As I continue to age I seem to notice more and more of what is going on around me, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I am finding that there seems to be an increasing amount of human activity that just baffles me.
"Like what?" you ask.
Well, how about the incessant need for humans to label everything from kitchen utensils to parenting methods. I mean we have names for everything. You could be living your life just as happy as can be not knowing any better when out of the blue some buzzwords you've never heard before show up, eventually peaking your curiosity until you look them up, and voila!
The way you've been living has officially been labeled as something.
The problem is that once there is a label put in place people feel free to criticize, and if that label applies to you and your family's way of life those criticisms can sting a bit.
But, more importantly, once a label is applied for something like parenting or whatever some dumb ass draws up rules to abide by or you lose the right to use the label on yourself. Well, not really I guess, but you do become more aware of what you are "supposed" to be doing rather than doing whatever it is you feel like you should be doing.
For instance, lately I have been hearing about a "new" parenting style called "Attachment Parenting." It seems like no matter where you go you'll see something about it, and usually it is portrayed as some radical thing that only hippies would do or something.
Well, at least that is how it came across to me, so I never bothered looking further into it...until this morning.
Let's just say that I learned that what Mama Bear and I have been doing for the last 2 years three months and 1 day naturally, can now officially be labeled as "Attachment Parenting."
I guess that makes us hippies!
Great, so all that negative uproar I laughed at before in regards to attachment parenting because it was all just silly nonsense spewing out of hateful people's mouths actually applies to me and my family.
All those nasty hurtful things that people have spouted all over the various parenting networks and websites and face book that ridicule and mock people who condone and adhere to attachment parenting are really directed at me and my family and other families just like mine.
Now, instead of being a little indignant because I don't understand where some people are coming from and am wondering what makes them so perfect that they can be so harshly judgmental, I am righteously pissed that there are so many that think and say such atrocious things about families like mine, which I thought were normal and "mainstream."
I mean really. How is what we do all that different and bad?
1. Both our children were planned and prepared for and Mama Bear and I continually discuss parenting methods so we are both on the same page.
Is that so terrible? Because I just assumed that is what all conscientious parents did.
2.There are really only two recognized legitimate options of feeding our infants, either formula or breast milk. We all have to choose one or the other.
We just happened to choose breast milk, which meant that the boy breastfed as well as bottle fed when Mama Bear wasn't around.
Pizzly was weaned at around 2 and refused a bottle shortly after he was a year old, but luckily he ate solid foods well by then so it was no big deal.
Does that make us freaks?
If it does oh well. I can live with that because my kid is happy and doing quite well, and he has never been sick!
3. Do we validate Pizzly's emotions and feelings and try to use them to instigate a conversation?
You're damn right we do!
If the boy's crying there's a reason for it, and I will be damned if I am going to make him set there ignored or feel ashamed because he has feelings. The same thing goes for tantrums. If we can establish a line of communication with the boy then we can figure out what's wrong, and then we can help him find alternate ways to deal with his anger that are more appropriate than tossing a tantrum.
That just seems reasonable doesn't it?
4. Do we do the whole skin to skin contact thing?
Yes, all the time. In fact, right now both he and I are shirtless and he is draped across my chest as I type this.
Oh, and he also frequently bathes with one or the other of us because we're lazy and it is more convenient for us to toss him in the bath or shower while we're scrubbing down than to have to sit on the floor next to him during his separate bath time.
I know. It's terrible!
5. Do we co-sleep with the little rugrat?
Yes. Every night since the day he was born, and let me tell you something. We don't have a problem getting him to go to bed, when he was little it was easy peasy for my wife to feed him because all she had to do was let him latch on, which allowed her to get more sleep, and the boy is not only still alive he is thriving.
So, don't waste your time telling me about SIDS! I've heard it all before, and I still call bullshit on the whole co-sleeping will kill your kid thing.
6. Does Pizzly go to a babysitter?
No. He is with us pretty much all the time. I am a stay at home dad after all.
What about date night? My wife and I had ten glorious years of date nights before the boy was born. Our philosophy is that it makes no sense to have children if you don't want to spend time with them. We still do all the things we want we just have a little one going along with us too.
7. Do we spank, scream, or throw a tantrum at Pizzly when he misbehaves?
Hell no! That is counter intuitive isn't it? If you want to teach a kid that hitting is bad, why the hell would you hit him when he does something wrong? The same goes for screaming and tantrumming. Those aren't behaviours that you want to encourage your child to have.
Therefore, you shouldn't ought to display them to the kid in the first place should you?
Why not try and have a talk to see what is going on before you blister the kid's ass or black his eye?
Yeah, I know. I must be spoiling the little brat.
8. Is our personal and family life well balanced?
Maybe...maybe not, but we work at it just like everyone else. The most important thing though is that the kids come first, and sometimes that means that Mama Bear or I will need to take a walk for a few moments so we can be up to snuff when we get back.
Does that mean we are selfish? Yes, but you'll never see us at the park playing on our cell phones while our kids are running amok, so I guess we aren't that selfish.
OK, in case you haven't guessed it, I just ran through the 8 principles of attachment parenting, which you can find HERE.
And, I bet if you think about it you're parenting style isn't all that different than ours. You just label yours differently.