Sunday, April 14, 2013

Who Am I?

That title sounds deeper than this post is going to be. Just a fair warning.

Lately, a lot of blogs (and by a lot, I mean two here and here (this second link may not work)), have been dealing with parenting philosophies. Now, I don't know about you, but as a mom of two I am far too busy worrying about poopsplosions to bother with a philosophy on how to raise my kids.

Don't get me wrong, I am sure, positive in fact, that prior to having kids I side-eyed a few people for their parenting. People I didn't even know. Unsuspecting mothers in malls with screaming kids. Parents of children in my classroom (I may still do this...). I unfairly looked at them and thought, what the heck are you doing!?! I believe my years of babysitting experience fully qualified me to judge away.

I know, now, that it isn't that easy. Just yesterday I was one being side-eyed by the man who probably thought I was doing something horrible to my daughter, when, in reality, I just wanted her to sit in her stroller (and, really, I was trying to keep her safe...if not for that 5-point safety harness I am sure she would have jumped out of that seat). So, side-eye away people, judge if you must.

Now, the real reason I am telling you all about my philosophy, or lack thereof, is because I can barely recognize myself with this baby. With Lily, she kind of raised herself. Ok, not really, but I was blessed by the first child gods and got a baby who basically sleep trained herself (She was, and is, and awesome sleeper. There, I said it. Go on and hate me.). She never spit up (like ever). She took to a bottle fine. Took to solids fine. Took to daycare fine. I mean, seriously, she was amazing. She never slept in our bed. She didn't need to be in a carrier all day long. She just was independent from day 1.

I used disposable diapers with her. I kind of scoffed at people who used cloth diapers. Well, really, I scoffed at people who used cloth diapers because they wanted to save the environment, but also drove a big old, gas guzzling SUV. Kind of like a big mac and a diet Coke. Really? You want a diet Coke?

I digress.

The real reason I am making you hate me with stories about how wonderful Lily was, is because Jack is even better!

Haha, just kidding.

No, not really.

He is a great baby, but my parenting Jack is different that my parenting Lily.

Let me explain. With Lily, part of me was trying to figure out what the heck you do when the kid is your own. When you don't give the baby back when it's crying. When you are the one responsible for figuring that out. With Jack, I know the things (or most of the things) that I was new to with Lily.

But Jack is a different baby.

He is easy. Totally laid back and calm; however, he spits up. A lot. I never had to deal with that before. He also loves to be cuddled. Not that Lily didn't, but he seems to need it more. He is also the second baby, meaning I have to split my time, sometimes literally. I also need my hands free to make sure Lily isn't trying to sit on the dog (the dog weighs 12 pounds, Lily would win), or walk down the steps on her own, or pull the curtains down on herself (she actually did this).

So this time around I wear him a lot more. In the Moby, in the Bjorn. I have to wear him to keep my hands free to help Lily. This time around he snuggles with me in bed after I feed him. This serves two purposes: 1. so he has time to digest and not spew everything he just ate, and 2. to satisfy his need to be close. He slept in a rock and play for the first month of his life, something I would never have done with Lily (She needs to sleep flat on her back! It is so much safer! Anything else is totally wrong!). I have learned that you do what you need to get sleep, to manage two children, to stay sane.

I am also using cloth diapers. Say what?!? Yep, I crossed over the dark side. I am doing it more to save money than the environment. I am basically using the cheapest way to cloth diaper and am loving it. The diapers are cute. I can also get a white cover easier than I can find plain white diapers. And, yeah, it's probably pretty ok for the environment; however, I am not proclaiming to save it. I drive an SUV (well, a crossover), so does Tom. Though, we do recycle. I guess we are environmental moderates.

So, long story short, I don't think I have one specific philosophy. I really don't know who I am as a parent. I am And isn't that the best person to be? I trust myself, my instincts, and my judgments. And I work really well with Tom. We work well as a team. That is key to raising these two little monsters. We do what we need to do to have two happy, healthy kids. End of story.

Even within my circle of mommy friends we have 5 different styles. We do what works. We do what is right for our children. The best thing about the mommy club (yep, we are a club, 5 of us go out once a month (kid free!) to chat and eat (and when we aren't pregnant- drink)) is that we all parent differently and no one judges anyone for it. There aren't any side-eyes or questions. We just support each other.

Anyway, parent away my parent friends. Do what you need to do to get sleep. Do what you need to do to raise happy, healthy kids.

Congratulations. You made it to the end. Have a drink or a piece of cake. Or just look at these beautiful babies:

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