When one of the Facebook parents sent me the following video clip, she was careful to say, “watch it to the end. You’ll never guess that it’s a commercial selling something.”
And so I watched… all the way to the end.
SPOILER alert, if you haven’t clicked the start button. Go ahead and do it now.
In exchange for two minutes of your time, you get a glimpse into the best and worst sides of your parenting selves (and not necessarily in that order.)
It’s the Working Moms vs. the Attachment Parents. It’s the exclusive Breast feeders vs. Bottle Moms. Throw in the Stay-at-home Dads, and you have an arena of parents who are poised to judge one another and assert authority in ways that Dr. Spock could have never imagined.
How is it that we forget on such a regular basis that there are as many right ways to raise a child, as there are children? In the quiet moments of honest reflection, hasn’t every parent thought, “This is SO hard! And so important a job that I just can’t screw up.”
But we all screw up. We turn our backs for a second, and the awful thing happens. “There, but for the grace of God, go I,” was what my Grandmother always used to say. (She would have reminded me that another mother’s mistake doesn’t mean that I am the perfect parent; only that I should be kind and cultivate a little more humility.) As I watched the slow down hill slide of a most beautiful baby, I was reminded that it is as hard to support one another’s parenting choices as it is to slow down a runaway stroller. But it can be done.
All it takes is a little reminder from a most unlikely place.
Gayle Schrier Smith, MD
Who is a pediatrician mother whose kids had breastmilk, formula and a Dad who wore those snuggli-things.