Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Live and Let Live.

That's my philosophy on parenting. Or at least on dealing with other parents.

I've got my own ideas on parenting. You have yours. Let's just live and let live.

We breastfeed past age one (well, past age 2). We co-sleep. I made 99% of Beanie's baby food at home. We use disposable diapers. I've never let her cry it out. I plan to baby wear with 2.0. Beanie watches way too much TV. She rides rear-facing in her car seat at 2 1/2. She doesn't eat many veggies and most days her lunch consists of peanut butter & jelly or chicken nuggets (in my defense, at least they are white meat chicken nuggets???). She didn't have cow's milk until she was 18 months old. She hasn't been to the dentist. We vaccinate on time (per the AAP schedule) for the most part.

If you ask me about something parenting-ish I'll likely tell you more than you want to hear, especially if it's related to a topic I feel very passionate about. I'll probably tell you about something I read because, let's face it, I'm a huge dork and am happiest sitting reading scientific peer-reviewed journal articles. That passion has spilled over into my quest to gain as much knowledge as I can about parenting. I'll give you advice if you want it (maybe sometimes even if you don't), but ultimately I realize that what you do is your decision. I don't judge anyone for making different decisions than I do. Heck, some of the decisions I have made I swore I would never do before I had a child (co-sleeping is one that readily comes to mind). So, when I tell you that I don't think my child is old enough to go to a movie I'm really not saying anything about the decision you made for your child. You asked and I answered. Brush it off and get over it.

I've read a handful of interesting blog posts on this topic lately, so I wanted to chime in. I really think it starts in pregnancy. People either think I shouldn't drink caffeine, I can't cashier at work (really? that bag of frozen peas is going to strain my back?), or I should exercise more (or less). They think I'm insane for wanting a natural childbirth or, if they're supportive, think I'm insane for wanting one in a hospital with an OB. They wonder if I'm sure I'm not having twins and tell me what I should (or shouldn't) name my child. All those annoying pregnancy comments just prepare you for the unsolicited advice you will get as a mother. And, really, why anyone thinks the way they choose to parent is also the way I should choose to parent is beyond me. It's hard enough for mom and dad to come to consensus on some topics, let alone two different moms (one of whom who has nothing to do with the situation).

As long as no one is getting hurt, can't we just live and let live? I really think things would be better that way.


  1. I do think you're kinda cursed. You do some things on one side, and others on the other. So you get to hear it from all angles, all the time!

    And while I don't do a lot of things the same as you, I'm not offended by what we do differently. Why would I be? Oh that's right..if I were unsure about a decision I made for myself and my child.

  2. I'm in the same boat as you are in that I don't fit a specific "mold." And a lot of the things we do differently is due to the difference in our work schedules. For example, the baby food is not something I have time to do although I like the idea and tried it a few times. And for what it's worth, I think you should exercise more and name your baby Zender Freakshow :)

  3. You're right Angie...I'm cursed damnit!! I guess I just need to turn all out hippie already, huh?? LOL.

    And I totally think you're right about people being offended because they are unsure about their own decisions, otherwise why would they even care?

  4. I completely agree with your post here. It's crazy how defensive and hostile some mommy's can be!

    I write a lot of my parenting opinions/style on my blog and I used to worry so much about offending people. But I've gotten to a point where I feel like if someone is offended because my opinion is different, it's really more just their own insecurity. Unless of course I've been a major jerk in how I've worded my opinion, which I try hard not to do!

    Anyways, I'm being wordy and rambly. I really am just trying to say hang in there, trust your mommy gut to tell you what's right, and to hell with everyone who feels the need to criticize and judge!

  5. Amen! I mean I know I'm totally behind in taking my 11 day old to the movies and I am going to ruin her by not feeding her spinach nuggets, but whatever.

    As long as your kid's not destroying my house or my kid, then however another mother parents is up to her, not anyone else.

  6. Alisa, for sure on the "not destroying my house" thing! That's one time I find it *very* hard not to say anything. But, in my house (and worrying that my property will be destroyed) I do think it's my right to say something.


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