I used words that I would want to hear if that had been ME who was being spoken to. I knew she already felt judged, and know all too well that when someone feels that way, they are almost impossible to get through to. People put up walls when they feel they have to defend themselves. And that's not what I wanted. ( I used "we" instead of "you", so she felt that we had a comradery, and that I wasn't just adding to the verbal beating she was getting from everyone else. There's nothing worse than feeling alone and ganged up on.)
I had no intention of making her feel worse than she already did, and I knew she felt bad by her choice of words. She kept trying to justify her choice to have her son circumcised, but when she said she felt "judged", I knew there was more to it. It was deeper than feeling outnumbered.
I told her the truth. I told her that "we are often given mis-information, or outright lied to by our Dr.s, family, friends...And no mother intentionally hurts their child. When we're told that what we're doing will be what's best for our child, we do it. No questions asked. Because that is what a good mom does. We put our children's best interests above everything else...even if it goes against every instinct we have. Because when it's our first child, what do we know? We know what we've been told. And we have always been told that our Dr. is ALWAYS looking out for our well-being. We would never doubt the person who got us through our pregnancy and gave us the precious gift laying on our chest."
I told her that she did what she thought was best given the information she was provided. I told her that she's a good mom for trying to put her baby first. And I told her that I hope that she could see past her own pride and take in the information that I was giving her. I told her that there isn't even one Health Organization in the world that recommends routine infant circumcisions. I told her that there are no medical benefits to it, and that it removes the right of our children to choose for themselves how they want their own genitals to look. I told her that she has been given an opportunity to research further, to learn more. And that even though she did something in the past, it doesn't mean she needs to do it in the future. Because when we know better, we do better.