Our Sentiments

Mothering and Life in General

It’s All In How You Ask

Do you know how it feels, to be asked a question and just know that the answer is really wanted? When the person who is asking has not seen the world in your perspective, been way past the baby stage, yet still wants to know. Do you know how it feels to be patient enough to listen, take in what the other person says, because you know it’s important to the other person? Even though you can’t put these ideas to test.

I had that the other night and it was a long time since I had those talks with someone. I usually have these feelings when I talk about cultures and beliefs with another, but this time is was about parenting. I never had a parenting talk like this. Not with someone who, now has teenagers, yet is asking about breastfeeding and child development.

You see, I don’t mind answering why and how I do things, or what makes my home work. I actually feel honored that someone takes the time to try to see what it’s like to live in my brain and think the way I do. It’s nice to finally relax and allow real questions enter my silence, and know that getting the answer is the person’s only intent.

It’s nice to try to be understood fully and not have the bird on my shoulder saying that this person will judge me later. I am more confident to know that we both received a bit of thoughtful insight. To know there is another person outside my choir that knows why I do what I do, and why it’s important to me. To know that our personal story has been heard and might be remembered when the other person sees another nursing toddler.

I feel fulfilled, at peace, and understood. I usually don’t talk about my parenting style with other people, unless I know they have a similar parenting style. It saves a lot of heartache actually and I find it less judgmental,  I find it hard not to get sucked in to the Mommy Wars and I hate feeling on the sidelines. It’s not for me, it goes against my nature. Boy, I am sure glad I had this conversation with this friend. I don’t think she even knows how much she’s softened the edge.

I missed being able to question, analogize and receive answers with another. It’s nice to exercise social skills and learn from another view. My cherry-on-top was hearing an honest question when it’s usually a judgment call,  then finally an Oh-I-see hum. But my perfect overall moment was how I didn’t feel like I would lose a friend.

To hear a common sentence turned into a question of interest and not disgrace. “How long are you planing to nurse?” oppose too, “How long are you planning to nurse…” The first, is an innocent question. The other, is not even a question but an accusation saying, “You’re not one of us, so we will belittle you, until you conform”. The second can be tried to be passed off as the first, but I know, I am not dumb.

After all, it’s all in how you ask.

Thank you my friend, who has taken the time to show me there are still people out there that exist. We might not parent the same way, but as long as you know that just because I do things differently does not mean I think you’re wrong.


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