Friday, November 18, 2011

never say never

I had a really nice day this week with a dear friend from Seattle. During the day we had the chance to talk about parenting a lot, as we both see eye-to-eye in our strategies toward mothering our little ones.  I had the chance to reflect on some "never say never" moments that I've had in my parenting of Juliet and Audrey.

When I was pregnant with Juliet, I developed some very specific ideas about what type of mother I was going to be, and how I would choose to parent my children. There were certain things that I was simply never, ever going to do.  And many of those things have continued to remain extremely important to me. But there are a few (many) things that I have ended up doing with my children that I never thought I'd do in a million years. I thought I'd share them here to get a proper, public, "I told you so!"

I should have Never Said Never to:

Formula: I am a huge breastfeeding snob. I admit it. It's something that is fundamentally important to me as a mother and woman.  And I look down on mothers who choose not to even try.  I admit it, straight out. But about 3 months after I got pregnant with Audrey, my milk supply dropped to nothing and Juliet's weight correspondingly dropped off the weight chart when she was 9 months old. She went from thriving to starving because I could no longer provide her with enough nutrition (Pregnancy commonly causes drop in milk supply as well as change in consistency and taste of breastmilk.) After conversations with a lactation consultant, and some heart ache, I reluctantly ended up supplementing and then switching 100% to formula with Juliet by 10 months- much earlier than I had anticipated. And she is thriving because of that choice to do the right thing for my baby, even when it wasn't my initial preference. Never say never.

Epidural. I love the idea of natural births, and support them entirely. But in the end, I've had 2 epidurals. And I don't regret either of them one bit. Never say never.

Television:  The AAP recommends no TV for children under 2. I agree with them. Too much television rots your brain, and young children should be reading, exploring, and running instead. But Gary was gone all week for a work conference so I am responsible for my little ones 24/7. Bedtime is the hardest part of the day to do by myself. Last night I put on Yo Gaba Gaba for Juliet for 20 minutes so I could rock Audrey to sleep. Juliet was happily entertained and mesmerized, as the photo above clearly shows.  Audrey fell asleep easily without the distraction of Juliet's "Mama! Mama! Up! Up!" pleas, and I was able to then go and spend the rest of the evening doing Juliet's bedtime routine peacefully. So for this household, we will use television in moderation so that mama doesn't end up in the looney bin. Never say never.

Disposable Diapers: I used cloth with Juliet and loved it. But with the additional chaos that another baby has added to the household, we are now using disposables for the time being. Because it's easier, and at some point, "Something's gotta give". Never say never. (Though I do hope to go back to cloth soon.)

Crying-it-Out (crying to sleep): I hate hearing my babies cry. It hurts my heart and my motherly instinct is to run to them every time I hear a whimper.Plus, it goes against my fundamental 'attachment parenting' beliefs. But reluctantly, we chose to allow Juliet to cry herself to sleep when she was maybe 9 months old or so. I won't go into the long story of her sleep history or the 3 million other strategies we tried along the way, but it was the right thing to do for our family at the time. Never say never. (Disclaimer: I do still hold tight to the belief that this isn't appropriate for a newborn or young infant.)

Does anyone else have a Never Say Never moment to share?

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