Tuesday, May 15, 2012

I am opinionated and an attached parent, but we can be friends

I am opinionated. I am an attachment parent. I do judge. If you claim you don't judge... pfft, give it up. We all judge. BUT, I don't claim to know what's going on in your life and I can't tell you what to do.

What's the right parenting choice?

While I know breastfeeding is best for baby (and great for mom), I realize that for some families breastfeeding doesn't work out. It doesn't mean I think "oh okay, don't breastfeed, it doesn't matter for public health anyway" - it means I understand we all have different things going on. So, when I see a baby with a bottle. I try to assume the baby is getting donor milk or the mom had issues and not enough support. But, I won't try to pretend I don't know that most women aren't breastfeeding in the US at 3 months, much less the minimum of 12 months that the AAP recommends (or 2 years the WHO recommends). I don't feel bad for the babies or anything like that. I know we are all trying to do what we think is best. Now, when I see a baby in a stroller, with a propped bottle and the mom walks away while shopping in a store... Try tell me not to judge. I'll generally stick around to make sure baby is okay and if mom is gone for a while I may give a stink eye, but otherwise... I try not to do what I want to do and bring baby over to mom and say "uh, it looks like you forgot someone."  But, we all have our moments, right :)

While I know baby wearing is great for baby's development, attachment and that too much time in a flat position is not good for a newborn's breathing or head (um flat heads!), I don't assume that a mom who is pushing their baby in a stroller is a bad mom. I'm sure there are days when they are handling things better than me, even though my oldest wasn't in a stroller until 18 old and I was pregnant enough to make babywearing a bit uncomfortable (okay, my husband put her in one for a picture and my mom put her in one when we visited when she was 15ish months old), but the point is... Yes I have  a stroller. My au pair uses it more than I do (hint, I have an au pair which means I am a working mom... on vacation day today), but you will see me heading to the park with a stroller... usually with more stuff and no kids, but it is what it is. And yes, I did have my au pair babywearing...

Kids need you!

While I know that kids (especially babies!) need their moms, I also work, so attachment parenting works well (and is probably very important!) so that when I'm not working I have that early bond going. I can re-attach (and they latch :) ) but for our family this is what we have now. Go ahead and judge me! I am secure with what I do.. and you, as a mom, need to as well. You are doing what you can do with what you have NOW, that's what matters. So, while I type this, my daughter is dancing in front of the TV and my son is enjoying playdoh. (and this will be very much unedited because I want to get this posted AND help my son get a nap and today he gets to nurse for a nap, a treat for two year old with a working mama!)

Are all my friends just like me?

But, I have friends who spank. I have friends who do not question the current vaccine schedule. I have friends who bottle feed. I have friends who circumcise. If you do what you have to do and you don't question me nursing my preschooler, than we're good to go. It just HAPPENs to be that most of my friends make a lot of the same decisions as I do, but not all of them... we all do what we can with the information and energy we have at that moment.

Life happens people. Being a parent isn't always easy and if my choices make you think I'm judging you... let it be! I'm sure you're judging me when I grab a soda with my organic groceries too!

1 comment:

carenajoy said...

Well said. I am happy to call you a friend and respect your choices to extended breast feed , buy a soda, or a 4$ latte :) I think that when we as mothers and women can feel confident in our choices and in ourselves there is no room or need for harsh judgment.