Hello and welcome to a strange new world. You have traveled far through the desert, only to be met time and again by one empty oasis after another. You are lost and alone, wandering, wondering if someone, anyone, knows how you feel. And just when you think you can't go on, and no one could possibly understand your struggle, a hand reaches out to you, lifts you to your feet, and carries you to the promised land. He feeds you knowledge, shelters you from the self-righteous (and the ridiculous), and provides you with the tools you need to survive in this brave new world. You are a stranger in a strange land, but you are not alone. Let him be your guide. Follow closely as you travel together on this adventure of a lifetime. For now, you are a foreigner to "Fatherhood" but soon YOU will be the master of this realm.

"No Man is Expendable!"

This is Fodder 4 Fathers...


Recently, I made some disparaging remarks about a guest blog post I read from a fellow dad blogger. Now, I'm not saying I'm perfect, and I'm certainly not saying I shouldn't think before I speak (even though I've always believed it is better to beg for forgiveness than to ask for permission), but I am who I am and sometimes I speak my mind without thinking about who it might hurt. But, I guess there are a lot of people like me, because let's face it, people say rude shit to their fellow parents all the time. Which is funny, because this was the exact topic I was arguing about?

You see, I'm don't like to mince words. I follow my gut. If something bothers me, I speak my mind. Right or wrong, rude or self-righteous, I'm just being true to my feelings. So, when I read this post about how to turn people who hate your birth choices in to supporters, I couldn't stop myself. To put it lightly, I just couldn't get behind it.

I mean, what would I have against this? Sure, it’s a little pretentious for my taste in its wording (e.g. “We, the pioneers of the empowered, gentle birth movement, are helping to influence the world by coming into alignment with our intuition and redefining what it means to have a healthy and safe birth”). But, I can overlook that. Yes, it makes statements that make me cringe like “When you describe the meaning the empowered birth holds for you, others will find it difficult to argue with you,” because, well, that’s just a pipe dream. And, okay, it suggests that people who are against empowered birth are probably illogical, but “not bad” people- which is certain to get others to rush to their cause- but this isn’t what bothers me, either.

What bothers me is the fact that it never once suggests to tell the f@#%ing “Naysayers” who are against this practice to just f---ing accept that this is their way of life, and if you don’t like it, who the f@#% cares.  

Look, I get it. It sucks to have other people constantly questioning your parenting decisions, from Breastfeeding, to Bottle feeding, to Co-Sleeping, to Natural Birth, but who cares. Why do you need to explain yourself to other people? You’re entitled to your choices, and their entitled to their opinions. Just because we can’t all agree on how to parent our kids, doesn’t mean you have to get so defensive about it. Some people are just plain rude, and single-minded and/or too close-minded to ever see things your way, so maybe you’re just wasting your breath with your calm, collected 5 step-program of converting others to YOUR way of thinking, and what you should be doing instead is just going about your life and doing what you feel is justified for your family? You say “educate them” so they can see the beauty of your parenting choices. I say f@#% ‘em if they can’t just accept that you think differently than they do. 

Yes. Defending my parenting choices isn’t a huge part of my day. But we (my wife and I) bottle fed our daughter, I used the Baby Bjorn, we decided to let our daughter sleep in a crib as opposed to our bed, but I don’t feel the need to justify those choices to other people. I made an informed choice. I stuck to it. I don’t find myself caring how other people raise their kids, as long as those kids are happy and not being abused, so, honestly, if you don’t question my way of life, I wouldn’t even think of questioning yours. But if you feel the need to tell me how your choices are better than mine, I only have one answer- go away. And if you can’t because of some misguided idea in your head that you’re going to get me to your way of thinking if you just keep indoctrinating me with it, then I’m just going to tell you to “f@#% off.”

I’m sensitive to those who take the path less travelled. I know it’s not an easy road to take. But if you’re going to get defensive about it all the time because the rest of the world doesn’t share your views, maybe it wasn’t the right choice for you? Hey, I’ve had girlfriend’s everyone hated. But, at the time, my choices made sense to me, so I just put it on the table: if you love and/or respect me, you will respect my choices; if you don’t, I’ll see you when I see you. I’m just not a defend my position kind of guy when it comes to the choices I make. I make my bed, I sleep in it, and I live my life on my own terms. Look, you can be the 35-year-old that still hides the fact that she smokes from her parents, wondering how to defend it if they ever find out, or you can just come out and tell them and get it over with. Life is just more freeing when you don’t give a sh@# what other people think. 

Now, again, my way isn’t for everyone. Many people do care what other people think; many people do feel the need to defend their choices, often using the same tactics that the Naysayers might use on them. But it’s my opinion that this just creates a vicious cycle with no end. You defend your position. I defend mine. You try to educate me in your way of thinking. I try to educate you in mine. You get frustrated. I get frustrated, and finally we find ourselves at an impasse because no one really cares to see it from the other side, they just want to make their point known. Yes, I know it quite well, because this was the kind of relationship I had with my father. And you don’t know strength until you tell your own father not to come to your wedding because of a difference in “philosophies” on life. To quote the movie, War Games, “sometimes the only way to win is not to play the game.”

But, I’m a father now, and more important to me than what other people think is how I am viewed by my child, and the lessons I can teach her. So while I may not agree with the methods suggested in the above article- the Kung-Fu crane to my Kung-Fu tiger- I’m sure they may work for some, so I will merely say I disagree and leave it at that. I however, choose to go a different way, as this is how I choose to live my life, and the kind of life lesson I would like to teach my little girl. But, hey, you’re free to debate the point with me. I’m just not sure how far you’re going to get. But I will always try my best to be nice... until it's time to not be nice. 


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