I originally typed this post up last week, but didn’t have the guts to post it then. Even though my whole point in writing it was to prove that I’m middle-of-the-road and not judgey on parenting decisions – I was still too worried about other people’s potential judgments to post it! Ahhh! Why am I so afraid of dumb stuff like if people like me?
I’ve really got to get over this.
Here’s Step One.
Originally written 8/26/14:
This is kind of random post, but I wanted to write it because, well, I guess I want to clear up a few things for myself. I don’t know if anyone even cares, but in case someone is secretly judging my mothering ability on a few things I’ve referenced in a few blog posts – here’s the scoop on me.
I’m a half-“crunchy”, half-“mainstream” kind of mom. So when encountering a new mom group, I first try to figure out the norm of that particular group and then only talk about the “mainstream” or “crunchy” side of myself, so that hopefully I’ll fit in either way. 🙂 But, the truth is…I never actually seem to fit in anywhere. 🙁 I’m not crunchy enough for the crunchies, and I’m not mainstream enough for the mainstreamers.
So let’s tally this up and then y’all can take me or leave me as I am.
1) Crunchy: I’ve had two homebirths and will likely do it again with a future kid(s). This is probably my most “crunchy” mothering decision. I know it sounds cheesy, but giving birth naturally was very empowering to me. I also really liked being in my own environment and having the freedom to do whatever was comfortable to me during labor. Homebirth’s not for everyone, or every pregnancy, and that’s totally fine by me, so I try not to talk about homebirthing to people unless someone specifically asks about it.
2) Mainstream: I had my son circumcised. Whoa – I probably lost readers there, didn’t I? People are crazy passionate about this topic (there are people who call themselves “intactivists” and there are people who will stop trusting you as a person if you circumcise. I’m serious. I’ve read too many people on message boards like this), but I might as well come out and admit it. And yes, I researched it. Trust me, it was not a decision easily come by.
3) Crunchy: I use cloth diapers. To be honest though, it’s not for environmental concerns or because I want to avoid exposing my baby to chemicals. It’s because it’s cheaper. And I like not having to run to the store if I run out; I like being self-sufficient like that.
4) Crunchy: I breastfed both my kids.
5) Mainstream: But only for 6 months and then I switched to formula. I’m not one of those people who just love breastfeeding. It’s fine and I do it because it’s good for baby and mother – and because it’s, um, FREE (saving money is the deciding factor for many of my decisions in life :)). But at 6-7 months, I’m happy to say goodbye to partially disrobing several times a day and do not let myself feel guilty about it. I’ve made it through the first few difficult weeks of breastfeeding twice now and I have nothing to be ashamed of.
6) Mainstream: I use a cover when breastfeeding in public. I know many women are just fine and comfortable breastfeeding in public without a cover and don’t care if people see them or feel awkward around them. For me, using a cover is not a big inconvenience (I made my own lightweight cover with ample space for baby to move and yet still stay covered; it works great for me) and if it helps more people in the room feel comfortable around me, then awesome. Not everyone is around babies regularly and many people still associate breasts with sex (whether that’s right or wrong is a totally different question), so that even if they try not to, they get awkward around public breastfeeding. So I kindly wear a nursing cover for them.
7) Crunchy: I prefer to first use natural home remedies whenever possible, especially for the small things. I don’t distrust doctors or medicine, and I’m very thankful that they exist and for the knowledge they have when needed. I just know that doctors are humans too and – based on several specific past experiences in my life – that they are not always able to know a person like a person knows themselves. I believe we often need to research and advocate for ourselves when it comes to medical treatment.
8) Crunchy: I don’t use hormonal birth control. Ha ha, did I just say that publicly? Not that anyone really cares what my birth control method of choice (or lack therof) is, but I’ve long ago given up on hormonal birth control. Amongst other things, it’s largely because I don’t agree with what the hormones do to my body and I refuse to ever go back on it again.
9) Mainstream: I let my daughter play with the iPad way more than I ever thought I would and more than I probably should. Hey, when you work from home and you need that focus, it’s what you have to do. I try to only put educational games on there, if that’s any consolation.
10) Mainstream: I let my babies “fuss it out” (not scream it out) from an early age as a way to help them learn to self-soothe. I also schedule feedings, even as a newborn. I am not an ‘attachment parent’. I love my kids and they are obviously a huge part of my life, but every moment of my day does not revolve around them. I am my own person too.
11) Crunchy: There’s a decent chance that I will homeschool. I mean, afterall, this is now my 6th year working for an online/homeschool-ish program. I’m pretty familiar with the concept and feel completely capable of teaching my own daughter in her own unique way of learning. But…I also may find that I really need the “time off” during the day and send her to school instead. We’ll see.
12) Crunchy: I delay/space out some of the newborn vaccinations.
13) Mainstream: While baby carriers are handy at times, I have no qualms about putting my baby in a swing/jumper/stroller while I get things done. I do not carry them around all over the place.
14) Mainstream: I turned C around in her car seat to forward-facing at 15 months, long before the recommended 2yrs+.
There you have it. Me as a mother in a nutshell.
If anything, at least I have a nice balance on life, right? Either way, this is my parenting and I’ve laid it out on the line for everyone to see. You may now choose whether or not you want to like me and keep reading my blog in spite of it all. 🙂