There is something weighing on my heart and mind lately and I’m not sure why. So pardon me while I type to get it out. I make no promises in this post of organized thought, cohesion, or persuasive and interesting speach. This one is all about me.
I’ve noticed there seem to be two things in a woman’s life that no one else seems to be able to keep their paws off. When it comes to these two topics every tom, dick, and harry (and especially their wives, sisters, moms and aunts) can’t keep their mouths shut, opinions to themselves, and let us figure it out. What they are you may already know or have guessed because you’ve been there yourself or as a close friend, sister, or other type person. Or you may be totally clueless, but let me promise you this my friend – if it hasn’t already your time will come. What are these two things… 1) Marriage and 2) Your kids/family!
Why is it that as soon as someone (particularly other women!!) find out your planning a wedding, expecting a baby or see you with kid(s) in tow you become public fodder for “help” and “guidance” on how and what to do? The helpful advice givers range from dear friends, co-workers, distant acquaintances, family (especially mothers – I love you mom, but it’s so very true) and total strangers!
I don’t understand why it is that these two things that, for me personally at least, are very much the most important things you will ever do and thusly extraordinarily personal and delicate, bring out everyone’s sense of intitalment on how to live your life!
Having already gone through a weding and it’s crazy year and a half of planning, preping, and stressing obviously I’ve gotten past that one – although not without everyone (single, married, engaged, friend, family, or foe) giving me their 2 cents on how to do it. But I’m over it now (at least that’s what I tell myself) and I am pleased with how the event turned out. Yeah sure, there are things I’d do differant (like elope secretly maybe) if I did it again, but obviously that isn’t going to happen so whatever.
So now though, I am on to the fun and never ending endurance test of my life… parenthood. I have to wonder (from the few older moms in the crowd feel free to answer) if people stop telling you how to run your home and manage your children once they are older, school aged perhaps, or middle school high school aged. Or do I have to wait till they are planning their own marriages, and then by defult since people will be butting their nose in do I have to go through it all again with people telling me how my kids should be married? Or does it just never stop, are people going to always tell me what’s best for me and my family?
As babies (even still in the womb and in some cases especially in the womb) the biggest ones seem to be the debate over weather I’ll deliver naturally (with or without drugs not always being what the intdend person means by natural sometimes it’s as if they are asking if I’m hoping for a c-section or something) if our baby would be breast or bottle feed, and forget about the reactions when the issue of our cloth diapering aptitude comes around.
As newborn slides into babies and then toddlerhood the issues of sleeping arangments, and when and if to wean or introduce solids, how often we should arange for baby sitters, or even what to dress my darlling little one in!
The biggest issues I’ve heard by far though (outside of my love of co-sleeping, breast feeding, baby wearing, and cloth diapering) are when, if, and how to schedual your baby and then of course, disapline.
Let me just say this (which I can tell you multiple times I have wanted to scream in the face of others – even yes *gasp* my elders – but have heald my tounge and tears until the privacy of my own home) I AM NOT A PERSON WHO FEELS SCHEDUALING YOUR CHILD HAS ANY INTRINSIC BENIFITS EXCEPT THE EASE OF YOUR OWN DESIRES!! I HATE HATE HATE the idea of schedualing babies. But at the same time I am not going to tell you how to raise your kids! If you schedual, are into the baby wise system or just want to specifically know when your child will next want to sleep or eat and it works for you – aweomse more power to you! As much as I hate the idea of schedualing little ones, I am even more agains the idea of striking a child in order to discipline them. There have been times, yes, when Inara has had a hand slap or a flick to the back leg, however I hated doing it every time and it was never effective, unless you count the fact that she stopped doing whatever it was because she was too busying throwing her head back and screaming holy terrors at the top of her lungs. Again though, if the directness of using a kitchen spoon works for your family, good for you and your family I’m not going to judge you for that, nor will I call the authoreties because I think you are an abuser.
I think the thing that I hate more than anything else though, isn’t the people offering friendly advice or encourgement, it’s the ones that do so with the air of “this is how we did it, it worked, and so everyone else should do it too.” or on the other side of “no one should ever do that, it’s an inherent risk to children and you will forever mame your child in (insert whatever way here, physical, emotional, phychological, whatever)”. It’s those people who seem to think their word is law and anyone who doesn’t follow their example is going to parenting hell that shove me over the edge. Even moreso if their reason for thinking this seems to be religiously bassed, aka their way of parenting is biblical and right in the eyes of God and therefor they are right and I’m going to hell for sparing the rod and spoiling my child. I cannot begin to express the rage that wells up inside me when conversations with that overtone arise, especially among our friends who are belivers.
I guess when it comes down to it, Luke is right, as is Chris and as are a whole host of other people – maybe I really am just a dirty hippy. But you know what, I was raised by two of them and I think I turned out alright. I am just of the thought that parenting and children should be an organic thing meaning it needs to be gradual and develop naturaly. “Made up of many different parts which contribute to the way in which the whole society or structure works” would be the dictionary deffinition I was thinking of. I don’t follow the same parenting principals (as a whole) that my parents, grand parents, in-laws, or next door neighboor follows. I do what seems to make sence and feel right to me.
I loved sharing my bed with Inara as a baby, in fact if we had a King that could hold us all, she could very well still be sleeping with us. I’ve also decided that it won’t be a question of if, our next kid(s) will share our bed as well. I’m also strongly concidering the idea of a sibling bed when they are ready for their own as well, rather than having a bunch of seporate beds. I also loved the physical touch that carring my baby allowed me, I loved the bond and specialness that I got to share that I would never have had if I used one of those car seat buckets. Where their times when I could see the convineance of them, yeah sure, but I wouldn’t trade what we had for the world, and again, we won’t be doing anything differant (except maybe a couple differant carrier stylse – I really want a Mei Tai Carrier ) for the next kid(s).
Are some of these ideas foreign, unapealing, or odd to some of you – I know they are. I also know that some of them may seem down right allarming or dangerous. But I don’t really care.
Please note though that this post was not writen out of anger, spite, or in an effert to bring people to my way of thinking. There are plenty of other people, places, and websites for that. This was simply writen as a venting of my mental frustrations at the inevitability that society is going to try and tell me how to live my life in some very personal ways.
And maybe as a way of saying in advance that if we are talking about parenting and I just stop talking and gently find a way to excuse myself from the conversation, it’s not because I’m angry with your or anything, just that I don’t see eye to eye with your way of doing things, and I’d rather bow out gracefully than become yet another person to tell you that what your doing is wrong and how you should be doing things. I love you all too much to try and tell you how to raise your kids, support your spouse, or in any other ways live your life.