At our La Leche League meeting this morning, our topic was “Since They Don’t Come With Manuals” – Figuring Out Your Parenting Style. Do you pick and choose what makes the most sense for your family and apply it? – Do you even want to be labeled as a parent? – How do you know what is the right choice for your family? – Who do you turn to for parenting advice? – Returning to “tribal” parenting in modern times – is that just a catch phrase or does it really make sense? We had some really good discussion. I consider myself sort of an Attached Parent *, but I don’t follow all of the rules (see previous post) in order to be one. Like Chris said this morning, “I’m a Mom”.
In thinking of the choices we’ve made with Elijah, I’ve realized that I am parenting a lot like my mom did (does)- which makes complete sense to me. On further thought, while I am passionate about parenting, I’ve also realized that I tend to lean towards the cheap & lazy way. (ps. I don’t see this as a bad thing)
Cheap: I don’t have to spend $$ on bottles or on formula. I did spend money initially on a good pump and a shield, but not having to fork over money weekly for food. (I am lucky to be a successful breastfeeder with lots of support.)
Lazy: I don’t have to prepare/sterilize bottles (I would be so, so terrible at that). I don’t have to take time to warm up milk, I can just feed anywhere at anytime to make my baby happy. That is so cool.
Cheap: We didn’t even entertain the idea of a stroller until Eli was 3 months old – and even then, we bought the cheapest fold-up we could find. The stroller is still used more as a chair for him. Sure it is handy when it is gross-hot out (and when other relatives really want to push him), but I prefer to wear him. It actually makes me uncomfortable seeing him pushed in a stroller if I am walking with him. I feel that I should be doing something.
(My favourite rollz&sassy sling is on sale for $40 – regular $110 here – awesome!) sold out!
Lazy: I don’t have to deal with a bulky stroller. Pop baby in sling. Done! I don’t have to worry about maneuvering around people and objects or rough terrain or dogs. I also get to snuggle and give Eli kisses whenever I want and he sees what I see. Lugging my car seat around just seems un-necessary and heavy. It stays in the car. (If Eli is sleeping in the car seat, he wakes up for maybe 10 seconds for me to transfer him to the carrier. It’s so worth it to me.)
Cheap: There are a lot of sites that breakdown the overall cost of cloth vs. disposables. Hundreds and hundreds of dollars I am saving. That makes me so happy. (I don’t have to buy more diapers out of necessity, just desire)
Lazy: I always have a diaper stash on hand – and will never run out (receiving blankets make great flats). We also have a fair amount of naked-time just in case I don’t get to the laundry fast enough. I toss my dirty diaper into a wet bag or diaper pail and launder when I have a full load. I haven’t had to rinse any poo yet (yay BFing poop), so that will take a bit more time, but did you know that it is recommended to dump solid poops in the toilet before trashing disposable diapers anyways?….
Co-Sleeping (more specifically, bed-sharing): [I have more reasons for this choice – another post. Don’t be a hater.]
Cheap: No $$ spent on a crib. No bedroom suite. No baby sheets. (yes I made a “nook”, although not needed after all)
Lazy: I can roll over and nurse if I want to. I can rub my baby’s back. I can pop a soother back in within seconds if needed. And I get to stay snuggled in bed.
Homemade Baby Food/Baby-Led Weaning?:
Cheap: No store-bought foods (that stuff can get expensive – especially since you are suppose to dispose of the leftovers). Nothing extra that we wouldn’t eat anyways.
Lazy: I might puree some. I might make foods in bulk and freeze them. I might just give hunks of mushy food. Eli can explore and feed himself at his own pace. More on my fascination on introducing solids later (we won’t be starting until the middle of the first year.)
These are our parenting choices. They are great for our family. It works for us. I like to write about them. They may not seem normal to everyone. We are not spoiling Eli, indulging him or being a helicopter parents – as a teacher, I see what that does to kids. I am confident that my son is going to grow up to be an independent kid. I know that we are building a loving and trusting relationship together in these early years. xo
(questions are always welcome!)