Saturday, May 7, 2011

Confessions of a Peculiar Mom

Lately, I have been feeling like I don't quite belong in the realm of modern parenthood. 

It's like I know there has been/will be some other place and time in which everything I aspire for as a mother was/is considered normal, but 2011 in the United States of America  

My admittedly eclectic vision for how to best raise Augustine is not what is being touted to the masses of mothers these days.  Perhaps my ways are influenced by reading too much or thinking about things too much or being persuaded too easily, but at the end of the day I can only do what I think it best for my baby, even if it's difficult to find others who agree. 

I suppose every mother feels this in some capacity--a resistence from family or friends or society to her parenting ideals.  So, I guess in that respect, I'm not so different from the rest. 

But, I just need to confess {i.e. acknowledge}, unapologetically, some of my abberant ways: 

I want to breastfeed Augustine until he weans naturally, which could be when he's two...or three...or four.  I don't want to let my baby cry it out--even if it means continuing to nurse him in the middle of the night.  I am having doubts about circumsizing our future little boys {if we have any}.  The idea of co-sleeping with our next baby is becoming less repulsive.  I actually love nursing Augustine to sleep for his naps {it wasn't always that way}.  I don't feel the need to get out and leave Augustine with other people to care for him--I want to be with him all the time {and I want people to stop making me feel like that's not good for us}.  The idea of sending Augustine to school is not appealing to me, and I want to be able to say that without being reminded that four years and two more kids from now I will "probably" be pushing him out the door.  Having a natural childbirth was not a crazy whim--it is what I wanted for Augustine, and it is what I will want the next time we have a baby, too.  I think breastfeeding is one of the most natural and special things about being a mom, and I haven't feel self-conscious about feeding Augustine when he is hungry, regardless of where we are.  Vaccines scare the daylights out of me, but I still vaccinate Augustine for the most part--after doing a lot of reading.  Sleep is important; Augustine's bed time is important; Augustine's nap time is important; exceptions are made, no doubt, but I don't want to hear that "schedules are just for the parents."  I really struggle with the role of fictitious characters {e.g. Easter Bunny} in our holiday traditions.  Augustine doesn't eat sweets yet and probably {hopefully?} won't drink soda until he is served it at a friend's birthday party when he's a tween.    

 Judge if you must.  Sometimes I just feel like I am my baby's Mama, this is my first go at it, I am going to make mistakes, I am going to change my mind, I am going to do some things differently with future children, but just let me embrace it {and do it my way}. 

I'd say he's turning out just great, wouldn't you?
I don't want to be jaded by criticism.  I don't want the experience to be cheapened by other's horror stories.  And those looks that say "I told you so" or "You'll learn" are really not necessary.  Because that is just the point.  I will learn.  I will learn what works best for me and my family, and right now, this perfect mess of peculiarities is it.                


  1. Amen!

    I love your insights Andrea! I think you have become such a wonderful mom! Good for you for sticking up for what it is you believe. Augustine (and all the other little bambinos) will benefit the most.

    Such a cutie pie, he is...

  2. I agree. The one thing I have learned is I do what I feel is best for me and my child, and not what others seem to feel is right. The way I see it is judging another's parenting choices is ridiculous, until you are given that exact same child to parent you have absolutely no idea what is best for them. Just keep doing what you're doing and tune everyone else out.

  3. Good for you for realizing that you can be the Mom you want to be and that you won't let the influence of experts sway you from your maternal instincts! Do you ever get the feeling that some of the expert advice is to just make your child more "convenient"?

    On a side note - I love nursing Lucy and want to keep it up for quite a while too. At 8.5 months, she barely eats any solid food. But, sometimes I do kind of wish that breastfeeding didn't have that natural family spacing aspect. It would be nice to start thinking about #2 before Lucy gets too old.