She wasn't being malicious or holier than thou.

I say do what you're doing and try to be more comfortable in your own skin. Fake it if you have to. :) It's sort of like going out on stage before a performance - even though you're shakin' in your boots, you put on a big smile and your stage voice and get to it! ;) Eventually those fears will pass or at least hide in the background!

Shannon said...

I'm sorry you have this fear. You are a great mom doing a great job with your kids. Strangers don't know what is best for your situation - you do!

De =) said...

I can completely understand where you are coming from. I try not to mention things to other parents unless they ask me my opinion. The only thing I'm really passionate about is when someone makes light of RSV. It comes out of love for them, I don't want any other mother to lose a child b/c they weren't educated about the virus. I try to comment about these things to inform and not look down on someone. I think it's okay to discuss these things but when it gets to the point where someone is judging you or putting you down, that is just plain awful and uncalled for. Keep yourself informed on issues and make the decisions that are right for your family Brenna. I love ya girl!!!!!

Vallere said...

You do what is right for YOUR family, Mrs. P.! I know I get zealous, and I do like to share info on FB, but it comes from the fact that years ago, there were so many issues I didn't know a THING about until I saw info someone else shared, and that prompted me to do my own research. I hope I've never come across as condescending, and if I have, I'm truely sorry. You are a great mom and your kids are so blessed to have you looking out for them!

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