So I was reading an article this evening about some ridiculous parenting products. While some of them were a little strange and maybe a tad bit scary, I was a little put off by the listing of the child safety harness. Of course, I ended up reading some of the comments at the bottom, and some other mamas were upset that it was listed as well. Then, of course, there were those mothers who started berating the moms who used those harnesses because their children never needed them. Some of their comments kind of ticked me off because it just seemed like I had walked into yet another edition of THE MOMMY WARS.
I am going to flat-out admit that I used a child harness. I never thought I would mostly because I had the horrifying experience of watching a mother drag her child like an animal. However, I found that after having a second child, there were times where I am glad I had one just for my piece of mind. One of those times was when I was going to the post office to drop off packages with my then three-year old and six month old in tow. Even before my husband took the job he has now, he had a job that made it nigh impossible to run errands without the kids. Our post office does not have ramps and has too many steps to be able to use a stroller. So I strapped my baby in the carrier, and I used the harness with Bubby. He actually really liked the thing for some reason. Was it lazy parenting? No. It was being practical and taking just a little extra precaution. Bubby usually stays with me, but I was carrying packages that day. While we live in a small town, people do not always stop at the stop signs in this town nor yield for those when there is a pedestrian yield sign. I did what needed to be done at the time.
I did not use the harness often, just usually in places with large crowds where I wanted that added assurance. Did I ever pull my children or treat them like animals? No, and I don’t think it is right for others to do so.
What bothered me about the women’s comments is this whole “Mommy Wars” thing, that whole superiority bit that some women have that because certain things worked for them, they believe those things should work for everyone. If every bit of advice ever given to me about parenting my kids actually worked, then I would have had a very stress-free first few years of parenting. What works for one, does not always work for someone else. We all do not have the same personalities and temperaments to make it work. Our children have different temperaments and personalities as well. It is what makes us all different. What makes us good mothers is what we do to make sure we can be the best mothers for our children. Sometimes I wish that instead of being critical of each other as women tend to do that we would be more supportive even if you believe the methods being used are different and strange than your own.
It is ok to offer support. It is ok to offer suggestion. It is not ok to judge or berate another mother because she is doing what works for her. So to all you mothers out there who are still figuring it all out, I salute you!