Journal: 7/18/18 Parenting, our way
"Are you nursing him?" She asked.
I could tell she was shocked, but the question was innocent. The normal questions followed. How old is he? When will you stop? How long did you nurse your first one? I always love the jaw drops when I explain that I actually tandem nursed BOTH of them. I don't get upset about these sorts of questions. When you do life different than the norm, in any way, people are curious. They become fascinated and interested when you calmly share your story and perspective. This is the approach I try to take. I'm not trying to "win" anybody to my side or convince anyone my way is magical. Turns out, parenting isn't a religion.... or a war.
Today, Facebook reminded me of THIS blog post I wrote on July 20, 2016. I wrote that one in a Stream-of-Consciousness-No-Stopping-I-Have-Something-To-Get-Off-My-Chest sort of way. I never even edited it. I've gone back and read it over and over and over again, to remind myself. These days are so fleeting, even the hard ones. Parents worry over every little tiny detail missing the big picture all together. It is so easy to get into that black hole and as a parent, I fight it every step of the way.
When I was pregnant with my first child, I read the book Our Babies, Ourselves. This book was magical for me! It's a thought-provoking scientific analysis of why we raise our babies the way we do. The author explores cultural norms from around the world to demonstrate that parenting is done a million different ways across the globe. She then gives you permission to ease up on the expectations with the knowledge that other parents in other cultures are doing it different. In other words, there's no right way to do it. >>>GIANT SIGH OF RELIEF<<<
From Day one, Mark and I gave ourselves permission to do what felt right for us, for our life... regardless of cultural norms (in America). We all sleep in one room. We never even set up another bedroom, just a cool playroom. We changed our work and social schedules to maximize time with our kids. I've never spent a night away from my kids. We even changed date nights so we could always be home to put them to bed. It's just our thing. We don't fight over food, sit at a dinner table, or make them wear clothes... hahaha! From time to time, we check in with each other and make sure we're both still ok with how things are rolling. If we don't like something, we change it.
Nothing is ever permanent. Nothing... Not this phase of life we're in, not my kid peeing literally every possible place imaginable, not the crowded bed that's getting more crowded daily. No one else needs to do it the way we do. But you DO need to do it the way that feels perfect for you, the way that makes you feel good about every one of the fleeting moments, even the hard ones.