"Just because I have strong opinions, does not mean I judge.
Do not mistake passion for judgment.
For you might find you are the one doing the judging". ~Unknown
I can't even count how many times I've had a falling out with someone and they proceeded to call me judgmental and proclaim that I think that I'm "better" than everyone. I always find it ironic that they always say it after we've had a falling out which always makes it glaringly obvious that they have had an underlying issue with
Regardless of what some people may think of me. I do not think I am better than anyone. That's not why I speak out about the things that I'm passionate about. I speak about them because I want to make a difference. I speak about them because I know how incredibly lonely it was when I had my first child and I had not one friend around me who ever breastfed. I had never even SEEN anyone breastfeeding, and even though my breastfeeding support was Google, it has become one of the best and most rewarding decisions I ever made in my life. Now, I can't even count how many people have come to me for breastfeeding advice because they know that they can because I am so vocal and passionate about it. If my choices, opinions, and passions make you feel inferior or make you feel like you're being judged, I'm sorry, I feel bad for you, I really do but like Eleanor Roosevelt said:
I won't argue that I probably come across as judgmental about 1 issue that I am particularly passionate about, and that's routine infant circumcision and I never have been nor will I ever be apologetic about expressing my opinion of it. Unlike the rest of my parenting choices, leaving my sons penis intact was not MY choice because it wasn't my choice to make, it's HIS penis. Unlike the rest of the things that people have accused me of being "judgmental" about, to me circumcision is a human rights issue. I do not agree with routine infant circumcision whatsoever, but I still have friends who have circumcised. Sometimes I'm honestly surprised that people who have circumcised their sons are still friends with me because I talk about it so much and advocate against it every day but those people apparently are either A. Secure with themselves and their decision, or B. Realize that they made the wrong decision because they were uneducated when they made the decision and their doctor neglected to inform them of the truth.
As a matter of fact, I have had countless people tell me that they regret their decision after I educated them on RIC. Which makes me even MORE passionate and pissed off about it! Why weren't these parents properly informed by their Doctors? They have the right to informed consent!! Why don't more people in our society talk openly about circumcision? It's really important to me, and I am making a difference. I have had a lot of people thank me and tell me they will not circumcise future sons and I recently had the first person who is actually pregnant with a boy tell me that her and her husband are not circumcising because of me.
I am making a difference. Just a couple minutes ago someone who my husband is friends with on Facebook saw a picture with me babywearing that he's tagged in and asked for babywearing advice. There ARE people out there who have no idea that "attachment parenting" or cloth diapers even exist! (like me, when I had my first baby) & there are people who would have no idea who or where to turn to for breastfeeding advice or support & it makes me feel really good inside to help people like me! All of the "friends" that I have lost and all of the negative comments I have received from past "friends" are all worth it when I get messages like these:
& for every old "friend" I have lost, I have gained a much more awesome new one, and I wouldn't trade them for the world! My like-minded friends and what's left of my not so like-minded friends seem to have one thing in common, they're all positive, tolerant, loving, secure, accepting, and all around good people. I've come to realize that the ones who I'm no longer friends with, were actually the intolerant judgmental ones who were also insecure. It had nothing to do with me.
So thank you, not-so-like-minded-friends who love and accept me for who I am, passions, opinions, boob-out-breastfeeding-pictures and all, because you made me cognizant of the fact that it was never me, it was them all along.
I don't regret being me.