Full disclosure: I am a really judgmental person. I always have been. As previously stated, I am very decisive (unless we’re talking about dinner, in which case I just want it to magically appear in front of my face). If I find something I haven’t already made up my mind about, I research it within an inch of its life and make a decision quickly. I like to be well-informed because I like to argue but hate to be wrong. LET’S BE FRIENDS!
I can — because I’ve had to — often (obviously, not always) separate the person from his or her decisions. Just because you circumsized your son doesn’t mean I think you’re a bad person (though I most definitely think it was a really, really regrettable choice). Maybe you scheduled a c-section or didn’t breastfeed and you plop your kid in an exersaucer for two hours at a time. We can still squeal together over how cute our babies are. I try. I try SO HARD, you guys, to be nice. Sometimes I even feel a little shameful about the path we’re on. Example: At Temple, some people asked George’s Hebrew name. He doesn’t have one; he didn’t have a bris. Would I love for him to have a naming ceremony that didn’t include genital mutilation? YES. Is that available in this community? Not that I can find. So, I hemmed and hawed and finally offered up his middle name as some kind of consolation to these strangers who have no vested interest in my son’s privates.
My best friend in all the world told me shortly after George was born that the few months after her eldest daughter’s birth was a terribly lonely time for her. Her gut told her one thing and everyone else told her others. When she finally started following her gut, she found that the world opened up to her: resources appeared and validated the choices she made with love, not herd mentality or selfishness (the desire for more sleep, more time to ourselves, unencumbered life-in-general). I was lucky to have been given that bit of wisdom so early on, and the freedom to be a loving, intentional parent has made my decisions a lot easier.