Sunday, 5 December 2010

Yellow hats and green hats.

Once upon a time (a very long time ago) every single baby that was born was given a yellow hat.
The yellow hat fitted just right, it was made of natural materials and it lasted for as long as the baby needed it.

Sadly, a small percentage of parents found the yellow hat difficult to get used to, or (very rarely) the hat just didn't work and the babies got poorly. To help the parents with the poorly babies, somebody invented a green hat. It was made from man-made materials, and there were a lot of instructions to follow, but it was better than no hat at all - it was a useful back-up plan.

This was how things stayed until some other people realised that selling the green hats (and all the bells and whistles which were needed to make them fit) could make them lots of money. The green hat manufacturers didn't care about what was the best hat for the babies, they just wanted everyone to buy one of their green hats so they could be rich.

So the green hat companies decided to start campaigning for their hats. They were very sneaky in their work. They told people that their hats were better, more convenient and meant less baby-related interruption to their lives. In fact, they even managed to convince some medical professionals with their lies!

Some parents resisted the green hat companies, understanding that the yellow hats were the very best, and they encouraged everyone to try a yellow hat first. They passed on the benefits of yellow hats, how natural they were and so simple to use, how there were no extra things needed to make them fit - unlike the green hats.

The yellow hat parents only wanted the very best for the babies, but some parents had been confused by the green hat companies and the green hat supporting doctors and nurses. These parents started to believe that the yellow hat families were wrong! They got cross with them and tried to make them feel bad! They tried to embarrass the yellow hat families into never letting their babies put their hats on outside the house or anywhere public.

Luckily, some of the Big Importants understood that yellow wasnt just the best type of hat, but the most natural and normal, so they made sure the right to dress your baby in a yellow hat was protected, and noone was allowed to ask a parent to leave a public place for their choice of head-wear for their child.

These things happened over a very long period of time, and many hurtful things were said by both groups of parents. A divide formed and the choice of hat for your child became a very touchy thing to discuss. Even to this day feelings still run high.

What i cant understand is when it became ok for anyone to make you feel bad for your choice. If your choice was a well informed one, which took into account all the possible effects of the decision, you should be allowed to stick by it without being made to feel bad or guilty or wrong. 
 I dont believe that people who are trying to help keep parents informed should be shouted down or called names, so long as all they do is present information, and understand that not everyone will choose their hat.

My personal choice is the yellow hat, and it always has been. Saying that, ive struggled with lack of instruction, at times i knew of noone around me whose child wore a yellow hat, i have even encountered some of the pro-green medical professionals! But i will never feel bad, or be mean to someone whose choice was different, because i am comfortable in the knowledge that i did the best i could with what i had.

And that is how we close the divide and end the bad feeling - informed decisions, support and understanding, and no more name calling (we are parents now, after all!).


  1. Great way to look at it. It is so difficult to share information though when ppl so often take it as criticism!

  2. I like this post, well done in being so careful not to offend. I wrote a post about these issues recently and wasn't so careful, I learned a lesson! I think you're so right about people trying to help and present information; I think that both sides can fall into judging, criticising or persuading/manipulating at times and it doesn't benefit anyone.

  3. This is great... well written and full of incite. It gives a lovely new perspective to an age old debate that can often end up being hurtful even when people don't intend it to be.

  4. Ohhhhh I get it now! Great analogy x

  5. Pelvis, Interrupted22 December 2010 at 01:21

    Wow! Comments, i love the comments and you are all so nice!

    I think information is important and its fairly clear im a bit of a lactivist but i also dont believe its helpful to label, judge and call names and so many on both sides have been guilty of those and worse!

    Oops im off again!

  6. Love this post! I saw a comment the other day on twitter that said *we all know that breast fed babies are prettier* - excuse me? How was that helpful?

    Blogged my experiences here FWIW:

  7. Pelvis, Interrupted12 January 2011 at 03:20

    Tech, i agree that kind of comment is at best shallow. I feel sad at all the mis-information and bickering that goes on. Women can feel so judged at every stage of womanhood, but none more so than as a parent.