Parenting Decisions

I recently posted a comment on a fellow blogger’s post about cloth diapers. I guess she got offended (she quietly deleted it), and in all truth I probably was too harsh – that’s the side of me that I truly hate: when I am under stress, my filters stop working. I can say things that are much too direct and bare – and then regret it. Well, with Timothy starting daycare, I guess my stress level went over the top.

Regardless. That’s not really an excuse.

What I wrote was that I get very impatient with all this media hysteria about using cloth diapers, co-sleeping, baby-wearing, nursing until kindergarten, never letting a baby cry, and so on.

Now what I probably failed to mention is that I personally don’t have anything against it – if it works for people, great! I have no problem with that, to each their own. I am still happily nursing.

What I do have a problem with is the pressure and the hysteria. The “in”. It’s so “in” to wear cloth-diapered babies. People who happily use formula, disposable diapers and so often feel forced to explain themselves: “well, I admire your [whatever] I wish I could do this”. Although most of them don’t. They just feel the pressure to say such things.

I think – to each their own. And there is nothing wrong with other choices, either.

All in all, I feel that this hysteria was brought by the mounting sense of guilt in a society that sends its babies to daycare at 6 weeks old. People – as a whole – seek ways to compensate for that.

And I think this hysteria is hurting those who would love to, but cannot nurse. Or wear babies. Or co-sleep. For whatever reasons.

What do you think, regardless of your personal preferences?

18 thoughts on “Parenting Decisions

  1. Maurice A. Barry

    As a father of four I can state that none of the stuff people fuss about really matters much in the end. What does matter is the long term love, support and compassion. That’s not easy–in fact it’s downright difficult. It is also rewarding. Mine are now aged 15 to 22 and, looking back, it’s been a long road but it’s been worth it. Every bead of sweat; every grey hair! All the best!

    Oh–and those cloth diapers: they gave us grief too. In the end we ditched them and went to the ad-for-the-environment-but-good-for-the-nerves kind :>)

    1. Tanya Littleberry Post author

      Thank you for your comment Maurice. Four kids – that’s amazing!
      I’ve been a mother for only a year (well, a few days short) – and already can see that some things that I fussed so much about in the beginning were completely meaningless. And I am sure there’s more learnings for us in the future!
      But yes, giving love and attention is hard work – and I bet as children get older, it gets harder!

      PS Disposable diapers are somehow recyclable in Toronto – they go into compost garbage!

      1. Maurice A. Barry

        LOL! I do recall that when we finally stopped using the disposables the number of bags we put on the curb went to half! It’s amazing! Funny too about the transition from one to four. Let’s say the pacifier fell out of #1’s mouth. It would be dutifully sterilized before re-use. For #2–dip in boiling water. #3–run water under the tap. #4–does the 5-second rule apply? :>)

        As to feeding–y’know what: young kids eat very little and we can go nuts and drive them crazy too trying as well trying to get them to eat what we want and when we want. Waste of time! Just keep the ‘junk’ out of the house altogether and things sort themselves out in due course.

        And one more rant: read to them! Read to them and make sure you love it. So will they; and, besides, I can’t think of more ‘quality time!’

  2. BleedingTulip

    We had a lot of ideas and plans… We were really planning to utilize Babywise (getting our kid on a schedule, CIO, etc) and were against the ideas of co-sleeping and excessive baby wearing. We did plan to cloth diaper – to save money, not because it is the “in” thing. But then Seedling was born and suddenly we’ve thrown Babywise to the side and are co-sleeping and baby wearing – because it feels right to us. But I totally get that every child and family is an individual and what works for one doesn’t work for another. If anything I get pressure from people that I’m “coddling” Seedling. *sigh* no matter what you do there is a group out there telling you’re doing it wrong. The only thing I guess that makes me grumpy is when a parent sticks to some philosophy (any philosophy) that clearly isn’t working, and say “but it worked for X child, why doesn’t it work for Y child?” (Because they are different people, stop *#!$& comparing them all the time!)

    Basically think about what is important to you, but also take into consideration the unique strengths and challenges if each child. That’s all I ask! (Sorry for the vent – it’s not directed at you, I’ve got a very frustrating friend IRL I wish I could smack upside the head)

    1. Tanya Littleberry Post author

      You call this a vent? This is a very diplomatic comment 🙂

      As I said – I am not against any of these things. For the first 3 or 4 months of his life, Timothy took half of his naps in my arms – he just couldn’t nap otherwise. It changed with time.

      I considered “wearing” him at some stage, too – he was whiny and clingy, but my back isn’t strong and anyway this passed very quickly.

      I guess what I’m saying is that I completely agree with you: you have got to make your choices based on what’s best for you, your baby, and your beliefs/values. And not scoff at people doing it the other way.

      Whenever I see posts like “sling or stroller?” I expect some smug mom bragging about her baby-wearing practices…

  3. tasivfer

    I agree – to each their own. I thought I’d use cloth nappies, but I didn’t find one that didn’t give my son a rash so it became too cruel an experiment. I thought I’d breastfeed as long as practicable, so put enormous pressure on myself and pumped for over a year when my son refused the breast. Instead of sleeping when my son slept through the night I was up twice a night to pump. I was hysterically against the suggestion of using formula. Did I really need to put myself under that pressure?!

    1. Tanya Littleberry Post author

      I know exactly what you mean (well… maybe not exactly, but…). I was HYSTERICAL when at 3 weeks I didn’t have enough milk. To put things in perspective, I had to give Timothy formula only twice. TWICE. Like 60 mil each time. You have no idea how much I cried, I bawled, feeling like a complete failure! All because of the society pressure, I am sure.

  4. Christina @ According To C

    I completely agree that the hype surrounding some parenting choices causes some parents to feel pressure. The breastfeeding one in particular is one I’ve seen cause distress. I actually hate the term ‘breast is best’ (and i exclusively breast feed) because it leaves some parents who formula feed feeling like they’ve failed in some way, which isn’t the case at all. From my perspective, choice is best, in all matters of parenting. There will always be people who judge and have opinions but we (as parents) should never have to feel like we need to defend doing what works best for us.
    Great post!

    1. Tanya Littleberry Post author

      Agreed. In our attempts to exclusively breastfeed, a lot of us almost starved newborns. That’s ridiculous!!! It’s supposed to be about what’s best for the baby, and obviously any food is better than getting an IV.

  5. St. Elsewhere

    Well before anything, I hope the other person (was was apparently offended) is reading your post, and knows that you did not mean anything as a personal attack.

    Frankly, I am far too new a mum to be adept at judging and criticizing others. Also, I know that it does not matter how the world raised their progeny because I know best about to what circumstances I am raised my baby in. She is on formula as well as dairy, she is on disposable diapers, and we co-sleep. It suits me. It suits her.

    She is a happy child. What else would a mum want?

    1. Tanya Littleberry Post author

      I don’t think she is reading my blog.
      And totally agree with you – it’s all about the two of you being happy. But I guess there are those moms that live to compete – how much greener, how much more ‘responsible’, how much more aligned with dr. Sears or whatever the latest “in” ideas there are…

    1. Tanya Littleberry Post author

      🙂 that’s quite alright – I still fully understand what you’re saying. As some children’s book character said, “If I write ‘bicicle’ instead of ‘bicycle’, what’s the big deal? It won’t turn into a motorcycle…” 🙂


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