Lately, I’ve been thinking about parenting choices and styles, especially when it comes to babies (hmm, wonder why?) and I’ve come to the conclusion that rather than just being in the middle of the spectrum, I’m somewhat conflicted.
I mean, Baby Wise and ecological nursing both sort of equally scare me (please don’t take offense if either of these saved your life or you believe wholeheartedly in their correctness, they just aren’t for me) but I’m still not sure where I fall in between these two extremes.
I’m not particularly crunchy yet I’m a passionate subscriber to certain “crunchy” ethics, like environmentalism and natural birth. But I certainly don’t follow attachment parenting priniciples in any religious way. Some things make sense–I cosleep when it seems to work, crib it when it doesn’t–but when I read about what some people do to follow that type of baby care, I know I could never in a million years do that and mentally survive. It’s hard enough having a newborn nurse off and on all day, or wake up all night. I could never do that for years on end. I like to wear my babies when it works, but it doesn’t truly solve all the problems of how to get things done. Showers? Cooking on the stove?
I also don’t think cosleeping and nursing while I (half) sleep is the answer to sleep deprivation. I can’t really sleep through feedings and I feel worse in the morning from being half-awake a dozen times. At a certain point, I can’t function without regular long sleep stretches. Maybe those parents are just tougher than I am and I give them a lot of credit. But I think it’s also that I don’t 100% philosophically buy into the theories behind it.
I don’t schedule my babies until they are older, but I can understand why people do it. I’m breastfeeding but if it was making my life miserable, which I can see how that happens sometimes with different problems, I would stop. So I guess all this makes me pretty uncrunchy, but then again I’m not completely sure HOW I feel about strict baby schedules and I don’t expect my tiny baby to be able to put themselves to sleep necessarily, or sleep alone in their own room, or be as independent as I’ve read in some sleep books. Although at times, like now, when I’m tired, and I’m holding my son all.day.long. it sounds pretty attractive.
I’m just not sure. And I think that’s okay. I’m just going to go forward doing what works at any given moment and hope it all sorts itself out.
Do you pick and choose from different parenting philosophies? Do you fall squarely into one, or another camp?