from the heart · parenting

Standing Up

Logan had his 6-month checkup a few weeks ago. Usually when I take him to the doctor I go in with my defenses up because I don’t always agree with the healthcare industry on what’s best for my family. It’s rather stressful! Then I can’t think straight in the moment and go away wishing I had handled things differently or had spoken up more. I remember one time when I was nearing the end of my pregnancy, my husband and I had made a decision about our son’s neonatal care that my midwife didn’t agree with. She actually had the audacity to tell me, “You’re being Dr. Google right now, and you need to stop.” It’s times like that when I am so completely taken back and infuriated that I fume inside without saying a word, then regret it later. On one hand, it’s a good thing because I don’t spew out everything that’s going through my mind (a lesson learned a long time ago that probably is the reason I struggle with speaking out when I should), but a bad thing when I need to speak up on my family’s behalf. 

Recently I read an article about a mom who always did a similar song and dance with her pediatrician and never told the whole truth when the barrage of questions about her parenting came out (I hate those questions… it’s not really their business, but that’s besides the point). Well one day, her husband came to the appointment, but she forgot to tell him about her charade. So when the doctor started asking questions, the husband answered truthfully. The woman was surprised by the lack of judgment they received from the doctor. 

Now, I don’t believe every office would be as understanding as the one in this story; nonetheless, it encouraged me a bit. So I decided this appointment was going to be different. While I don’t lie, I am always uneasy when I answer, even if I’ve done my research and made my decision. I decided wasn’t going to let their questions phase me. I was determined to go in coolly and answer them bluntly and truthfully, despite how they react. My child’s health is more important than their opinions (which are usually blindly-followed information from the AAP), and I was going to boldly stand on the decisions that my husband and I had made. 

So I did just that. I unashamedly requested not to be seen by a doctor I didn’t like. When the parenting questions came, I answered truthfully. When the nurse didn’t agree or made a comment that wasn’t based in actual research, I just nodded and let it go. I felt so liberated! I actually stood for my son’s health and my family’s decisions without being confrontational or wishing I had done things differently. Maybe it just gets easier with time and practice. Maybe that little article gave me the boldness I needed. Whatever the case, I was grateful to have stood up for my son in this way. (Though part of me did want to tell her off for not taking the time to educate herself on the topic. 😁)

So bottom line, I guess what I want you to take away is this: Do your research, make your decision, and stand by it no matter what others say (even the Healthcare professionals). I’m not saying you should completely disregard everything your doctor tells you. In most cases, they truly want to help, and they do carry a medical degree; but some decisions are the parents’ responsibility, not the doctor’s. You know your child best. Your child is not an average or norm… he (or she) is unique. God has given YOU the ability to make wise, informed decisions and the responsibility to take care of your child, despite what society may tell you is right or normal. Take the stand. Let things go when you can (pick your battles), but don’t be afraid to stand your ground aggressively if necessary. 

Have you ever been confronted about your parenting decisions? Did you respond with grace and ease or do you wish you handled it differently? Let me know in the comments. 

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