As I read stories and comments from mothers who are told that they are spoiling their child and are parenting all wrong, I am filled with admiration. Not for the ignorance of those making these statements of course, but for the mothers and fathers who continue to make choices in the best interest of their baby- even when those around them condemn their choices.
The mother who left her baby to cry one time, and knew that she would never try it again. When her mother or sister or aunt scorns her, she still comforts her child. Every time.
The mother who is told that she should be using formula; that there is no need to breastfeed because it ties her down and does not allow others to give her a break- but continues to breastfeed anyway.
The mother whose husband does not understand and believes that another option must be tried, but she tells him that her body will not allow her to sleep away from her baby, and so arrangements are made.
The father who protects his baby and her mother. Even though he is snickered at, is the butt of family jokes and whose friends think he has become soft. He defends his family and supports breastfeeeding and holding and cuddling the baby because he trusts his partner, and his only goal is for his child to be comfortable and happy.
The fortitude of new parents who are tired and confused but continue to focus on what their baby is telling them. They hear the noise that exists just outside of their little world, but it does not derail them. It can become very loud because it comes from those whom they used to turn for advice, but they stay focused on what they know to be right for their child.
This is strength, this is selflesness, this is love. And instead of being honored or celebrated it is criticized and condemned- but it does not change the direction in which these mothers and fathers go forth. This is what I admire.