Sunday, May 29, 2011

Ba-Ba Blues?

What the hell is it with the older women and their total refusal to allow modern moms to do what we think is best for our kids?

Yesterday I was at a family barbeque (and I won't even get into the thrilling experience that I had) and was talking to my aunt, whose first grandchild has just turned one.  She and her son were discussing the bottle and the aunt was APPALLED at the idea that he would even THINK of taking the bottle away from her at a mere 1 year old.  She defended her stance saying that the pediatrician said "15 months at the latest for a bottle, 18 months for a pacifier."  She acted like it was flat-out child abuse to even consider depriving a kid of a ba-ba so "young".

"Once you pop you can't stop," says Grandma.

This is not the first time I have encountered this kind of outrage from an older woman in my family.  My mother completely lost her shit when I suggested that Lila was not supposed to have a bottle to go to sleep since that is what parents had done for 50 years previous.  She told me that this was basically the cause of all the problems I had with Lila's infancy and that if I just gave in all those problems would disappear. 

I finally DID give in.  And guess what, a year later when Lila was 2 and still wanting a bottle to go to sleep my mother acted like I was talking about murder when I suggested that it was time to stop.  Even though the doctor had told me to do it a year before.  Even though every parenting book ON EARTH says that they shouldn't have a bottle to go to sleep, my mother thought it was simply cruel. 

Believe me when I say that it was one of the worst transitions I have ever had to make.  Lila was never a good sleeper to begin with and this just made her worse.

All that being said, why do these women think that we modern mothers are so mean and cruel for trying to do exactly what all the pros tell us we need to do?  Are they offended that their way may have been wrong? Or is it actually mean to take a comfort item from a baby?  Are we no good at going with our guts or is it just a matter of them trying to keep the babies as babies for as long as possible?

What do you guys think?


  1. I can't stand any of the older women in my family. Women are the arbiters of culture. Men think they rule the world, but let's not forget the lovely creatures who, in all wars, have told their sons (in one way or another) to "return carrying their shield... or on it."

  2. ugh I hate when people randomly give me their unsolicited advice/opinions on things, whether they're old or not. My daughter was totally weaned off the bottle by 9 months and I dont think it was mean!! But she still has her main comfort thing, her "bear bear" which I'm pretty sure she'll be taking to college with her.

  3. I weaned my son off of breast feeding at 8 months, when the little demon starting biting. He was onto the sippy cup not long after.

    It's frustrating having someone try to pull old standards (that no longer apply) over younger moms :( Maybe laugh and say, "that is so old school" and "we've learned so much since then, but thanks for your input" type of thing...

  4. Simply put, my theory is that older women who are also mothers think they know better than us. They've been there, done that, have been at it longer, etc. There is something satisfying about giving a less experienced mother advice, I guess.

    My LEAST favorite thing EVER to hear is "Well I did it this way with MY kids, and they turned out FINE." I WANT TO STRANGLE. YOUR kids may have turned out fine but as a species, we are constantly learning and changing. CHANGE IS GOOD. ANGER AND RAGE.

  5. It wasn't terribly long ago that I speaking with an elderly lady who was saying that in her day, doctors said not let your baby leave the house for three months, and I got the impression she still felt that way. But yeah...a lot of older generations don't realize that times are different, the doctors know more, and that every child is different, and you can't expect the same methods to work for every child.


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