We needn’t see a person’s opinion or action as a final statement about their essential nature.
Parenthood heightens the importance of our decisions in a way we probably never anticipated. Instead of considering the impact of our every action and word on a few adults, we’re now faced with the ramifications of our decisions on a being that relies entirely upon us for survival.
The mommy/daddy wars don’t make parenting choices easier. Just try to find an impartial viewpoint on any child-rearing topic. Hold versus put down. Family bed versus crib. Bottle versus breastfeed. Back versus tummy. Disposable versus cloth. Soothe versus let cry. The San Francisco Chronicle even recently dipped its institutional toe into the debate over sex in the presence of a co-sleeping child (as if co-sleeping itself wasn’t contentious enough).
The myriad disputes surrounding child-rearing (and how we feel about them) present a fantastic opportunity to do something parents aren’t typically known for: take a step back, put ourselves in someone else’s shoes, and let go of any judgment. In fact, cultivating non-judgment may be the best thing we glean from the mommy/daddy wars.
Not judging doesn’t mean we acquiesce to everything that someone else says or does. That would be foolish. It just means that we don’t see a person’s opinion or action as a final statement about their essential nature. It also means that we’re grown up enough to acknowledge the existence of multiple perspectives that merit consideration. We may not like what another person says about child-rearing, but we can still treat them with compassion. And isn’t that the way we want our kids to relate to others?