Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Our parenting style

When we became parents at the age of 20 and 23, we had no idea what we were doing. Neither of us had any previous small baby experience care in the past. I had not even changed a baby's diaper in years. Tony had not even held a newborn!
  When we were discharged from the hospital, I remember the nurse going over our discharge instructions. I was so nervous on taking this baby hone that I kept asking her personal advice. She was great and really calmed my nerves. When we got home, all I knew was that I had to breast feed every two hours, keep vasaline on his circumcision, keep him warm (it was fridgid February), and keep his pediatrician appointments.
  I had no idea what exclusively breastfeeding was, co-sleeping, baby wearing, attachment parenting was. Cloth diapers....what are we Amish? Lol I couldn't even fathom that.
  As time went by, I grew closer and closer to my sweet Cameron. We figured out that sleeping together got us most sleep. I had him in my arms constantly because I wanted him close to me. I had the pediatrician space out his vaccines because I could tell when he had them all together how different he acted. Sadly breastfeeding didn't work out due to ppd, and I was very uneducated about it. But I never felt guilt with giving him formula.
  At that time in our parenting stage, we just did what worked for us, what made our baby happy, and what made life run smooth. At that time I had no idea how other women can make other mothers feel so inferior. I feel bad for the new moms engulfed in the "mommy wars" as I call it.
  I co slept, I wore my baby on my hip and in my arms, I introduced foods to him as I felt comfortable, and I never thought I was failing. I did what felt natural, and that is a really good feeling. I didn't do that stuff because I wanted to be in a club or label myself. My bond with my first born was very strong because I felt we were one that had become two, but still one at the same time.  I'm grateful for that.
  With my second, I felt the mommy guilt like I had ran into like a brick wall. I had entered the world of social media, where if you didn't breastfeed, babywear, co sleep, ect, then your worth as a mother was greatly veiwed as less. Due to another awful round of ppd and this time I was gifted the awful experience of ppOCD, I had to sadly stop breastfeeding. I took that very, very, very hard. Not because I was crushed that I wanted that bond I didn't get with my first, but also because of how I was looked on as a formula feeding mom. I felt guilt everytime I mixed a bottle, I hid the formula in the shopping cart incase I seen a fellow mom. I had to see in bold letters on the formula bottle saying "breast is best" everytime I fed my baby. Which I 100% believe is true, but I also believe that formula is not poison with dead beetle shells, mixed with sulfur and high fructose crack. Because I feel, a lot of people look down on formula moms. Like formula moms didn't try hard enough, didn't care enough, are lazy and uneducated. I had to formula feed for my health, because I was a hot mess while breastfeeding with out medication (now after much research, I could have breastfed on the meds I was taking). I needed to be there for my 2 year old, my newborn, and my husband. I made the right choice for me. Of course, I'm very much more educated for the next baby, and feel confident that I can bf exclusively, but if I can't, Im telling myself now that I'm no less of a mother who breastfeeds her newborn and 2 year old at the same time.
  That is why I will never put a label on my parenting style. Parenting can be so unpredictable sometimes, that feeling like I need to meet some criteria to call me a label, makes me anxious. We will continue to do what works, what keeps us all healthy and sane, and what my heart is telling me what is right.

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