Our Sentiments

Mothering and Life in General

Let’s Talk About The Shirt

baby's shirts

Image by Tee_Tee via Flickr

I am a strong breastfeeding advocate, and I also think boys should be intact. I feel that it’s safer for a child to sit rear-facing for as long as possible. I think getting organic foods, when you can, can do nothing but good.

I feel that going green in products used around the home environment is something every parent should look into. I feel that being as mindful in parenting as your mind will allow you to be, is best for all involved. I am not a milk promoter. I hope to have K2 weaned from my milk then onto foods that will give her the necessary needs instead of milk – when she’s ready.

All these and many more are my choices for my family, they are parts what that makes me, me. These choices are what is important to me as a person, as a parent, and as a Care Provider. I advocate for these things, because I believe them to be safe, efficient, and healthy.

However, would I buy a shirt for my child, to wear, to advocate something she knows no different too? Absolutely not.

K2 does not own a shirt that states she is breastfeed, rear-facing at 3-years-old, SLS free, never given cough and cold medications under the age of 10 and had nothing but organic her first year of solids. I will not buy such a thing.

Why?

Because she is too young to know any different from what is being done at home. She does not really remember what formula from the NICU tastes like, she does not remember riding in the car once forward facing, she does not remember the taste of that chocolate milk her father sneakily put in her cup a few months ago (but he remembers the talking too he got). Well, at least she’s never talked to me about it.

These are my beliefs not hers. My choices on the mothering I fulfill, not hers. So when I see shirts like this and this and others like it, I can’t help but to think these are not really ‘cute’ nor are they funny, and it has nothing to do with the fact that I don’t agree. What ever happened to child appropriate sayings like “Mommy’s Alarm Clock” or “Why am I going to bed, it’s my Mom who’s tired”?

I understand that Parents including some of my readers do purchase these advocate type of shirts. They might think me as being judgmental and ignorant, they might feel insulted. I am not trying to be here, just trying to put forth another way of seeing things.

I feel we get so wrapped up in our truths of what is right and wrong that we forget that we are raising another person, sometimes far different from ourselves. These shirts, to me, are like a picture of a child holding a protest sign. I look at the picture and think does this child really know about the cause? If I were to ask questions could they answer intellectually and would they make me think? Do they have the thought process of seeing both sides?

Sometimes it’s hard to sit back and think of things in a different light. How far is too far? Is it enough to nurse your child  anywhere you are when your child is hungry? Is it enough to know your child is or is not intact? Is it enough to know that your parenting calls for rear-facing for as long as possible? Is it enough, just to set an example for your children, maybe for a friend or like me, plaster on the net what your thoughts are?

The way I see it, K2 is a small child, who is learning her address, trying to remember her area code. She colours and is dramatic. She is passionate but other things like dressing herself and not wanting to wear a diaper to bed (even though she still pees in the night). Her mind is full of questions about the world and it’s workings.

She is smart and intelligent, but she is not political or a debater of all things parenting. Like my Barbie post, I do not want my feelings on things be the same as hers. Yes, I hope some of my choices reflects her life when she becomes a mother. But she has all the time in the future to advocate for her own thoughts and feelings. But will her wearing a shirt change all of this?

I am not trying to raise another me, I am trying to raise K2. The beautiful being I helped to create and I kept safe in my womb for 36 weeks. The one I held in the night as she screamed in pain. She is a separate being from me, with only a bloodline connection. To produce another me… Well, there is only room enough for one, and even that, some might have conflicting thoughts.

To advocate what I believe in to be good and life’s plan. All I need is to practice it, write about it, share it with other adults. I don’t need a shirt for a child who does not have the choice to do any of the above.

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