Saturday, June 08, 2013

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

I know that I've posted about respect before. The last post was about respecting others in a delicate situation. This time it's about respecting me and my respect for others.

As a young mom, I get looked down on quite a bit. People make comments like, "Well she's just a child. She doesn't know how to raise one..." or "Your generation doesn't understand how to parent." I'm sick of it. I'm not sad or upset, I'm just irritated and a little pissed. Being nineteen does not mean that I don't know how to be a parent. I do a damn fine job raising our daughter. She's smart, healthy, and developing much faster than many babies her age. If I were an ill-equip parent, do you think she'd be doing as well as she is? No.

It is my biggest pet peeve when people tell me how to raise my child. I'll be the first to admit, if I have a question, if I'm unsure, if I'm completely lost and have no idea what to do, I will ask for help. I will ask for advice. I'm not going to sit here and risk jeopardizing my daughter's future for the sake of my own pride. When "your generation" was learning to parent, I'm sure you got the same amount of crap that I am. People, things change!! Advancements are made to better society! Just because you did it "this way" xx amount of years ago, does not mean that the "new way" or "my way" is bad. It's just different. "Your way" might be awesome, but that doesn't mean that "my way" isn't just as great.

When I post photos of Adalin like this:


I get messages from people chewing me out for "letting that baby outside." First, she's inside. Second, I'm standing less than 3 feet away. Third, she's ten stinking months old. She's allowed to see sunlight. She's not a vampire, it's not going to kill her. 

Or there's this picture: 


And it starts again... "That baby is too young to be at the beach!" or "Does she have enough sun screen on? She's going to get burned." or "Salt water isn't good for baby's skin..." Seriously? I'm young, I'm not stupid. I hate being judged for my age. My baby's safety is always my number one priority. If I had the slightest inclination that something we were doing was not good for her health, I wouldn't be doing it. Notice in this picture, she has a hat on to protect her face from the sun (even though she has tons of sun screen on). Notice that I'm between her and the ocean, so if by some chance the 1/3 of an inch of water that occasionally reached where we were sitting magically washed her out to sea, I would be able to catch her. Notice that I'm about six inches away, she's not going anywhere. 

Heck, I don't even have to post pictures. Any time I mention Baby A, I get comments on how to raise her. I am so tired of being told what to do. 

I'll say it again, if I want help/advice (which I do, not necessarily frequently, but it definitely happens often) I will ask. Then, all those comments are welcomed! In fact, they're encouraged. Shoot, talk my ear off. Tell me all about how you did it in "your day." Tell me how dangerous it is to put a baby in two inches of water and hold on to her the whole time. 

I apologize for the sarcasm, but I'm extremely irritated today. 

The bottom line is that I want to be respected as a person and as a parent. I know what's best for me and for my child. I could see if I was some drug using, drinking, partying, irresponsible woman who didn't care for her child. That's not the case though. I'm a good mom. I'm a good person. I'm a grown woman with her own life. I'm not a middle-schooler, I'm not a high-schooler. I'm an adult. 

If, and only if, you respect me, I will respect you. If you look down on me, lecture me when it's not needed, tell me how everything I do is wrong, you can forget about me respecting you. Respect is earned. Look at my little girl and tell me that I haven't earned the respect I deserve. Honestly, look at her: 


She's happy. She's healthy. She's adorable (sorry, mom moment). She's an amazing little girl, and I am a good mom. 

So please, think about this the next time you give me, or any other young or new parent, advice they might not want. Sometimes your good intentions come off as offensive and unnecessary. 

God Bless ♥ V