I Shared A Photo Of My Preschooler With Her Paci And People Went Bonkers

by Melissa Gibson
Originally Published: 
Little girl holding balloons while sitting on a bed
Courtesy of Melissa Gibson

I recently spotted an article online that really grabbed my attention. It was fairly short and to the point, but the comments that followed were nuts. The article was by a mom who said she wasn’t planning on taking her child’s pacifier away anytime soon. Sounds innocent enough, right?

Well, you would think so. But the people LOST THEIR FREAKING MINDS.

It’s like the lady said, “I let my kid play with guns” or “My child throat punches anyone he sees and I don’t mind”

But no. All she did was say that she’s letting her toddler keep a pacifier. Her kid simply used a paci.

Why is that a big deal for people? Because it hurts absolutely no one. It affects zero people. Yet, 95% of the comments were moms going bonkers over another mom’s parental choices.

I read comment after comment

“That’s disgusting!”

“A three-year-old with a binky?!”

“This is too much! Who does that?!”

“Hope you’ve got money for braces!”

“Hope you loved jacked up teeth and speech impairments!”

And that? Is when I took to the comments and posted a photo of my daughter Josephine on her 4th birthday last week. With her big ol’ pacifier in her mouth.

A giant middle finger to the masses:

Courtesy of Melissa Gibson

It lit them up even more. And I find it absolutely, hysterically mind blowing that grown women are triggered over a kid having a paci.

Very rarely do I allow her to have it in public (if we’ve been on a long car trip, for example). She only gets her pacifier for naps and at bedtime. In this picture, she hadn’t set foot out of her bedroom for the day yet. But really? Do I need to explain it? She is four. She has a pacifier. The end.

We know about orthodontic care since all three of our other girls have had braces. We also know that kids who don’t use a pacifier or self-soothe with their fingers/thumb still have a pretty good chance at needing braces. Why? Well, because teeth aren’t guaranteed to come in perfect anyway. (I sucked my thumb until I was 11 and I didn’t need braces. Plus, I talk pretty well, too. It’s okay, my husband knows this about me and married me anyway.) And although Josie is four and still has a pacifier, she doesn’t have any speech delays or impairments. Not sure why that matters to anyone else anyway, but okay.

How is it that moms can’t seem to keep their eyes on their own papers? Stop looking over my way and do your own work, how ’bout it? When will we be able to share something online, a photo or a story, and not be judged for it? Or given 27 reasons why it’s not okay? Because really, it’s getting pretty old.

I don’t care if you let your kid wear makeup. It doesn’t bother me if your third grader has a phone. I’m not worried if your son refuses to wear a jacket and who cares if your three-year-old isn’t potty trained? The only thing we should be putting effort into is our own families. It takes extra effort and time for us to fret over someone else’s.

But it takes zero effort to focus on your own.

So how about we let moms and dads do whatever they like with their kids, so long as they aren’t hurting them or someone else in the process? Chances are we are getting a 30-second glimpse into someone else’s life and we have no idea what their back story is. My four-year-old with a pacifier in her mouth isn’t going to hurt anyone, especially when it keeps her happy and sleeping well at night.

So if someone doesn’t like it? They can suck it.

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