Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I don't need you to be WRONG...

I am an attached parent. I don't go onto facebook sites for sleep trainers and try to change their minds. I really couldn't be bothered, and I don't think I would change many minds. I also don't fancy opening myself up for the ensuing drama.

Others do. They feel so passionate about the correct treatment of babies and children that they can't let harmful advice go unchallenged.

Who is right? I honestly don't know. I hate it when people "troll" our AP pages... but is my decision to keep out of it more a selfish one?

When we debate with the "mainstreamers", as happens from time to time, sometimes its very satisfying to throw links and research at them, telling them how harmful their methods are, and the potential damage they are doing to their children. I'm starting to think that all this achieves is to embarrass and anger a parent, who DOES love their child, and make them dig their heels in deeper. Nobody wants to be wrong when your child's health and mental state are on the line!

Thing is, though, I am not AP because of what would happen if I wasn't...

I breastfeed... because its so easy and awesome! A good friend of mine lovingly referred to it as the "parenting toolbox": always there ready to soothe a hurt/upset/hungry child! Breastfeeding is so bonding, such an easy way to nourish and love your child. I believe I will mourn it when our journey is finally at an end. I love that its the most nutritious thing in the world, immune building, and the perfect thing for cuts and bruises ("milk it, Mumma!")

I cosleep... because when Butterfly wakes during the night I don't have to get up! I love sleeping next to my beautiful daughter, to be able to hear her breaths and know she is safe all night long. Its so AWESOME that when I am really tired in the mornings, we can talk and sing and read books for as long as an hour until I'm functioning well enough to get up!

I babywear... because I love interacting with my child at eye level when we are out and about. I love the cuddles! Also because its so easy to feed her when we are on the go.

I parent peacefully... because it creates a loving and trusting relationship between Butterfly and I! I love that she feels so safe and valued that she can remind me to "ask nicely Mummy" if I am in a bit of a mood. When she says "thankyou Mumma" "your welcome" or "sorry Mummy" (complete with sign language) it melts my heart! *I've never pushed manners or apologies on her

I live chemical free/eat mostly organic/additive free... because I can! And my family are healthier for it.

I will be homebirthing... because I want to welcome my next baby directly into our loving home! I want to experience labour and birth in its most intimate and primal form. I want my baby to recieve the benefits of an uninterrupted hormonal cascade, to be bright and alert on our first meeting and breastfeed!

I use cloth nappies... because they are adorable! And great for the planet! And more natural on pure, smooth little botbots.

I don't need for "mainstreamers" to be wrong, to know that I am doing the right thing by Butterfly. I don't HOPE their kids suffer ill effects, just to prove my point. I HOPE that every baby and child feels loved, secure and happy. I hope that no adult has issues stemming from their childhood!

Is that the reality? Doubtful. As parents we are the biggest influences in our children's lives, and we have to make conscious decisions about how we will foster their self esteem, meet their needs and make sure they know how much they are loved. Unfortunately I often see children being treated so horribly that I literally hold back tears. Which is why I am not suggesting we never speak out against injustices.

My point, today, is that we know the consequences of certain parenting practices. Next time we find ourselves in the position to educate, however, maybe we should start with the POSITIVES of AP instead of the negatives of the alternative? I don't know how much of a difference it would make, but GAWD its worth a shot! Notice how I said "START with the positives"... sometimes the cold, hard truth is called for. And sometimes people just piss us off! None of us are perfect.

Love your babies. Respect your babies. Treat your babies as you'd like to be treated.

They love you.