I want to start this conversation by thanking you for your interest in my child. Clearly, you have ideas about how children are best raised and you only want the best for my child. However, I am going to have to politely ask that you NEVER touch his pacifier.
I promise I’m not an overbearing mom. I don’t wince at every scraped knee. Also, I am fairly lenient about junk food and nap time. My pet peeve is his pacifier. I understand there is no way you could possibly know that. Just like there is no way I could possibly know another mother’s pet peeve right off the bat, so I write this letter to respectfully ask that you keep your opinions to yourself about other’s parenting choices.
Parenting decision are never made lightly. From the moment the moment those two pink lines showed up, I was inundated with this or that. Will we breastfeed, pump, or bottle feed? Should we co-sleep? Is that even safe? How do you sterilize a bottle? Why are baby booties even a thing?
Most of the time, my husband and I decided to “cross that bridge when we get there.” We made the same decision in regards to pacifiers. We got a few at our showers, but figured we would see what our little one preferred. He definitely prefers to have a “pap” as we call it. In fact, he prefers a pap so much that he has had one in his mouth virtually 24 hours a day for the last 2.5 years. Do we worry about his teeth? Absolutely. Do we also worry that taking away his one security item could harm his emotional well-being? You bet. See, hard choices.
I am so sorry that your cousin’s friend’s son had to get braces when he was 13 because he was a pacifier baby. I really do hate that for anyone. However, I have to make a polite pass on your unsolicited advice. I am very well versed on the risks and benefits of using a pacifier. Many hours of research went into allowing our little one to have his pap so much. We decided as a family that this is the best decision for us. Your advice is appreciated but totally disregarded as soon as I can escape the conversation. The polite pass doesn’t just cover pacifiers. I will also take a polite pass on any unsolicited parenting advice which brings me to my next point.
Has a stranger, friend, or acquaintance ever come into your job and told you that you were doing it wrong? Probably not. Doing something like that would be totally disrespectful. Consider that the next time you have an opinion about how a mom is handling a parenting decision. It is her full time job to keep those kiddos happy and healthy. She deserves the same respect you expect at your job. Momming is hard enough without feeling judgmental eyes glaring at you in the grocery store.
Just as I said before, pacifiers are my hot button issue. It might be vaccines, homeschooling, or red dye to another mom. Each of those decisions is a family choice and should be respected by all. Even the best intentions fall short at times.
As a teacher, I am a mandated reported of child abuse and neglect. I am in no way asking you to overlook or ignore when a child is in a dangerous situation. Please take all steps to alert the proper authorities if you feel a child is in danger of being harmed. However if everyone is happy and healthy, DO NOT TOUCH THE PACIFIER!
A pap mom