On another of my prowlings around various internet forums, I stumbled upon yet another mummy battle. The battle of the Demon Dummy/soother. I must point out that I am not anti soother at all, my eldest used one because her reflux was so bad and our baby was very sucky so I used to offer one to her, she was never interested though. A question was asked anonymously through the forum host about what the best age to wean a baby off a soother. As you can imagine the answers came flooding in.
They ranged from people recounting their own experiences with what they did with their children and how they weaned them off, to the righteous mothers (not related to the Unchained Melody singing duo), condemning this little plastic device as the work of Satan and any mother who gave one to their children should be burned at the stake.
I of course got sucked into reading every single reply and once again was amazed at the responses of some of these women – women who are mothers. After I filtered out the text speak answers – I just cannot bring myself to try to decipher these abbreviations and lazy dropping of letters willy nilly. People had responded with things like “don’t give them one to begin with” eeeeem, correct me if I’m wrong, but the poster was asking for advice about weaning off a soother, so it’s a little too late for that advice.
Another “helpful” respondent stated “my baby never ever had one and never sucked her thumb or used a comforter, my hugs were enough”…oh bore off, why did you even bother typing that clap trap and just how useful to the poster was that! Who is she trying to convince that she is wonder mum, us the readers, or herself!
Loads more of these I’m bloody brilliant type of answers followed that, which then opened up a barrage of defensive posts by mothers justifying their soother use. What for, why should you have to defend your decision about something as trivial as this. Why and how dare other people make you feel as though you are some terrible mother, because you chose to offer your baby a form of comfort, or try to prevent them sucking their thumb.
Why in 2012 is dummy/soother a dirty word in mothers circles. This is further emphasised by the fact that the poster felt she had to ask the question anonymously and was “afraid” to put her name to the post.
The use or non use of such a device is entirely a personal choice and I don’t think anyone should be made to feel inadequate if they resort to artificial method of comfort and soothing. The whole thing descended into chaos, if it had been in real life, I’m pretty sure there would have been hair pulling!
I thought motherhood was meant to be a joyous time in your life, a journey into the unknown with these tiny people. Trying to help them grow into well-rounded adults. There was nothing joyous or well-rounded about this debate and I was left amazed at how riled up some of these people got. As well as thinking, well that’s 30mins of my life I’ll never get back!
It’s a piece of plastic, not a nuclear warhead. Society will not fall apart because a baby has a dummy. It may however, fall apart if we as mothers continue to constantly go to war with one another, over such niff naff. When are we going to realise that women really are remarkable creatures, we are nurturing, thoughtful, determined, organised, we can multi task, we can bring life into the world. We do have the ability to change the world for the better, but only as a supportive, collective force, not as screaming fish wives!