Evaluating My Parenting Choices | Giftie Etcetera: Evaluating My Parenting Choices

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Evaluating My Parenting Choices

Remember when Ander was a baby (or even before he was born) and all I ever wrote about was parenting? Well, he's definitely not a baby anymore. So I thought it might be a good time to evaluate my parenting choices. To see if I regret anything, or would do things differently.

CHOICE: MINIMAL BABY WEARING

For the most part, I carried Ander, or used a stroller. I only used a baby carrier in specific situations, such as if I had to feed Ander while walking through the mall. On one hand, wearing him more often would have definitely been more convenient in many situations. But I am so glad that he is "stroller-trained." He he, is that a real phrase? But, seriously, he is happy and content sitting in his stroller. I can shop or walk and he thinks the stroller is a natural way to go. Oh, and if I let him walk, it's the best reward ever.

My grade on the choice: B-. If doing it all over, I would babywear more, but probably not much more.

CHOICE: MINIMAL CO-SLEEPING

Unfortunately, Alan doesn't have the fortitude I have about letting Ander stay in his bed, so while Ander went to bed in his crib, he spent many an early morning in my bed.

My grade: C, but only because we didn't enforce it 100%. I wish we would have, because two days ago we finally managed to teach Ander not to come to my bed in the morning. TWO DAYS AGO. :(

CHOICE: EARLY TIMEOUTS

Many, many people told me that he was too little for timeouts. I disagreed then, and I disagree now.

My grade: A+, he is turning out really disciplined and well-behaved, with minimal meltdowns unless he is sick.

CHOICE: BOTTLE FEEDING

I was probably most criticized for bottle feeding. I swear, if I heard the patently untrue statement "breast is best" said by one more pompous know-it-all once more, I was going to scream. :) I am so glad I bottle fed. It was clearly best for us, and had I tried breastfeeding, I would not have experienced all the advantages of bottle feeding. I would probably have believed the propaganda and been just as judgmental of bottle feeding moms as the people who write and spout the propaganda. I stood my my mantra of "breast is best, except when it isn't." And because of that, Ander doesn't need me to soothe. He doesn't need help going to sleep of staying asleep. He is very self-sufficient and independent, and I love that. I do wish there was a way to get great antibodies without breastfeeding, and because there really isn't, I'm still a huge supporter of breastfeeding. I'm just not an *opposer* of bottle feeding. And I certainly don't presume that breastfeeding is the best thing for every family, despite the hype.

My grade: A, though I would likely make a different choice if I reproduced in the future, because I do understand the value of breastfeeding, and when it does happen to be best, which I believe is most of the time, it is a choice I would definitely make. I also would have gotten over the "mommy guilt" ealier. I no longer feel *guilty* for doing what is best for my family, but I really had to realize that propaganda is just that before I could reach that conclusion.

Etcetera.

1 comment:

Mommy to Ander and Wife to Box said...

I really do have a lot of typos when I write from my laptop, don't I? :)