Monday, July 30, 2012

How about just 'Parenting'??

I know I'm still kind of new to the "blogosphere" but, I'm wanting to just get something off my chest. I'm a mother to two little toddler girls & I like to say I'm a damn good mother. I started this blogging adventure because I absolutely love networking with other mother's who are going through similar things: raising our babies, learning about nutrition, education for our children, playing, cleaning, being a significant other, a domestic goddess, saving money, & doing all of these things while sharing our journey with others...I'm just seeing a pattern that is sort of...not right (??) to me. 
I know we all like to think we are great mothers, fathers, grandparents, guardians...correct? Yes! I am, you are too. I know we all like to come on here, to our little corner of this big world wide web and share our passions and findings with all of our other mother friends, right? Yes, I know I do...and so do you. I know we love to show off our hard work, our pride and joys and all the wonderful things we've "accomplished" in between, right? Yes, I LOVE to show off my world...and yes, so do you
Of course we do...That's why we are bloggers and/or reading blogs. 
Most of us that are here...reading this very blog post...have one common denominator, regardless of the millions of things that make us differ from each other and everyone else: We have children that we "parent".
So, this is my issue:
 I see all over Facebook, Twitter, Vlogs & Blogs...mothers apologizing to other mothers for something they chose to do with their child. Usually it's an apology for something they are doing that is not in the guidelines for either "attachment parenting" or "Organic and/or holistic parenting" or both. Can somebody remind me why we have to apologize for anything we choose to do with our own children? And how come I've never seen it the other way around? Why is there this new fad that if you aren't doing every single thing the "attachment" or "organic/holistic" parenting way, then it's frowned upon?
Case in point: I see mothers all the time saying things like,
 "I put my child to bed at 7pm and they usually sleep in their crib until about 6-7am uninterrupted (sorry, all my attachment mommy friends, don't hate me)"
...or,
 "We were in a rush and I didn't want my child to interrupt my conversation so I gave her [insert snack food] so she would stay quiet (sorry all you organic mama's, I know they weren't organic, but she reeeeally enjoyed them)." 
Really? What is that for? WHY are any mother's apologizing to any other mother out there for what YOU chose to do with YOUR child? Your child. Nobody else owns that child outright like you do...so what's it matter to anyone else what you do?
Why do we have to "fit in" to a parenting style category nowadays? 
Here's my parenting style...it's called PARENTING! Whatever feels right for me and my family/children is exactly what I'm gonna do. If I want to sleep in bed with my 3 year old, I will. If I want to give my children only soy milk or only store brand boxed mac n cheese....it's my choice. If I choose to reward my kid with a Happy Meal from McDonald's, so what, my choice! And I'm not going to feel guilty for it due to other mother's parenting style or because of any new fad or trend in parenting. Yeah, OK, I do feel guilty (at times) for my own choices but they are for my own standards that I feel guilty...Did I give my kids enough of each food group that is recommended? Did I give them enough one-on-one time today? Did I teach them the correct way to handle [said issue of the day]...yes, it's our jobs as mothers to hold ourselves to such high standards where we will always have a sense of guilt from our own wants/needs...to add guilt to living up to other mother's standards of what is best for our children is something none of us need. Hell, I sometimes wonder if I can ever make myself happy with my mothering skills, let alone trying to make other people happy with what I'm doing. That is ridiculous. Us mama's need to be sticking together & supporting each other. Obviously, if we're the type of mom's that are seeking some sort of networking through social media, we're obviously holding ourselves to some sort of higher standard to do well by our children. Right? I'm all for doing what is right for your family. 
I know there is studies that prove this and that for attachment parenting as well as holistic & organic...I also know that there are studies that prove certain things wrong. But, I also know that I don't give a CRAP about statistics if what I'm doing or what you're doing isn't hurting the child or anyone else and it is working! 
I really love and agree with different aspects of attachment parenting. I love and agree with many things all holistic. I even love my organic produce. But do I incorporate all of it? NO WAY! and I will NEVER feel the need to feel guilty about it, either. You know why? I see my children thriving and I know what we do in our home, works for us. It may not for you and your house, and that's fine. I also can't wear a size 4 jeans, either. Who cares!!

Parenting facts that you may or may not know about me/us:
~I only breast fed my youngest. And only for 1 month. I guess that's a reason for a lot of mama's to look down on me, but what most people don't know are the medical issues we endured with our first born prohibited  her to be able to take an oral feeding the first week of life. And I wasn't producing with our youngest, after all the tricks in the book and a month later, my emotions were shot and it wasn't healthy for me nor our baby. Do I wish I could have? Of course. But I'll never apologize for not doing so! (If I could have, I would have breastfed until they weened, no matter what age, BTW).
~ Our 3 year old sleeps in our bed most nights and even has a pallet on the floor next to our bed, she calls it her "floor bed". But, as an infant, both our babies "cried it out". Yup, sure did, and it worked! But I love co-sleeping now and I would have co-slept if my babies would have, they both never would.
~Our 17m old has horrible temper tantrums...I ignore her at all costs when she's doing this. I do reserve the right to comfort her at my own discretion. And sometimes I do give in. Sometimes I don't. 
~Our 3 year old has a solitary kidney & it's so important she never becomes obese...We focus on the major food groups and the recommendations given by the government. Everything in moderation. Cow's milk as well as soy milk. Store brand, of course. Tons of fruits and veggies and hardly any white/single grains, only whole grains. 
~We vaccinate our children. Yup. Sure do. & we will never apologize for doing so and we'll never agree with those who don't. It's nothing we need to explain and it's nothing we really care if others don't agree. Again, your child, your choice. We are grateful our kids are protected against infectious diseases, especially when some aren't.
~We give our children antibiotics when they're sick. Antibiotics saved our firstborn's life when she was born...Yes, we do rely on medicine. We will not give them Tylenol at every little whimper and it's always a last resort. & our 3 year old can not have Ibuprofen (Motrin) due to her solitary kidney, at all.
~Our 3 yr old never really wanted mama to hold her but our youngest really needs to still be in a baby sling, at all times! Baby wear one child, not so much for the other - see? What works is what works!
~We'd prefer to only ever have all natural, organic, Rx free, cage free, whatever "free" produce/meats, but we are not financially able to do that 100%. 
~We use cloth diapers, but still use disposable wipes. 
~We won't microwave anything in plastic, but we surely do rely on my microwave.
~I love essential oils and what they have the power to do. Anything we can incorporate that is all natural that actually works, I'm all for it if it is within our means!

I could go on forever, but what I'm trying to get at is...it's OK to incorporate some of the organic, holistic, attachment parenting styles into your way of parenting...it is..it's really, OK! If you feel it's OK to be 100% exclusively attachment parenting and that works for you, GREAT! If not, GREAT! Either way, you are doing your best to be the parent your child will grow up to find some sort of fault with, lol, just kidding. But seriously...who cares what the "norm" is. Who cares what other people feed their kids. Worry about what you are doing. Do you OWN research. Know what you are doing and WHY you are doing it. And most importantly - Be Confident!

And let me just add this to save the argument, I know that a lot of media frenzy is going around about extended breast feeding and/or breastfeeding in public...I also agree that if you choose to do that, DO IT & be confident! WHO CARES what others say/do/think. Do what YOU want and know what's best for your baby. I know mama's who choose to go with the attachment parenting or holistic parenting feel they get scrutinized as well, but I was merely speaking about what I see mother's doing with other mother's on the forums/blogs/FB/Twitter/Vlogs/etc..I don't really see a mom breast feeding her baby in a pic or in a video apologizing to other mom's who don't - it's always the other way around, as in a mama feeding a baby a bottle or non organic something apologizing for that, that is all. I have some really good friends who are really into the whole attachment parenting thing and I also have other friends who are the furthest thing from it. I don't care one way or the other WHO is doing WHAT - I only care about what is happening with my children & that I'm making the right choices for them - && that is all I'm trying to get all of you to do, as well. I'm not putting down any style of parenting or saying any one of them is better. I'm just saying be confident in whatever style is working for your family & never apologize for not doing what others may make you feel like you should. 

Also, please remember, this is my blog. It's my own opinions based on my own feelings and what I see. If you do not agree, that's great - What's awesome about blogging is that we're all entitled to one for free, so that we can blast our personal feelings and opinions and I encourage you to do the same. I hope you enjoyed reading this and I know it was rather long, so if you're still reading, you get a gold star :) !!


Love & confidence,

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4 comments:

natalie blair said...

AMEN TO THAT!

Shiiiiiiiiiiiit, Abby lived off of sketti o's and chicken nubbits when she was a kid. You and I parent the same way. As a matter of fact, yesterday Abby dove head first into a side step in the pool and messed up her head and face. She slept with ME last night while Bill slept on the couch. She was terrified and so was I that she had a concussion. And I reward happy meals to mah self at times LOL!!!

Do what you do babe! Those type of mommy blogs I stay away from. For that reason only.

Camille Griffiths said...

I feel the exact same way!! I am tired of all the labels and judgment. We are all different but we are all good parents. The end!!!

Kathryn said...

I strongly believe that we are our children's parents for a reason. And I agree with you, we all do not need to parent the same way or feel guilty for the choices we make. Found you on the blog hop. Now following via fb and google friend, would love follows back www.cumminslife.blogspot.com

Evelyn Osborn said...

LOL! Very Well Said!! You would not believe what I did and didn't do raising my kids, we just did what was comfortable and our children were treated as children and were allowed to be children. And we now we have 3 responsible adults who are supporting themselves and raising their own children their way. (No I don't get involved in the parenting, I just get to be "Super Grammie"
No apologies to no one!

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