Today in the world of parenting there are several different categories or Labels that parents like to/try to place themselves under. If you were unaware of this fact, I will name a few. There is: Attachment Parenting, Natural Parenting, Gentle Parenting, Strict Parenting, Instinctual Parenting, and so on and so forth. Now, I am a reader. While I was Pregnant, I was constantly reading new books and studies on parenting, breastfeeding, sleep training, feeding baby, bathing baby, teaching baby, EVERYTHING! After much Research and trying to find a “group” with similar interests we have found that my husband and I DO NOT fall under any one particular Group. There are aspects from each of the previously mentioned labels that we do follow, but not any exclusively. So, that being said, I have decided to make my own label. REAL PARENTING.
You might be a “REAL PARENT” if you:
1. Breastfeed- Whether it be Exclusively from the breast, or you pump. We know that there is no comparison to the nutritional value of breastmilk. We are proud of ourselves for being successful in breastfeeding, and sometimes we want recognition for doing something that most people do not.
2. Co-Sleep- By co-sleeping I mean, Sleeping in the same room, in a Bassinet or other bed of some type. My Husband and I Co-slept with our daughter until she was 6 months old. She slept in the Bassinet next to my side of the bed. Now, let me say this, we have/do bed-share with her still. At the beginning of the night we initially put her to sleep in her own crib (we need Mama and Daddy time) since she does not sleep through the night, when she wakes up (around 3:00-4:00am) I go get her and pull her into bed with me. Safely. Contrary to popular belief there are safe ways to sleep with your baby.
3. BabyWear- My Husband and I both wear our daughter whenever we can. I clean house with her on my back, He wears her when we are in Walmart. We are not against strollers, but wearing her is so much more special to us.
4. Strollers- if we are going to the mall, and going to be walking around for a while, we do use the stroller. Its a nice diaper bag holder and shopping cart if nothing else.
5. Hold your Baby- it is impossible to spoil a baby by holding her as much as she wants. Notice that I say ” as much as she wants”. We let her play and roll around as long as she is happy and wants to. But if she gets fussy, and is no longer happy, we pick her up and try to figure out whats wrong. BABIES DO NOT CRY FOR NO REASON! Your baby is not out to get you and ruin whatever fun you are having. She NEEDS you! We DO NOT CRY-IT-OUT!!
6. Disposable Diapers- yes, we use sposies. The Lure of Cloth Diapering is so attractive, but honestly its an arm and a leg to get started. Sure its “GREEN”, but thats minimal to how cheap its supposed to be. I am all for CHEAP! Maybe I will cloth diaper one day, slowly build up a stash and make the switch.
7. Routine- Do not confuse this with Sleep Training. We have established a nightly routine. Boob, Fruit, Bath, Boob, Bed. Every Night my husband and I rely on this routine and work together in unison. Your routine may not be the same, but i encourage you to make a routine. It is better for baby and parents to know what to expect in the day. Doesn’t your baby take a nap around the same time every day? They have established their own routine. So you should also make her going to sleep at night a routine. We do not place Her in the crib, and leave. If she cries, we go to her. Make sure she is alright. Babies cry to communicate. The thought of crying-it-out makes my heart hurt. I cant imagine my Daughter thinking that she is alone and that she has done something to deserve being ignored.
8. Gerber/Beech Nut- again the thought of being able to make my daughters food is very appealing, but costly/ time consuming. Lets be honest, with as much as we have going on from day to day, it is nice to be able to crack open a jar.
9. Vaccinate- a very hard subject to write on, but in a nutshell. Yes vaccinate. We do not give the flu shot, but I thoroughly believe that one of the only reasons some people can afford not to vaccinate at all, is because everyone else does. Delay, pick and choose, or follow your pediatrician, just know a lot of the stuff vaccines protect against kill young children.
10. Marriage- again, very hard subject to write on. Today, a lot of people are getting pregnant without being married first. We werent, but we were before our Daughter arrived. Regardless, we believe whole-heartedly that to successfully parent a child, your marriage has to come first. It can not be a child-centered family. When husband and wife put each other first (behind Christ) the child sees that love and security and can confidently develop independence knowing that mother and father are here and everything is alright.
These are only a few things that we believe and hold standard in our parenting, but there are so many more topics if we were to dive deeper into the specifics. For the past week or so I have been deciding on whether to post this topic or not, but here it is. Something from my heart, and hope I explained good enough. So the next time you are researching a technique or wanting to explain your reasoning behind your parenting, just remember its YOUR CHILD! You don’t owe anyone an explanation. Your wishes are to be met, you are the parent. I felt a need to post this because so many times reading on facebook I dont belong to any one “group”. Not that i need to belong, but having friends/supporters who parent like you do is a MUST! Find your clique, other mommas, other dads who do like you do, and I promise its worth it!!