I often post links to articles about parenting information on my personal Facebook page. Links about things like car seat safety, the case against circumcision, gentle discipline, breastfeeding, cloth diapering, and co-sleeping. Nobody ever comments on or “likes” these links. Nothing. Ever. Day after day, I post and nobody responds. I am not saying that everybody should agree with my personal parenting choices or “like” everything I post on Facebook but c’mon, people, you can’t even read the articles? If they would at least read the articles and form some type of opinion on these subjects I would be happy. If they would just comment and defend their decision to circumcise (or to not breastfeed, or to not extended rear-face or whatever the case may be) and provide me with the resources that they used to come to this decision then I would know that they are actively thinking about their parenting choices and I could sleep a little better at night. Sadly, however, this doesn’t happen. Nobody ever defends their choices or links me to the articles and research that they have read to make these choices. It’s disheartening, really. To know that parenthood is the most important job these people will ever have and they can’t even read a couple articles or do a few hours of research on it. When somebody decides to become a teacher, a nurse, or any other career, there are countless hours of research and learning. Books to read, classes to attend, research to do, and essays to write. When somebody decides to become a parent there is no thinking required. As long as you can master the act required to create life (and let’s face it, any dumbass can figure that out) then you are qualified to become a parent. After that act it is up to each individual to decide how much time and effort they invest in this new endeavour and, sadly, the status quo is to invest little to none. All the people around me just seem to be going along with what everybody else is doing. They never stop to question “Why?” or if it’s for the best. They cut off parts of their babies because their mother-in-law decided to do it to her son decades ago (“Well, a boy should look like his father”) and they never question if this is the best decision for their baby. They turn their babies forward-facing at one year old because the law allows them to and everybody else they know did it. They never even attempt to breastfeed because they were formula-fed and they “turned out fine” so they see no need to try and do better for their own child. It’s sad that our society puts so little emphasis on what is best for our children- our future. The parent’s convenience seems to trump the baby’s best interests and it seems that the parent’s convenience does not include doing any critical thinking or research into parenting choices. Thinking is what has moved our species forward. Questioning, thinking, changing and growing is what we should thrive on. We should always be trying to know more, learn more, do more, and do better. When I look around at the parents around me, I don’t see this. I see people following blindly and doing what they are told and what those before them have done. It’s time to stop following and start thinking. Even if you do your research and decide to do what you would have done before, without the research, at least now it’s an educated choice. You thought about it. That’s a step forward.