Thursday, February 24, 2011

You and Me...Free to Disagree!

I've noticed that many people online and in real life tend to get upset when people make different parenting decisions.  I've noticed this a lot with some of the decisions I have made and I don't really understand it.  Chris & I do things differently than many of our friends and even our families...but are there any parents who make the exact same parenting decisions every single day?  Please tell me if there are any because I'd like to meet them.

Even with Klaw, Chris & I have changed some of our parenting decisions midstream.  Some by choice, some by necessity.  To be fair, here's a rundown of our own hypocrisy over the past almost 11 months:

Plan: Selective/delayed vaccine schedule
Reality: Klaw has a VLCADD and it's too risky to not have him fully vaccinated (although, we are still skipping HepB)

Plan: Exclusively breastfeed until age 1.
Reality:  Klaw can't have breast milk and has to be *GASP* formula fed.

Plan: Skip cereals.
Reality: Rice cereal helped Klaw's reflux.

Plan: No pacifier.
Reality: I wouldn't have been able to get off the couch if I had not found a pacifier Klaw would use.

Plan: Very little exposure to brain rotting television, if any.
Reality: Mickey Mouse Clubhouse & Yo Gabba Gabba allow me to do chores.  Klaw will survive.

Plan: Disposable diapers.
Reality: Cloth diapers.

Plan: No more animals.
Reality: We just got another dog (okay, not really a parenting decision).

Now for all of you who breastfeed, don't vax, delay vax, use a stroller, skip cereals, do baby-led weaning, elimination communication, no tv, use disposable diapers, make your own baby food, swear by Similac, etc - that's great!  It's no skin off my back that you choose to do things differently than the way we have chosen to parent Klaw.  Short of abusing your child, you do what works for your family and we'll do what works for ours.

I will continue to share information about some big decisions that have worked for us: Babywearing; attachment parenting; cloth diapering; & not circumcising.  Just because we (and I do mean WE - both Chris & I) feel strongly about these decisions does not mean we think parents who make different decisions are bad parents.  Oftentimes, it has been the exposure to parenting choices that are different from what we were  accustomed to that has given us the opportunity to question our own decisions and ocassionally try something else.  I don't take offense if a friend decides babywearing isn't for her nor do I get my feelings hurt if other parents don't cosleep.

If you take the choices and opinions of other parents as a judgment on your own parenting practices, it might be a good idea to ask yourself why you feel that way and try to move forward.  Every family is different and every parent will make mistakes; sometimes, we'll even make decisions we later regret.  If you truly believe you are making the best decision you can for your family right now, it shouldn't matter what other parents are doing differently from you.

When Parenting Hurts Friends
Mommy Clashes: When Parenting Differences Come Between Friends
Storing Up Treasures: The post where I lay it all out there
Storing Up Treasures: The great divide
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