I am sure by now you have heard of the Time article going around the internet. Tons of bloggers have blogged about the article already. The front cover of Time shows a mother breastfeeding her four-year-old child with a caption that says, “Are You Mom Enough?” Now I haven’t read the article but it sure is offending a lot of people. From my understanding, the article is about Attachment Parenting and Mommy wars.
Before I became a mom I did temp work. I usually sat, answered phones, did some data entry and was able to read when I didn’t have anything to do. I started reading a lot about mothering, children, parenting, and childbirth. I started to feel very drawn to Attachment Parenting. I loved the idea of it. It seemed to fit my personality very well. I had a ton of ideas of how I was going to raise my children. I felt very strongly about them and wasn’t going to parent any other way. I joined online forums with other people who were parenting that way.
In September 2004, I gave birth to my first son. That was when reality hit!
You can plan, you can say you are going to do x, y and z but when a baby comes, you parent. You do what is best for your child.
You do what is best for your family and sometimes that doesn’t fit in a parenting camp. I took some time away from those online forums and books and started figuring how the best way to parent my own son. Not the child I had planned on having but the child that I actually had. There is a big difference between the two.
Here I was a new mom trying to figure everything out. I wanted to be that Attachment Parent. And I was in some ways. With all three boys, we co-slept until about 4-5 months. It was a sweet time in my life and I will always cherish the memories of co-sleeping. It was also the only way I made it through the first few months. I breastfed all three of them too. One for 17 months, one for 9 and one for 7. I wanted to breastfeed all of them for about 18 months. That was always my personal comfort level. It didn’t happen. Life happened instead. And although my ideal was 18 months, I am still happy with how long I did breastfeed them.
I never felt comfortable letting a baby CIO. I never wanted that to be a part of my parenting and I was able to stick to that. All three of my boys starting sleeping through the night by about 9 months of age. That worked for us.
I had slings and different carriers I wore some of the time. I usually didn’t wear them at home, just when we were out. Baby J probably got worn the most because I literally needed two free hands with the other two.
I have had two natural births and 1 epidural birth. If I gave birth again I would probably go naturally.
I love my stroller! Love it. It’s funny because before I had my oldest I thought I would wear him in a sling all the time and barely use a stroller, but you know what? I loved it from the beginning.
I vaccinate my children.
I used cloth with #2 but haven’t been able to get into it with #3.
So now here I am, a mother of 7.5 years and I don’t have a parenting title anymore.
I could say that I lean towards Attachment parenting but I really don’t like parenting labels. I have friends who parent similar to me and friends who don’t. As my children get older, the baby stuff becomes less and less important. I have my views and beliefs, other people have theirs. I have my ideals and then I have my reality.
As a newly pregnant woman reading all about pregnancy I never in a million years thought I would be going through any step of this without my husband right by my side. I never pictured long nights alone. But that was what my reality was and I had to adjust. And I think with any mom, you have to adjust. Some of the things you say before parenthood stick and others don’t.
And when it comes down to it, I may have ways of parenting that I think are best but most Mothers out there are doing what they think is best too. And most children are going to turn out alright.
I just want to be the best mom I can be to my three boys and not worry what all the other mothers are doing.
What have you changed your mind about since you became a parent?