Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Some of the things that I'll talk about on this blog *may* cause controversy. I just want to clear the air and state my purpose for discussing these things.

Being a mother has given me thick skin. I think it is because Philip and I decided to raise Andrew in a non-conventional way and we've been severely criticized for it. While I was pregnant...I did A LOT of research. Most of it was focused on labor but I spent a lot of time focusing on methods I did and didn't like. I have to say that the way I was raised had a lot to do with it.

People have constantly tried to discourage me.....from everything from having a natural birth, to using cloth diapers, to not vaccinating on schedule, to either holding/wearing my baby all the time, nursing on demand, breastfeeding in public...even what maternity clothes I wore. I never had thick skin before I got pregnant....I had to toughen up fast. However, I've always been opinionated. Always. I'm very thankful that now I have the tough skin to go along with my opinions. Sometimes words still hurt....but for the most part, they roll right off my back. And when discouragement didn't work, people became rude and snappy.

I suppose I could just be quiet, and no one would know. Then no one could criticize me as a mother. But if I'm quiet, how will I share what I've learned? I decided to be vocal because I WANT people to see parenting in a different light. For so many years in our country we've had this doctrine of raising independent children pushed down our throats. Schedules, making motherhood convenient, fast and easy. It is a sad day in this country when there have to be LAWS in place to protect a mother's right to feed her child in a public place. In case you've missed it...our society is rather anti-child.

I choose to be vocal for educational purposes. If my son is three years old and is still nursing, I'll still be talking about it. We choose not to let Andrew cry in the name of learning to "self-soothe" and I'll talk about it because it's a serious issue to me. I'll talk about what vaccines we give and which ones we don't give. I'll talk about how hard giving birth was, but I look back on it as one of the most exciting times of my life. I am anxious to do it again, yes...I look forward to another natural birth. And with all that, I'll share the research I've found, the benefits of extended nursing, the damage of leaving a child to cry, the pros and cons of following your own vaccination schedule.....the comfort of falling asleep next to your baby.

Being opinionated and vocal is something I've always done. I suppose if you disagree with my parenting methods you can take this as a warning to not read it. Or you can read. Like many moms on pleo, I enjoy reading and learning about different methods. I try very hard to be open-minded but I know that ultimately, the biggest thing I can do is follow the instincts God gave me when it comes to parenting. A mother's instinct is a powerful thing and I try to let it guide me, more than research, books or methods...or what society tells me I should be doing.

Just a reminder that I talk about these things not with the intent to judge but the intent to educate.

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