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Dear Mama Lathering Her Kids in Toxic Death Cream

admin June 2, 2016

Dear Mama Lathering Her Kids in Toxic Death Cream,

I’m sorry.

I just had to say that.  I know that you are a good mama, who is doing her best, and who is truly tired of all the screaming headlines and people telling her that she is killing her children with this or that.  I know that is wearying.  And I know that it makes you just want to give up on sorting out all of the information out there and just do what you know.

I don’t know you, personally.  I do have friends like you.  Friends who shared your post.  Friends who have privately confessed to me before how weary they are of all the shouted information and guilt that are heaped upon them.

And, you know, I agree with you.

There are too many “rules” out there.  Rules about things that truly don’t even matter.  Who cares what play time looks like in your home (or mine), when your kids go to bed, or what clothes they wear?  Some people waste their time trying to judge this stuff, and I say, why?  It’s such a waste of time to tell someone they aren’t a perfect parent if they don’t raise their kids exactly this way.

I also get how you feel — sometimes, I’m tired, too.  I have five kids and they keep me busy.  I’m not as tired as I was when I only had littles (please, no, never again with the *only* littles thing…that was so hard) because I can legit say, “Go make lunch” to my 8-year-old and “Play with the baby” to my almost 7-year-old while I take 5 blessed minutes to myself, and I know the house won’t burn down.  Mama, those days are coming.

Plus, I’ve dealt with anxiety for the past several years, and while it’s under control, somewhat — there are still days I struggle.  So I feel you, I really do.

Dear Mama Lathering Her Kids in Toxic Death Cream pinterest

But, I need to ask you something.

Please don’t give up on looking at all the information that is out there.  Please don’t write it off and say “We’re all going to die and everything is killing us, so why bother?”  I totally understand where that is coming from — it’s frustration.  When everyone is exaggerating everything and telling you that this or that is going to kill or ruin your child, it’s easier to just turn it all off and walk away.

But please don’t.  Some of that stuff truly doesn’t matter at all, and you can totally forget it.  (Like I said, it’s not for me to judge what time you put your kids to bed or where they sleep!)  But some stuff really does matter.

Stuff like car seat safety.  Or medicine.  Or a (mostly) healthy diet.

The health and safety stuff — it really does matter.  I know there’s a lot of conflicting info out there sometimes, and it can feel like people are judging you because you didn’t know.  Brush those people off (we all didn’t know at one point!) and sort it out and do the best you can.

I promise that I don’t care what clothes your child wears, if they watch TV (or what they watch), how they play, etc.  Really, I don’t.  I have my ways, and yours might be different, and that’s fine.

On the other hand I care a little about education and such, because, you know, it has such a long-term effect, but I recognize that there are different methods that work for different families, and whatever you consciously choose for your kids is fine.

It’s really just the health and safety stuff that truly matters.  We can toss all the rest aside, but not this.

I do promise, though, not to yell at you, or tell you you’re killing your kids, or mock you for not knowing.  I just want to help.  I’m here if you have questions.  I’m here if you want to vent about the poor way that others have tried to share information with you.  If I knew you, I’d invite you over so our kids could play and show you the stuff I make and why I make it.  I might even send you home with some of it.  I really just want to help — not judge.

So can we agree?  There are plenty of parenting issues that really are just personal decisions, and we should all stop caring what others think.  Then there are some parenting issues that really matter, and we’ll keep sharing information on those.  But, without being harsh or judgmental.  We’ll learn and grow together.

It’s a hard world out there, mama.  I feel you on that.  But that’s no reason to just give up.  We’re in this together.  We’ll raise awesome little people, doing better as we know better.  (And have plenty of grace for mistakes and the less-than-perfect decisions we all make sometimes.  You’re not alone.)

Okay?

Okay.

(See the original post here.)

Do you ever feel exhausted by all the parenting choices out there?

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20 Comments

  1. Totally with you here. Just read the original article and it seems just a way to avoid the guilt in the back of her head as she lathers on the toxic cream. Seeking out info shouldn’t be that hard when it’s for the health of our family and ourselves.

    Only thing I think should be added is that that this applies to all parents, not just moms. As a stay-at-home dad, I just had to throw that in there. 🙂

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  2. Love this. I read her post and totally felt what she was feeling but at the same time… some sunscreens are full of awful stuff. We have to get clear about what matters and what doesn’t.

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  3. you mean you don’t care that my one-year-old is drinking the rest of my (very watered down) iced coffee wearing the same *ADORBZ* outfit from yesterday? Okay, good. I was getting worried about what other people think of me as a mother. I’ve already come to the conclusion that I’m *NOT* that Pinterest perfect mom. I’m okay with that. I’m better than okay with that. I’m glad that I’m a human being that makes mistakes. Thanks for this post. It tickled my mommy feels.

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  4. I just want to say THANK YOU! I was going to blog in response to her post also, and you said everything I wanted to say!

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  5. Thank you.

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  6. I get what you are trying to convey here. All the nonjudgmental attitude and sharing of information. But PLEASE. PLEASE. DO NOT compare your trials of anxiety over a few years with a life long battle with bipolar. As well as keeping a child in a car seat with sunscreen. It’s just truly not appropriate. You have NO IDEA.

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  7. Thank you so much for writing this because I’m wrapped up in little littles and was too tired to. 🙂

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  8. I think you missed the point of the “toxic sunscreen” blog post. Towards the end she summed it up in one word…

    PERSPECTIVE

    And yes, I would say that applies even to the “health and safety” issues.

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  9. […] we shared about how different families have different rules and standards, which is to be expected! But you have to learn to pick your […]

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  10. I love this! You so graciously addressed this issue without being confrontational! Thanks!

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  11. I think you missed the mark on this. This woman, who is obviously conscientious, finally figured out that she is enough. Obviously, I cannot speak for her, so I will speak for myself, as her article very much spoke to me and where I am at. What I heard was a woman who very evidently loves and cares for and about her kids. She was not advocating abandoning important safety issues. She is trying to abandon torturing herself about it. And she is letting herself be enough. You seem to well understand the importance of people and parents supporting each other. That means respecting them, and their efforts, too. They don’t have to be ours. I support you being you. You seem a nifty mama that I could maybe learn a homemade sunscreen recipe from. I am sure she’d appreciate that, too. But I know what I need what I finally reach out to say maybe I am good enough, where I am, and that’s someone to say, I hear you mama, and you are. Someone to trust how much I care about my kids and know I’m doing my best and reinforce to me that that’s enough. Not another person to say–I get it, BUT…. Not someone else saying that if I just did that or grew this or practiced that other thing, because I am literally doing all I can do. So are you. I know you mean well, and surely many people are amen-ing or blessed be-ing your response. For me, I just wish someone daring to be enough could have just been met with applause. But I guess that’s just my stuff. Bless you, and your five kiddoes.

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  12. *oops, that’s “what I need when I “

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  13. Why doesn’t she just put a hat and long sleeves/pants on the kids They’re at a cabin so I presume bugs are an issue as well . Suitable clothing costs nothing

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  14. But don’t you advocate for parental choice?

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    • What does that have to do with anything? I’m not allowed to offer information now because it might “offend” people and make them think they don’t have a choice? They do, but I’m going to keep offering new ideas….

      If you don’t see the difference between offering information and support, and “forcing” an idea on someone else, I can’t help you.

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  15. […] is risky business. You can walk into any supermarket or drugstore and see shelves filled with sunscreen, but […]

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  16. I raised my four many years ago. My son and DIL have twins, and like one lady said, when you have an 8 or 9 years old, too, they can help you a little; but not when you have just the babies.

    So, the big deal here is that the suntan lotion might have toxic ingredients in it. Why is it the mother’s responsibility to know that? Why is it on the market if it is toxic? Where are the government agencies that watch these things?

    Since 1970 we’ve had fruit and veggies at 6 weeks, all the way to nothing until 6 months; regular milk at 3 months to formula for over a year. Sleep on their stomach–or no must be on the back. I think we must use common sense and trust our gut. I guess you could use no sunscreen at all and keep them out of the sun. How much fun would that be?

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    • You don’t have to avoid the sun if you don’t use sunscreen. Many just limit exposure, start off slow, or use light clothing. And some just don’t burn! Proper diet helps avoid burning.

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  17. The point of the original post seems, to me, to be satiric hyperbole; used to expose the issue of the masses of information designed to get our attention as parents, and sell us stuff that isn’t necessarily in our families best interest. Not that she has given up caring, but that the quality and incentive of disseminated information is often suspect, which contributes to a social atmosphere of parental superiority based misinformation, i.e., marketing.

    I believe her point was to stop shaming other parents because you read a different article or value a different expert opinion. The history of parental trends is full of failure and rebuke. We will not be spared in retrospect. We will all face our children’s scrutiny and reply with the same phrase our parents have: “We did what we thought was best.”

    Reply

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I’m Kate, mama to 5 and wife to Ben.  I love meeting new people and hearing their stories.  I’m also a big fan of “fancy” drinks (anything but plain water counts as ‘fancy’ in my world!) and I can’t stop myself from DIY-ing everything.  I sure hope you’ll stick around so I can get to know you better!

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