Why Are We Our Own Worst Enemies?

April 2, 2012

If a subject is in my head and I try to push it away, it creates a traffic jam. I can think of nothing else except said subject and I may never, ever be able to spit anything else out if I don’t write it. That said, forgive me if today’s post sounds like Doctor Phil but without the PhD and the annoying speech cadence.

I was sitting in the physio yesterday trying to sort this poor ol’ overworked back out, when I read in one of the ultra trashy mags that Alicia Silverstone chews her food and let’s her one year old eat it out of her mouth. Now, my initial thought is ‘Eew’ however, in days gone by, before the birth of the food processor, I guess that’s what we did. Well, that and mashed, gruelly stuff, I guess. Cave women didn’t give cave babies mammoth bones to gnaw, so it’s kind of practical and portable, right?

Two pages later showed the divine January Jones, AKA Betty Draper, oh, she of the fabulous wardrobe, with her little munchkin and the article was about how she has had her dried placenta pressed into capsules that she ingests daily for nutritional benefits to support her busy lifestyle. Mmmmmkay……Now, do we think that Women’s Trash Idea Weekly printed this so I could get tips on child raising?

Nope. Was it even to highlight alternate forms of parenting?

Nope. It was so they could be branded gross freaks and judged by the world.

Are they doing these things (and telling journos or posting photos of spawn behaving like baby birds) to be freaky? Not at all. They’re doing these things because they truly believe that it’s the best thing for themselves and their family. Huzzah! That ought to be celebrated, even though it’s different from what we’re doing. Some people breastfeed still at 2, and at 3, and hell, even at 4 or more. Why is this seen differently to breastfeeding at 1? It’s not what I want to do, but what the hell difference does it make to my life if it floats someone else’s boat?

What is gross, really? Child abuse is gross. A horrible disease consuming someone you love, that’s pretty gross. A nappy filled with the results of too much dried fruit and last night’s fish dinner, that’s really, super friggen’ gross. Really, pre-chewed food and placenta pills don’t even rate on the gross-0-meter. Do I have an opinion on them? Of course. Do I think they’re odd? Quite. The thing I keep thinking is we judge ourselves, and others, so harshly, every day, and compare ourselves to others. Shouldn’t we just see that the world is full of kooky individuals and be happy that it’s not boring…..although I feel fairly well boring these days.

I had been mulling over this subject anyway, just even with regards to myself. I am judgemental, opinionated and I think I know best. There it is. I find myself judging people’s Facebook status’. The shameless self promoters or the inspiration-a-day types, or heaven forbid, the super- shameless people that sell their families out daily in blogs because they vainly believe the world needs to hear what they have to say (ahem)….sometimes I roll my eyes and think ‘puhlease!!’. The question I’m raising here really is why do we give a shit?
Why can’t we all just give each other high fives and get on with our day? Why don’t we applaud people for having healthy self-esteems, or expressing joy about their lives, their families or expressing themselves in whatever form works for them? Why? Why? Why, do we put each other down?

Not a few hours later I saw a link to Mayim Bialik’s blog (famous for playing young Better Midler in Beaches, and Blossom, not to mention some fairly interesting thoughts on attachment parenting amongst other things) who was discussing Alicia and January and kind of saying the same thing…..however I went on further to read her other parenting beliefs and they were wildly different to mine… nose began to crinkle up, and my eyes started to squint and across my mind ran the thought ‘What the hell is she talking about?’… the very act of researching my subject bought more judgement from me. Am I learning nothing from this process?

When we meet people on the street there is actually a sub-concious process that we do immediately that ‘puts them in their place’. Before we’ve finished shaking their hand, or indeed dropping an air kiss about five centimetres from their cheek, we’ve made a series of assessments.

  • Are they more or less attractive than me?
  • Are they of a higher or lower status than me?
  • Are they more or less smart than me?

We have no control over this. You can try to deny it, but we all do it when we meet ANYONE…….According to the UK’s Daily Mail when we meet meet other women you can add to the pile –

  • How does her body compare to mine?
  • How does her style/hair/make-up compare to mine?
  • Is her smile nicer than mine?
  • Is her partner more drunk than mine? (I made that one  up, but I imagine sometimes it’s apt)

These are just the subconscious ones ….so shouldn’t we try to be nicer about the bits we can control? I don’t have an answer. Perhaps it’s human nature, but it’s certainly worth thinking about. Let’s just give each other a break. Parenting, and indeed life, is bloody hard enough and we’re all just making it up as we go along. We’re just doing the best we can with the tools we’ve been given, and let’s face it, some of us are a few tools short, and some of us are just tools.

Enough Doctor Phil soapboxing. I cyber high five you all for the day, and I hope you all feel fabulous about yourselves, because you’re great in your own little freaky way.

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  • Reply Midge April 2, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    I will ponder on this subject today. I am pretty sure that it is a built in reaction to judge people the moment you meet them, hear them, read about them or see them on TV or even hear about them from someone else BUT I wonder when is begins. I have seen very young children judge very openly……are they learning from us OR is it built into us ? I try so very hard not to judge, I even have that conversation with myself in my rather full head – the one when you are telling yourself ‘stop judging, be kind, be generous, switch off your radar’.
    I high five you back and wish you a wonderful sunny day. I say HURRRRAH to whatever and whoever today. Do what you do and know that it is right for you. You are the boss.

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