There are a lot of ways to parent a child. I honestly didn’t realize this before getting pregnant. I knew there were things I didn’t want to do, and other things that made sense.

I knew about certain choices like cloth diapering and breast-feeding. I knew that some families make their own baby food. I know that there are a lot of reasons why people make the choices they do. Some are basically environmental. Some flirt between the lines of anti-establishment and holistic methodology.

Our choices for the upcoming birth of our child fall somewhere in that realm, too. We’ve decided to seek the care and partnership of people who will support and encourage the most natural aspects of bringing a child into the world. On the other hand, I certainly don’t have anything against hospitals and doctors and surgeons who are trained to deal with the more complicated side of things.

Beyond that, though I don’t think I have it in me to really be a ‘crunchy’ earth mommy.

We don’t plan to cloth diaper. Not at first anyway. We decided that babies have enough of a learning curve that we didn’t want to make anything more complicated than it had to be.

Our initial postpartum adjusting period could be best labeled as disposable. Plates, cups, utensils, all the containers I’m freezing meals in… all suitable for tossing after use. We’re probably responsible for the destruction of an acre or two of rain forest. But Brandon & I had a talk about what kind of things we could let slide while we were growing accustomed to the ‘new routine’, and this seemed like the best plan. If we had a dishwasher, it’d be another story entirely. But we don’t. So there.

Also, I have really no clue what the big deal is with delayed or even skipping vaccinations altogether. I have to lump this one in with the cloth diapers: I’m not sure I have the time or energy to invest in good research and formulating my own opinion before our baby comes. (Not to say that I won’t be asking questions and finding out risks/benefits, but I’m probably not likely to veer too far away from mainstream until I see some evidence.)

Not going to get started on the organic/free range/ locally grown debate. It’s way bigger than this blog post. We do what we can, and sometimes we still eat french fries. I’d like to say my kids won’t know about french fries until they’re school aged, but real life is full of curve balls that I’m probably completely unprepared for.

I do plan to breastfeed. For one, it’s natural. A close second: it’s free. I know there are countless health and mental/emotional benefits for mothers and babies, too. Bonus.

Also, I’m going to babywear. Happy baby, hands free? Um, duh.

Co-sleeping: yes. This one Brandon was a little iffy about at first until I showed him the designs of the sleepers and how the frame would keep us from squishing nine months of hard work. It’s a little more controversial, but for us, the benefits out-weigh the risks. There are studies that show babies who sleep in the same room as the parents have fewer occurrences of SIDS, there’s all the middle of the night feedings that we can avoid getting out of bed twice for, and there’s your baby… right there. I dig.

I’ve already mentioned how I feel about gender normative clothing (and toys). So far I’ll admit that most of my family has thrown all that out the window. I was pretty annoyed at first, but honestly, the bulk of the clothes we have are under 6 month sized. This baby will probably never remember that she spent the bulk of her first days dressed like the Easter bunny. Breathing and moving on…

I’m sure there’s a plethora of parenting issues I’m not even starting to touch. I’m okay with that. Obviously our goal is not to fit into the “Greenest Super-parents of the Decade” mold. Honestly I’m a little wary even throwing around the term ‘holistic’. But we’ll try our damnedest, and that will have to be enough.


8 thoughts on “Granola

  1. It’s fun to read the reasoning behind why you are on the opposite end of the spectrum from us on pretty much all the things. It’s not bad, just different. But I’ve also noticed, Indiana was not very accommodating to most of the choices we were most interested in.

    Also, cloth diapering, make your own food stuff is WAY easier and cheaper than disposables and store bought food. If you have any further questions or are curious about that stuff, I’m more than happy to help in any way I can. But we did start with disposables until he was out of newborn sizes.

    But other than that, good read and keep up the good work mama!

    • I think we’re leaning towards making our own food, but honestly, like with the clothes, anything and everything might change the day she gets here. Mostly I just feel a little hyper-aware of some of the ‘new trends’ we’re not following.
      It’s like when we bought a hybrid car, not for the ‘green’ factor, but because bottom line, we saved a lot of money on gas. Except way more complicated.

      • You are exactly right. You will find out what works best for you when she comes. Lucas ended up being a little bit more difficult than what we were expecting (meaning he had colic, he refused to be held by anyone besides Noah and I, and he cried about anything and everything).

        Like I said, if you have questions or concerns about the make your own food process, just hit me up. It’s been a great success for us but it did take some tweaking. With cloth diapering, we didn’t even really decide which kind to go with until it was time for him to get out of newborn size diapers. The cloth diaper world has SSOOOOOO many options, between the kind (all in one, liners, old style pin, etc), how all of them need to be washed (we went with the super easy washer/dryer friendly kind; no service or special detergents), what kind of sizing (ours grow with Lucas until he potty-trains); there are a ton more options than when our grandparents were doing it!

        Parenting is kind of confusing if you try to research every aspect. But, for me personally, I’ve found it to be a ‘go with your gut’ kind of job and that’s been a great success for us. You have a great family who has good common sense and give you lots of support and that’s just what you need to be a successful parent!

    • Ah, mom. It’s ok… like I said I’ve gotten over it & am moving on with things that are worth more energy for a while. If she tells you, ‘Grandma, I hate pink,’ then you might have pay attention πŸ˜‰

  2. I heart this post! Seriously. I didn’t venture too far from mainstream, and when I wanted to be super crunchy, I just worked myself into anxiety. I put so much time and energy into researching circumcision, and a year later, it’s a non-issue for us. Dave and I talked about it, and his take was that it really isn’t a big deal. People make it a hot button issue, when it should be parents being supportive to other parents, not tearing them down. That’s true for pretty much everything, though.

    We tried cloth diapering. Navy got such a bad ammonia rash on his wee Willy winkie. Disposable diapers were a better option. I would love to try G Diapers, though.

    Breastfeeding. Free and much easier to do half asleep. Win.

    Babywearing. Love it. Navy still likes to be in his baby carrier when we are out shopping.

    I made some of Navy’s baby food, but he started getting teeth at 4 months. I wish I would have put more effort into it. It was fun.

    Use paper plates, not Styrofoam. Decompose faster. πŸ˜‰

  3. Great post. You and your husband will be great parents. Don’t let Andrigan talk you into sleep training. He means well and will have great advice. He also has a video about the vaccination issue.

  4. My only comment is about the vaccinations. The best pro argument I’ve heard? I’d rather have an autistic baby than a dead one. Sorry it’s morbid! And you guys will be awesome parents πŸ™‚

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