I initially thought that one post in honour of International Babywearing Week was enough, but events over the weekend, that I just found out about today have urged me to post again.
Thankfully Megan is a more informed babywearing mama than I am and her post from yesterday informed me of the ongoing uproar over this Motrin add that ran on the US Motrin website until earlier this week when it was removed after babywearing Moms worldwide had their say on the issue!
There are lots of great posts all over the place about it: some of the ones I have enjoyed are at Adventures in Babywearing and Crunchy Domestic Goddess and the official letter to Motrin from Babywearing International. Definitely an interesting story about how fast information travels online and how quickly a large group of moms can affect a change. Motrin very quickly removed the ad and issued apologies. I even sent them an e-mail at their site motrin.ca and received a response within hours. I think they got the message loud. and. clear.
As for my personal opinion on the matter, I think it was a poorly researched, ill-timed ad that rightly offended a lot of people. Will I boycott Motrin or Tylenol (also owned by Motrin)? Probably not. But what really bothers me is that there are likely still lots of people out there who honestly hold those uninformed opinions about babywearing – and not because they saw the ad, but because in so many communities alternative parenting methods are still so foreign.
Case in point…an acquaintance on mine who is expecting her first baby shortly was over at my house for dinner. Knowing that she is fairly forward thinking on a number of issues, but not wanting to alienate a potential “new” friend I cautiously broached the subject of cloth diapers. Her equally cautious response what that her and her partner were planning to try EC (if you don’t know what it is, I posted about it here and Jackie recently posted about it here). She told me in the same hesitant tone that Dale and I told people about it when we were planning on trying it and she was relieved but a little shocked that I a) had heard about it before; and b) was totally suportive of it!
In Comox – not shockingly – I found many people to be extremely receptive of alternative, more natural parenting methods. Not so in Cold Lake, Alberta! And although I am not shocked by that fact, and I am not sure how to proceed in the face of it.
Again, Megan got me to thinking in her wrap up post at the end when she talks about advocacy. I am in total agreement with her that the best way to advocate is by setting a great example. But I am at a bit of a loss sometimes as to how to do that. And not just when it comes to parenting issues, but also in the general realm of living more naturally.
When is it appropriate to tell people that I work with that I chose to wipe my bum with cloth as an environment saving measure? Ok – so probably never. But what about my use of cloth handkerchiefs or the lack of paper towels in my house? How about the fact that I try to buy Nate’s clothes used (difficult in Cold Lake thanks to the lack of consignment stores!) or that I have started making my own cleaning products?
How do I increase my sphere of influence without seeming like a self-righteous, pompous Officer/person? I know I have this blog, and I feel that over the past year and a bit I have managed to contribute at least a little bit to the environmental momvement that has been spreading like wildfire in certain online communities, but I truly feel like I should be able to contribute more positively in my own community. And I don’t feel very capable in that endeavour at the moment. Of the 8-10 prenant women who I know personally right now in Cold Lake, only one of them is considering using cloth diapers. None of them have seen a baby carrier that isnt a baby bjorn or a snuggly (not that those don’t count – because they totally do – but by their very nature they won’t be of much use for very long).
So aside from feeling like Dale and I are the odd couple in this town, I am totally unsure how I should attempt to change that fact! I would love to know if any of you have struggled with this issue and whether you have had much success. I don’t believe there is an overnight solution and perhaps the best way to affect change is for me to be a little more bold and open about the chioces I make and why they work for my family. Does that make sense?
I hope so!
P.S. Thanks for all the welcome advice on the bum-rash situation! It is looking much better today and we’ll both me back at work tomorrow. Allison – I think we will try a different brand of wipes! And Jackie – I will e-mail Jenn to see what they tried! You guys all rock!