I’m not down with OPPC: Other People’s Parenting Choices

I wish that wasn’t true. I wish I was very zen about other people’s parenting choices (OPPC). But I’m not. And it’s probably the biggest surprise to me since I became a parent.

Understand when I say that  “I wish I was very zen” I don’t mean that I’m out there berating parents who make parenting decisions I wouldn’t make or that I think my choices are the gold standard of parenting or that I’m perfect. Just the other day, I decided to keep Stella out of the dogs’ water bowl by giving her her own bowl of water. Shockingly, SHOCKINGLY, I ended up with a mad wet baby and a puddle of water on the floor.

What I mean, and what’s been a huge surprise to me, is how much seeing other parents make choices I wouldn’t bothers me. I suspect OPPC upset me because I just don’t understand. 95% of the parenting choices I’ve made (and Sean has agreed with), I made because my instinct told me to do it that way. Stella slept on my chest for the first three weeks of her life because it felt like the right thing to do. We practice baby led weaning because my instinct told me she didn’t need purees at 4 months old. I wear her a lot because keeping her close feels right. I think because my parenting “book” is just my instinct, I don’t understand how or why people make other choices.

A lot of parenting choices I make aren’t exactly mainstream. I know the way Sean and I parent isn’t for everyone and that all parents do what they think is best for their child. Hell, other parents probably even have different instincts. But. That doesn’t make me feel less sad when I find out a friend gave up on breastfeeding two weeks in because they didn’t have family support.  I hope that the intense… feelings I have about OPPC will fade with time. Or that at least I’ll get so used to it being there that I can ignore it. Right now though it’s raw. I know I’m not the first mom in the history of the world to have this problem, so any suggestions for dealing with this?

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