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. “
April 13, 2012 at 5:51 am
It’s amazing how things change after birth… and our mother’s intuition guides us well :)) Sounds like you do amazing things… and I agree that it’s wonderful to be able to stay home 🙂 xo
April 13, 2012 at 7:44 pm
One of the main things that I really like about you is your willingness to check stuff out and give it a go if it sounds like something you might be into. And your willingness to chuck it if it doesn’t feel right, or isn’t working. I think that is a GREAT thing to model to M.
I know your in-laws think you are strict, but really, it is just being committed to the routine you guys have created and sticking to what is important to you. It isn’t being strict – it’s being consistent. Just because it isn’t the way they would do it does not make it any less valid. And I know you know this! It’s just one of those things where you nod and smile and say “Thanks. I hadn’t thought of that.” Or don’t respond at all. Drives those kinds of women crazy!
And yeah, the F-bomb is the bomb! I swear in front of HGB. It is only a matter of time before he drops something and says “Oh, shit.” And I will laugh and laugh. And then work on teaching him about context, audience, time and place, etc. We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. I think it is important to behave authentically in front of the babes. But then again, I actually make my own granola.
April 14, 2012 at 7:52 pm
First of all, Mathew is one cute baby. Next, I love how much you’ve changed what you said you were going to do and you really own your choices. My mother raises her eyebrows smugly sometimes when she sees me doing things I said I woudn’t do, and this might be the one context in which it doesn’t bother me. How could we know before we met the baby? How funny that M doesn’t want to sleep in bed with you–sometimes when I start to feel really self-conscious about not getting Mira to sleep alone, I think about the few babies I know of who either must or won’t sleep in their parents’ bed and it makes me feel better.
April 16, 2012 at 10:17 am
I think it’s very cool that you’ve ended up more ‘granola’ than you thought you’d be. I have high hopes to be granola (breastfeed, make baby food, cloth diaper, slings, etc.), but I’d like to be equally easy on myself if I have to make compromises in the name of sanity as well. Thanks also for stopping by my PAIL post and your comment!
April 16, 2012 at 4:32 pm
This is a great post! I love how our pre-child expectations of ourselves are SO different from how it turns out in the end!
April 17, 2012 at 1:00 pm
My mother loves to say, “but you said you’d never do that.” That’s right, Mom… just like you probably did too when you were a new parent!
I will be very interested to see if I’m a different parent to our next child. All of these PAIL posts are making me realize that although I may have it figured out RIGHT NOW, that does not mean any of this will work for the next kid.
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April 17, 2012 at 1:01 am
love your post, so down to earth, and your baby is cute too!
April 17, 2012 at 12:58 pm
Thank you, Heather!
April 17, 2012 at 3:01 am
Good lord, that little boy is adorable!! I love the bath pic. Bath time is Sofi’s favorite time of day, too. Oh, wait, no, I think it’s meal time. Probably she’d like to eat in the bath. Now THAT would be heaven for her. 🙂
Anyway, it sounds like you’ve done really well finding your own personal style. It’s funny to think back on what we said or thought we would NEVER do and now find ourselves doing. I suppose that’s where that damn, “never say never” adage comes from.
Oh, and regarding the f-bomb… I bet Matthew will drop that one on you unexpectedly. My 2yo niece did the other day.
“No, Lily, we don’t say that word.”
“Right. Not damnit. Fuck it!”
Yeah, try and keep a straight face with that one!!
April 17, 2012 at 12:58 pm
Thank you! We think he’s cute too 😉
My husband corrected my language the other day 😦 He won’t find it as funny as I will when Matthew says the F word. I’m not going to encourage it by any means, but I am sort of looking forward to that first swear word that comes out of his cute little mouth!
Your niece sounds like a stitch!
April 17, 2012 at 12:21 pm
Things really change once you have a baby, don’t they?
We even make our own yogurt this time around. Right? I know. We’re crazy people.
April 17, 2012 at 12:56 pm
I don’t even want to know how to make yogurt – because I’d be tempted to then do it all the time!
April 17, 2012 at 1:15 pm
Oh it’s SO easy. I put up a post on it a couple days ago actually. It’s just milk, dry milk if you want to make it thicker (you can use cream too I hear), and a starter of existing yogurt. It tastes so much better.
Wait, you DIDN’T want to know. Sorry! 🙂
April 17, 2012 at 1:54 pm
Well – I may be trying that! Thanks!
April 17, 2012 at 9:06 pm
AWESOME post .Consider me a follower. 🙂
It’s crazy how our thoughts about parenting can change so drastically once the kiddo is here! Sounds like you’re doing a great job!
April 17, 2012 at 9:36 pm
Thanks for following! Seriously, your comment about the family bath, and it being weird to some people, still boggles my mind. How can that be weird????
April 18, 2012 at 8:59 am
I like the word “blended”. It will be so interesting to compare my pre-baby plans to my post-baby reality like this:)
April 18, 2012 at 9:10 am
Isn’t it funny how where we end up as parents isn’t at all where we *think* we’ll be before our kiddos come along? Maybe it isn’t that way for everyone, but it certainly is for most of us 🙂 Great post!
April 18, 2012 at 9:42 am
Hi, Becky. I tried to comment on your post last night, but it wouldn’t work. I run into that problem a lot. I like how you parent each child differently – that’s not something I’d thought about yet. I liked how you said that you had figured out the kid, not necessarily parenting. That’s great perspective!
April 18, 2012 at 11:14 am
LOL. I love this! 🙂 I tried my hardest to breastfeed and to baby wear… but in both cases my giant freaky boobs wouldn’t cooperate. 😉 Seriously, my Moby wrap doesn’t fit around me enough times, and baby ends up flattened against me like a pancake. But I’m totally with you. I think that there is some good and some bad in ALL parenting “styles” and you have to pick and choose what works best for you and your child. And ignore what everyone else says! (the MIL made me laugh, so hard! Although my mom lives in our basement, and I have to say that she like to offer “advice” all the time as well.) And the link… too funny!!!
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