The big news du jour is the new recommendation on car seats, specifically keeping them rear-facing until kids are two, rather than the previous official recommendation of one. It's pretty amazing to see how heated the discussion can get on something that might, on the surface, seem so simple and straightforward.
One commenter, ChiMomWriter, wrote this comment in the midst of a heavy debate on Christie Haskell's article: "My daughter screamed continuously on any car trip when she was younger, so I turned her around as soon as she turned 1. I agree with safety, but it was far more dangerous day-to-day for me to spend half of my time driving facing backwards trying to get to her. My son is more laid-back because he can see his sister."
I totally understand where you're coming from. Life is not always so black & white, and you don't know the variables in everyone's situation. I'm NOT arguing against the recommendation, I understand it & reluctantly agree with it. I am just saying I know what it's like to be a shut-in because of your kid's hatred of the car.
Words cannot express how relieved I am that Lily is over 2 and I don't have to face this decision now. Life with her while rear-facing was. an. absolute. nightmare. She's still not great in the car, but turning her around was like night and day for her temperament. I completely understand the safety reasons - no need to show me links of car crash decapitations, thank you, I've seen them and I get it - but am really feeling for the moms with difficult car babies today.
And the greater lesson here is a reminder on empathy when it comes to parenting, safety, child health and other choices. On the Facebook discussion, this comment was made, in re: some parents expressing reluctance or frustration with the news:
It blows my mind that everyone doesn't exclusively breastfeed, if able, until 6 months and then continue until a minimum of two years. It blows my mind that everyone doesn't cosleep when the reduction of SIDS is so apparent. It blows my mind that people eat and feed their children processed garbage on a daily basis. And so on, and so on, and so on.
Oh and some pet peeves of mine is when people are giving information and resources to make some one or something more safe, and they ignore them. Why would you not want your child to be more safe with something so easy? It blows my mind.
But guess what? Life is not always so black and white, and you don't know the variables in everyone's situation. And this applies not just to the moms championing the car seat recommendation, but to me, too, when considering parenting choices like all of the above. I do try to be mindful of this already, but it's good to get a direct and sobering dose of one's own medicine once in a while anyway, just to underscore the point.
I'm NOT arguing against the car seat recommendation, I understand it and reluctantly agree with it. I am just saying I also do understand what it's like to essentially become a shut-in because of your kid's seething hatred of the car.
So, does anyone who loves this recommend have any suggestions on how to improve life for moms with littles who are miserable in the car? Because for many, turning them forward improves their temperaments DRAMATICALLY. If Lily were under 2 when this came out, I'd feel like hanging myself (no hyperbole at all). The difference was that dramatic - and I was no longer trapped in the house losing my mind because of a kid who would scream bloody murder at any drive longer than 5 minutes.