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View Full Version : Did I mess this up? Sorry so long.



dottieanna29
10-02-2010, 09:45 AM
I'm one of those people who tends to second guess everything I say - IRL and on forums. :eek: It's something I'm trying to get over but I had a conversation on one of my local boards that I'm wondering if I handled it right so I wanted some opinions.

This is a group that describes itself as eclectic, open, secular, inclusive - and it really does appear to be all those things. I'm not in an area with a strong fundamentalist population.

The first post was a mom asking about setting up a co-op type group in a local area (most of the co-ops are over an hour away) for younger kids - all of us have 3 to 5 year olds. Her signature was about the Holistic Life company she owned, being a doula, etc.

I had a playdate with one mom who answered and she was also very into the Natural/Holistic/only wooden toys lifestyle. I'm not and I never heard from her again after this playdate (I did send her a couple emails but didn't hear back). She replied to the thread by saying "The only playgroups I can find consist of more mainstream families decidedly NOT living our lifestyle. Nice people, just not what we're looking for."

So, I replied asking if any mainstream families were interested in starting a group.

This same mom said she didn't think anyone should be excluded based on philosophy.

Someone replied to her with a "well-said I was surprised the issue of lifestyle choices came up."

I replied that I didn't think anyone should be excluded but it seemed some people may be looking for a more specific type of group and there's nothing wrong with that. I also quoted her statement from above and apologized if I misunderstood and her idea of not mainstream was just homeschooling.

Any thoughts? I feel like I should just avoid this whole thing now. :(

Fiddler
10-02-2010, 10:02 AM
Dorothy, I find myself often in the same boat as you--second-guessing how I come across with people or online. Sending a hug across the airwaves, as I know how agonizing this feeling can be.

And, like your experience above sounds, we were not Waldorf-y enough for some of the local hsers, which is what sounds like these moms are looking for. If they are, they should state that they are looking for other "like-minded" homeschoolers. I remember one mom in our circle actively trying to push us at other, more mainstream families, to get us tv-watchers away from her far-from-the-mainstream-and-proud-of-it family. Now, that being said, as all of our kids have gotten older, the differences between us have lessened quite a bit (and I never considered us mainstream, tv-watching or no).

I hope your situation resolves itself amicably. I think you responded to the group sensibly and politely and that you shouldn't worry about it!

dbmamaz
10-02-2010, 10:16 AM
as all of our kids have gotten older, the differences between us have lessened quite a bit (and I never considered us mainstream, tv-watching or no).
I was going to say something about this! I joined an attachment parenting group when my three kids were 2, 9, and 13. Most of the moms on the group had one child under the age of 1. I felt SO much judgement - people were all about 'I'd never punish my child, i just try to understand it', 'i never get tired of being with my sweet baby', 'i'd never let my child wear a shirt with a character on it', 'i'd never buy a plastic toy' . . . . and then they get to the threenager stage, they have a second child, their child falls in love with a character and suddenly they are looking a lot more mainstream.

As frustrating as it is to feel like you are being rejected from a play group for being main stream, you have to turn it around. this woman's standards are so crazy high that she is isolating herself from a lot of great opportunities. You shouldnt stoop to the name-calling or even worrying much about lables, imo. Just keep going to things that are posted.

If you just post another play date, dont specify: you will see who is a good fit and who isnt. You never know, there may be a less main stream, or even a mellow christain mom, who totally clicks with you and your kids. Just because other people are being two-faced and shallow, that doesnt mean you have to do it too!

I would wait until everyone has forgotten about your wording, and post another invite in a couple of months, if you havent found something by then. are there park days? I often do best meeting people at park days. Plus, that way if there is a large family, who wouldnt go to a preschoolers event but has preschoolers, you might meet them at the park.

schwartzkari
10-02-2010, 10:38 AM
I think you were very respectful and honest. Nothing wrong with that :)

dottieanna29
10-02-2010, 11:18 AM
Thank you for the replies. I'm feeling a little better about it now. I thought I was so lucky not to have to deal with much of the Christian vs. non-Christian stuff. I didn't realize there would be new ways to be divided. I tend to be very live-and-let-live so don't even think about it until it pops up in my face. My kids do watch tv, they do have plastic toys, they do wear character clothing, I do occasionally need a break from them, I don't cook and I'm a pretty lousy housekeeper - I never really thought of these types of things as issues that would avoid us being friends with some people. I sometimes feel a little out of place to begin with because -I'm older than a lot of moms of preschoolers, I have a teenager, I worked full time for many years, I don't hate the public schools, I use curriculum for my 5 year old.... Throw in that I tend to be an introvert and a little awkward about social situations and where does that leave us?

I think I'm a little more sensitive than usual today. DH has been gone on a business trip for a week so I've been having to live on my own cooking and I really could use a break from screaming children. I need a nap.

hockeymom
10-02-2010, 12:02 PM
Dorothy, I just wanted to add my support. I am also a person who worries about what I've said or how someone took it, but I think you did just fine! I would have been pretty upset at the whole situation too.

You know, Beth posted a very moving post yesterday about the awful incident at Rutgers, and it's started me thinking about all the ways we divide ourselves. It's hard enough for me to wrap my head around the fact that people can't accept those of another religion or sexual orientation or gender or nationality or whatever, but that we even go so far as to divide ourselves along the lines of whether or not we watch TV, or let our children play in the driveway by themselves, or wear cartoon shirts or play with only wool roving and wooden spools...I mean it's ridiculous! When in the world will it all stop?

Ugh. I'm sorry these women put you through that. I'm glad you're feeling better and I hope you get a nap! :)

wild_destiny
10-02-2010, 12:32 PM
Ditto to all the above! And Dorothy, please don't be so hard on yourself. You strike me as quite a likable, kind person, so go have that nap and give yourself a break! :)

Fiddler
10-02-2010, 01:18 PM
I really could use a break from screaming children. I need a nap.

Isn't that what TV is for? ;)

dottieanna29
10-02-2010, 01:22 PM
Isn't that what TV is for? ;)

Yes it definitely is. Unfortunately my kids have lost the tv for a few hours today for misbehaving pretty badly. Of course, neither of them can really tell time so if I turn it back on a little early, who's gonna know......

Pefa
10-02-2010, 03:23 PM
You did fine. Isn't it crazy all the different things we find to disagree about? My oldest boy's friends always had the most uptight parents but the kids clicked so we acted like grown ups and tolerated each other. Their kids survived the chaos at my house and my kid survived the to the minute schedule at theirs.

Besides, sometimes when you grow up in a radical unschooling pacifist pagan no screen localvore off grid family, your only way to rebel is to marry the fundamentalist preacher's daughter when you're 19 and she's 17 while trying to pursue a career in law enforcement. (true story)

Hope you got your nap. BOO shared his cold with me so they get tons of computer time today.

dottieanna29
10-02-2010, 04:36 PM
Ditto to all the above! And Dorothy, please don't be so hard on yourself. You strike me as quite a likable, kind person, so go have that nap and give yourself a break! :)

Awww, that's so sweet. Thank you. :-)

I didn't get my nap but dh will be home tomorrow so once he's over his jet lag I should get a chance to rest. I am giving up on the idea of having the whole house in perfect shape when he returns and just taking it easy.

Thank you for all the nice thoughts everyone.

Waaa, DH and I's song is playing on the Rock Music Channel right now. I miss him so much. (It's Pink Floyd "Wish you were here" believe it or not). I think I have serious PMS today in addition to the sleep deprived. I am seriously being pathetic.

wild_destiny
10-02-2010, 05:01 PM
Actually, you are not being pathetic, although you are seriously cracking me up! :) Glad you will have some rest soon!

farrarwilliams
10-02-2010, 06:21 PM
Hugs to you, Dorothy. I'm glad you're feeling better.

In the homeschooling group that I used to mod, the whole AP vs. mainstream (or whatever you want to call it) thing has been the biggest source of tension. The homeschooling population in general is pretty secular here. However, in the circle of people I know homeschooling, some came to it from a very AP/unschooling place and others didn't. I often feel very uncomfortable with the very-AP parents because there is sometimes a lot of judgement. I mean, we bf'ed our kids and still co-sleep with them and so forth, but that's totally not enough for some people. Alas.

I find it just as exclusionary and dogmatic as the fundamentalist Christians. Some Christian families don't want their kids to interact with the non-Christians (or even the wrong kind of Christians) because they'll be corrupted. These moms don't want their kids to interact with families whose toys aren't all plain wood because they might learn what a Disney princess is. It's not really any different, IMO.

dbmamaz
10-02-2010, 07:31 PM
but i have to say, it gave me SO MUCH JOY to see the 'i'd never buy a character shirt' saying their child had gotten new (something) with (some character) and DONT HATE! Because she was one of the haters, before! Its good, tho, cuz now I learn to just ignore the young mothers who think they know it all, (and I still FEEL superior), rather than argue with them and feel like a looney bitch.

farrarwilliams
10-02-2010, 09:05 PM
The character thing is so weird. I mean, I don't like licensed characters much either. The toys are usually crap and the media surrounding them (aside from, in some cases, the original movie the character came from) is usually poorly made or written. I don't encourage them for my kids, but I also don't freak out of them when they're into them. I've seen these two camps crop up among people I know - some of them are so totally child-led that whatever the kid is into, no matter how commericialized, is fine. Then there are the others who are trying super hard to be child-led, but also to only have Waldorf toys or things like that. I think that's actually the reason they're sometimes scared for their kids to meet other kids. After all, if the kid is into it, then they have to follow the kid's lead, so they have to be sure the kid doesn't find out about Belle or Cars or Scooby-Doo or whatever.

dottieanna29
10-02-2010, 10:04 PM
Its good, tho, cuz now I learn to just ignore the young mothers who think they know it all, (and I still FEEL superior), rather than argue with them and feel like a looney bitch.

LOL. Yeah, I gave up on being the looney bitch a while ago too. They never want to hear "just wait until they get older" because of course it will be different for their kids.


The character thing is so weird. I mean, I don't like licensed characters much either. The toys are usually crap and the media surrounding them (aside from, in some cases, the original movie the character came from) is usually poorly made or written. I don't encourage them for my kids, but I also don't freak out of them when they're into them. I've seen these two camps crop up among people I know - some of them are so totally child-led that whatever the kid is into, no matter how commericialized, is fine. Then there are the others who are trying super hard to be child-led, but also to only have Waldorf toys or things like that. I think that's actually the reason they're sometimes scared for their kids to meet other kids. After all, if the kid is into it, then they have to follow the kid's lead, so they have to be sure the kid doesn't find out about Belle or Cars or Scooby-Doo or whatever.

I fall somewhere in the middle I guess. I try to avoid commercial television (because I hate the constant "I want that!") but my kids know Cars, Tinkerbell, Scooby-Doo and (thanks to Daddy and Grandpa) Garfield and Tom & Jerry. It was funny, at our homeschool gymnastics Friday we had Thomas the Train, Darth Vader, Scooby Doo and Cars represented. :-) The class is all boys except my little one and she wears a leotard. Although I do wonder at a 3 year old who knows who Darth Vader is. Do little boys really like the Star Wars movie that much? I don't think I've seen it since I was 7 (in movie theatres, yes that's how old I am).


Actually, you are not being pathetic, although you are seriously cracking me up! :) Glad you will have some rest soon!

Glad to entertain. :-D


Hugs to you, Dorothy. I'm glad you're feeling better.

In the homeschooling group that I used to mod, the whole AP vs. mainstream (or whatever you want to call it) thing has been the biggest source of tension. The homeschooling population in general is pretty secular here. However, in the circle of people I know homeschooling, some came to it from a very AP/unschooling place and others didn't. I often feel very uncomfortable with the very-AP parents because there is sometimes a lot of judgement. I mean, we bf'ed our kids and still co-sleep with them and so forth, but that's totally not enough for some people. Alas.

I find it just as exclusionary and dogmatic as the fundamentalist Christians. Some Christian families don't want their kids to interact with the non-Christians (or even the wrong kind of Christians) because they'll be corrupted. These moms don't want their kids to interact with families whose toys aren't all plain wood because they might learn what a Disney princess is. It's not really any different, IMO.

I guess this is what I'm finding out and it's just taking me by surprise. Once again, I fall into a kind of middle ground. We co-slept(sleep), breastfed for 2 years each, but we vaccinate and my son is circumcized (those are two conversations I definitely know NOT to get into) and they watch tv, play video games.....

Why Can't We All Just Get Along?!?!?!?

MamaB2C
10-02-2010, 10:11 PM
Well, you weren't the one that brought up lifestyle, someone else did. I think you handled it perfectly well.

I actually left a forum, because they were way too judgmental of those of us who are even slightly more mainstream. I was thinking about that forum tonight, because one of the things that made me leave was a woman ranting about character toys (together with the lady who said you could tell a vaccinated kid by their "dead eyes"). I remember her saying "If a toy is a specific character it can't be played with in any other way, and kills imagination." That seemed to me to be terribly underestimating kids imaginations! I asked her, at the time, if she had ever seen the first 3 minutes of Toy Story?

Anyway, tonight I was making room at the table for us to eat dinner, and had to move DS's Cinderella Castle (from DisneyWorld). On and in the castle are Prince Charming, Darth Talon (from a Star Wars comic book series), a Storm Trooper, 2 GI Joe type Army guys, a Griffin from some Medieval set, and a lion cub. They were all involved in the game he was playing. Yeah, my son's imagination is totally killed.

dottieanna29
10-02-2010, 10:17 PM
I remember her saying "If a toy is a specific character it can't be played with in any other way, and kills imagination."

Yeah, better not tell my kids that. They'll have to break up the rain forest tea party (they had to jump around the living room avoiding quicksand and rivers to get to it - I don't know where they learned about quicksand, maybe Diego?) that the Wonder Pets are having with Tinkerbell and some Little People.

MamaB2C
10-02-2010, 10:28 PM
LOL! I wonder what kids with real imaginations get up to with their toys?

dbmamaz
10-02-2010, 11:44 PM
My son was obsessing over wars by 4 - watching all the movies and playing his big brother's game on the game cube. and, fwiw, I saw ALL SIX of the star wars series in the theater! and i'm really not much of a movie person! but i didnt circ - my ex was all about not circ'ing, but my hubby had not heard anything. I started talking, and he covered up the family jewels and yelped "do whatever you want, just stop talking about it!" lol

wild_destiny
10-03-2010, 11:14 AM
Totally agree, Dorothy-- Why can't we all just get along!!!! :) We are pretty mainstream in certain ways and pretty far from mainstream in other ways. I am not necessarily opposed to certain courses of action (like watching TV or co-sleeping), nor pro those same courses. I am who I am, doing what I believe in, and what I think is best for my family. Pretty much, I figure that others are doing likewise, even if their methods are different from mine, so I try to keep my judgment to a minimum. Not saying I always succeed, but it's my goal to NOT be a judgmental bitch. From the conversations on this forum, it is clear that many others have this same view.

hockeymom
10-03-2010, 12:31 PM
You said it, Deanna! :)

farrarwilliams
10-03-2010, 01:31 PM
LOL! I wonder what kids with real imaginations get up to with their toys?

Nothing. They're too busy trying to sneak over to the neighbors' house to watch Dora the Explorer.

Oh wait, now *I'm* being judgmental. Sorry. Eek... someone stop me. If there's anyone on here who doesn't allow licensed characters or TV, really, it's totally okay with me! No sarcasm there. Just don't tell me I'm ruining my kids by allowing it.

Mommytutu
10-04-2010, 08:49 PM
Just wanted to chime in and say that not all of us hardcore AP/Holistic moms are all that bad or judgemental! :P I'm a bfer, co-sleeper, cloth diaper-er, non-vax, locavore/organic eater, looking to homestead blah blah blah (though I do admit my kids watch more tv than I planned on allowing them back when my big one was still in my belly, lol) and I could absolutely care less what other people are doing to raise their kids. We are friends with a lot of "mainstream" families and a lot of families that are way more hardcore than we are. I bite my tongue every once in a while because I would want someone else to do it for me. To each their own. I found what works for us, what we are comfortable with and I love it but that certainly doesn't mean it is for everyone. And it definitely doesn't mean my kids (or me!) can't be friends with someone else because they *gasp* live differently than us!

dottieanna29
10-05-2010, 08:36 AM
Just wanted to chime in and say that not all of us hardcore AP/Holistic moms are all that bad or judgemental! :P I'm a bfer, co-sleeper, cloth diaper-er, non-vax, locavore/organic eater, looking to homestead blah blah blah (though I do admit my kids watch more tv than I planned on allowing them back when my big one was still in my belly, lol) and I could absolutely care less what other people are doing to raise their kids. We are friends with a lot of "mainstream" families and a lot of families that are way more hardcore than we are. I bite my tongue every once in a while because I would want someone else to do it for me. To each their own. I found what works for us, what we are comfortable with and I love it but that certainly doesn't mean it is for everyone. And it definitely doesn't mean my kids (or me!) can't be friends with someone else because they *gasp* live differently than us!

This is the kind of attitute I love. Live and let live, we're all different and have different reasons for making the decisions we do. What works for one, may not work for another and that should be fine. My best friend IRL is a cloth diaper, non-vax, cook from scratch, etc. She'd probably be homeschooling except she has some medical issues that would make it very difficult. We manage to hang out, talk (even about things we disagree on), do things with our kids, have a good time and these differences just don't matter. Neither of us feels judged by the other - which is what I think makes the difference.

Wilma
10-05-2010, 09:31 AM
People get so defensive over the way they raise their kids. I understand they need to feel like they are making the right choice, but c'mon. I often feel like many of the local homeschoolers are in the "I can be more organic than you" club. I used cloth diapers but my kids were on formula. What does that make me? Are their kids going to catch something being around Fischer Price toys or Gerber baby food? I wonder how many of these moms have only one kid. It was a lot easier for me to be militant about things when there was one. Then I realized we all had a life to live and I didn't want my kids to be afraid of everything. Plus, I just didn't have time anymore. Maybe these people just need to grow up a bit. YOu know, like their kids.

MamaB2C
10-05-2010, 11:34 AM
Yeah, I pick and choose. Co-sleep and cloth diapers, never bought a single jar of baby food, no spanking and really no punishment, but we vax, fed him formula (sorta necessary as we adopted our son. I would have b'fed if I could have), and character toys, and TV (though I limit his TV viewing), and video games.

Life is too short and too full for me to be hardcore anything these days. I do what feels right and what works at that moment. I expect others to do the same and try not to give anyone any crap about their choices. Funnily enough, some people who questioned my choices early on have completely shut up now, because they like my kid so much...I guess they figure the results are good so the methods worked lol