Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Doing Things the Long Way

When I was pregnant with Emma I didn't realize there were so many parenting styles out there. Apparently you can be Crunchy or Silky, you can follow Ferber or Sears, believe in crying-it-out or attachment parenting. There are the options to breastfeed or feed formula, or heck, pump and bottle feed breast milk. There are decisions about where the baby sleeps: your bed, a bassinet in your room, a crib in their own room. The lists go on and on and on. All of the little choices one makes add together and, for some people, place one into made up categories of motherhood.

I never got into all of that.
I decided to breastfeed because I figure God gave me breasts for that reason. I chose to follow my instinct in most other areas. Emma has been sleeping in her own room since she was six weeks old because I couldn't sleep when she was in a cradle in my room. We've done our own thing and not worried about the classifications out there.

At some point I saw a video online that showed the benefits of rear-facing car seats for toddlers. That's when I decided to categorize myself as a believer in extended rear-facing. I was hoping to keep the Bean facing backwards until February when she turns two, but I had Barry turn her seat around last week. I would have held out longer if it weren't for her darn arthritis. Now that she is bigger, she can't stretch out and change leg positions when rear-facing. I don't normally worry about it, but we spent four hours in the car last weekend and I didn't want her joints to get stiff. So, the kid is facing forward and I feel like she grew up suddenly.

The other category I have found myself in is that of extended breastfeeding. It's not something I planned to do ahead of time, it has just worked out this way. I learned about the option of child-led weaning and thought that sounded like a good idea and decided to give it a try. So, Emma nurses once each night and she is 22 months old. We'll stop when we stop, I'm not worried about it. I'm also not super passionate about it, so you don't have to worry about me marching around holding up a sign to advocate extended breastfeeding.

If you know me well, you know that I'm a bit of a nervous, easily stressed out spaz when it comes to some things in life. However, when it comes to parenting choices I'm finding myself to be pretty neutral. Do what works for you, and let others do what works for them.

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