Your child, your CHOICE!

I had a wonderful conversation with a good friend last weekend. She’s due with her first baby this spring, and had some questions about cloth diapering. That conversation naturally led into a number of other controversial parenting topics, some of which she didn’t even know WERE surrounded by controversy until she got pregnant and was consumed by the “internet mommy wars”.

She said she wanted to talk to me about all of this, because she knew I would give the most honest, unbiased view. That doesn’t mean I don’t have opinions on anything, because I do…(you’ll see!) But I’m a big proponent of “This worked for me, but it may NOT work for you! AND THAT’S OK!!!!!” Every mother, child, and family is different…and it shouldn’t matter WHAT anyone else says or does!  As long as you’re not abusing or abandoning your child, you teach them to respect all people and animals, and you don’t let them steal or set things on fire…you’re doing something right!

So, in our two-hour conversation, we covered every aspect of parenting from breastfeeding to vaccines…and here’s where I’m going to break it down for you. Maybe you don’t like what I have to say, and that’s fine.  We’ll just have to agree to disagree.

Breastfeeding

  • It is no secret that breastfeeding was an epic fail for us. Little man was supplemented with formula from day two of existence. Congrats to the mothers with breasts that pour liquid gold like a garden hose.  I envy you.  This was the biggest hurdle I had to cross being a new mom, and I was very upset about it. Formula was an added expense that we weren’t expecting, and even the cans say “breastmilk is best”. Not only that, but I was faced with a LOT of criticism from mommy friends in real life and online about my decision to supplement, and then ultimately, switch my son to 100% formula. Were there other alternatives I could have taken to make sure my child had “the best start possible”? Yes, probably. But, this choice was not made out of ignorance or selfishness, and for anyone to suggest such a thing is ridiculous!  Almost 18 months later, he is a happy, healthy boy who (despite attending daycare full-time) has only been REALLY sick once in his life. *knock on wood*  To those of you that say “formula is baby junk food”, do you eat 100% clean, unprocessed food when you are breastfeeding?  No??  That’s what I thought…

Circumcision

  • This was the first time I’d ever had a real-life conversation with another mom about my son’s business. I did all of the research, and then…left this decision up to his father. Maybe that’s taking the easy way out – but I am, obviously, lacking some expertise here. Seriously, though, WHY DO ALL OF THESE WOMEN I DON’T KNOW CARE ABOUT WHAT’S UNDER MY SON’S DIAPER?!?!?!

Cloth Diapers

  • If you don’t know where I stand on fluffy butts, you must be new here. 😉   I {heart} cloth diapers! I’m realizing though, that my reasons for choosing cloth may be a little misguided now. Either way – if it works with your lifestyle, you don’t mind the extra laundry, and can control your spending (like I apparently can’t)…cloth diapers are definitely something to consider, even part-time!

Vaccines

  • I had a lot of mommy guilt regarding my return to work and having to send my son to daycare. The morning before his two-month checkup, I talked to a friend of mine who is way crunchier than I, asking if she thought I should delay his shots. Even she told me that as long as he was attending a daycare and was going to be around other little germ spreaders, he should be fully vaccinated. In her opinion, in that situation, the benefits outweigh the potential risks. That being said, we have delayed a couple of vaccines recently (at least until we have to send an updated report to daycare.) I’m still on the fence about the long-term effects of vaccination, but even I get a flu shot every year, due to my asthma.

As we were nearing the end of our discussion, my friend asked if I would do anything differently with my next child. It’s looking more and more likely that I will be a stay-at-home mom once we become a family of four, which truth be told, makes a lot of these decisions easier. I will definitely attempt breastfeeding again, and it will hopefully be more successful. My decision on the circ debate still stands if we have another boy…daddy’s choice. (He has a very strong opinion about this subject, and that is fine. I know a lot of dads don’t, but it’s something that you as a couple need to agree on without outside influences. Again…why do strangers care so much about baby boy penises (peni?) Obviously, we will still be cloth diapering (maybe even full-time), and if possible, I would like to follow a delayed schedule for vaccinations (since we won’t have to worry about daycare!)

If you take anything away from this post, it’s this: These are personal decisions. You have to factor in your lifestyle, and do what works for your family. Others will try to influence you, and make you feel guilty. But, we’re all trying to do what’s best for our kids…and remember, it is your child, your CHOICE! That is all that matters.

You should probably also get this onesie for your baby, to make sure you get your point across…

 

(In case you’re wondering why I didn’t mention co-sleeping above, I did a whole separate post about that recently. You can find it here!)

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