What is my parenting style? I have no idea! I can tell you what I thought it wouldn‘t be before I got pregnant with Matthew:
- I was NOT going to partake in attachment parenting in any way, shape, or form – no way!
- I was going to pump exclusively instead of nurse my baby.
- I didn’t consider cloth diapers.
- I insisted that wearing your baby made them needy.
- I wouldn’t even consider being a SAHM.
- I stated several times that my kids would not sleep with us – in our bed or in our room.
- I was not interested in making baby food – store-bought would be just fine, thank-you-very-much!
- My baby would sleep through the night by 3-4 months of age.
- I figured we’d do whatever our doctors told us to do in regards to vaccinations.
Guess how all of that is working out for me? HA! So far:
- In regards to attachment parenting, I dabble in a few of the B’s, and believe wholeheartedly in a couple of them (breastfeeding, birth bonding, babywearing)
- I am still breastfeeding my 9 month old – he has only had about 10 ounces of formula in his entire life. I pump every night after he’s in bed to store up milk for the future. I am a human cow and Matthew always gets it straight from the source!
- We did cloth diapers for 7 weeks. The only reason we stopped was that I made the mistake of buying the one size diapers and they were just too bulky for him when he was so tiny. We will go back to them when he gets bigger and ready to potty train. Right now, I’m being lazy and really like the disposables.
- We loved the Moby Wrap and have just started using our Ergo quite a bit. I mowed my lawn the other day with Matthew strapped to me. The Ergo goes everywhere the stroller goes for when he wants out of the stroller. We love it!
- I asked B 2 weeks before going back to work if he’d be open to me staying home. He said he was hoping I’d want to. I went back to work for 7 weeks just to get a promised bonus and to make sure I was making the right decision. Best decision I ever made!
- Matthew slept in our room for 4 weeks in a pack-and-play. There were nights we tried desperately to get him to sleep with us. In bed. We still try sometimes to have him sleep in bed with us – but he is not at all interested.
- I make all of Matthew’s food from scratch* (and usually organic and hormone free) – even his breakfast. He has never had a “puff” or a cheerio – and we are trying to raise him on a paleo diet for all practical purposes. He is the best baby eater I have ever known. He eats everything – because I cook him everything (even the stuff I don’t like).
- If you read my blog at all, you know that Matthew’s not sleeping through the night yet – and he’s 9 months old!
- We are vaccinating on an alternative schedule.
I asked B on Easter Sunday if he was surprised by how “granola” I am as a mother. To my surprise, he said, “no, not really.” I am surprised by how “granola” I am – I never saw ANY of this coming. And while I am still nursing my 9 month old, wearing him as I mow the lawn, and making all of his food – I totally believe in structure and boundaries and everyone sleeping in their own beds. Most importantly, I believe in doing what fits best with your child and family.
I am a blend of parenting styles. I think we all are. If we try to be just one style, we’re bound to find something within that style that we don’t agree with and then where does that leave us? I say, ‘throw out the labels and just parent the best way you know how.’ After all, no one knows how to parent your child (not even your MIL – HA!) better than YOU do yourself!
* All food is made from scratch except his baby yogurt (Yo Baby!). This does not fall into the paleo lifestyle but I think we need to let the boy have a treat every now and again. After all, the government says that dairy is important!
Addendum/Update: I was just sent this link by a friend of mine. I suggest reading it – it is hysterical! This pretty much describes my parenting to a T. Particularly #30 (including the use of
one of my favorite word s of all time – the F WORD!): “Don’t listen to anyone. Other parents will dispense advice like candy (see: This post). F*ck ‘em. You’ll figure it out on your own. Somehow, we all do. Read the books, don’t read the books. Follow whatever parenting method you’d like, or no parenting method at all. Do whatever it takes to work. There’s a study that will validate everything you do, and another study to tell you what you’re doing is wrong. Just f*cking love the kid like you’ve never loved anything, and everything will turn out well. “