Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Things I Swore I'd Never Do

The kiddos are watching a color-changing nightlight, so let's see if I can hammer this out before they get bored with it.

Okay, those-without-children, are there parenting practices you've promised yourself you'd never do? And, those-with-children, did you HAVE things you'd promised yourself you would never do, but you do them?

Here's my list:


When I saw parents do The Count I always snorted, mostly internally, and I swore I'd never count to my kids.

Well, we count. BUT! We don't do this count: "Okay, Johnny, you come here right now. I'm going to count! One, two... No, okay, I'm serious, come here! If you don't come here by three you're going to be in trouble. One, two, two-and-a-half... Johnny! Come here now!" Ugh.

But, like I said previously, we do count. BuggaBoo has a hard time transitioning. Seriously, what toddler doesn't. So we count to give him a concrete time to be done. Baths, nursing, playing with friends, it works for a lot of scenarios. It's become a useful tool for us.

Not Spank

I used to be all about the spanking. I was spanked, I'm fine, it's how you control kids. Well, we've changed about this, too.

Our personal philosophy is we try to teach our kids to not hit other people, even when angry, even if the other person did something wrong. We teach them to use conversation skills instead, and if that fails then get a grownup to mediate.

So, in our opinion, if we were to spank it would send the message to our children, "You don't hit, but if you're bigger, or in control, or angry, or didn't like what the other person did, or if you tell them you're going to hit them, that's okay."

Also, me coming from an abusive background I've noticed that allowing myself the opportunity to use physical punishment for discipline can be a slippery slope to adult temper tantrums. So for myself it doesn't work.

Co-Sleeping and Cry-It-Out

I was adamant our babies would sleep by themselves, all the way until halfway through my pregnancy with BuggaBoo. Then I read "Our Babies, Ourselves" by Meredith F. Small. Talk about a complete paradigm shift for me. In this anthropologically based book Small talks about the need babies have for primitive parenting. So, we changed our minds about that.

We also realized that excessive crying, especially cry-it-out, was not how babies were programmed to work. So we (try) to comfort every cry. As our children get older we do realize the differences between cries, such as pain, hunger, frustration, anger, etc. With our older children we respond differently to different cries, but when they're young each cry is attended to.

Extended Breastfeeding

I always knew I would breastfeed my babies to a year, but no longer than that! It was weird, unnerving, sexually wrong, and just plain spoiling them. Then I read "Our Babies, Ourselves" and decided that extended breastfeeding would be okay, but only until about age two.

BuggaBoo will be three soon and he's still going strong. He certainly nurses as often as Doozer. And I'm okay with that. The Hubby and I have decided that he can nurse as long as he wants to. I understand that extended breastfeeding, or EB, is not for everyone. But it totally works for our family.


So, sweet readers, what beliefs do you hold dear? Those with babies, did you change your mind at all? How has it impacted your life? Oh, and if you do things differently than us, that's totally fine. Every family is different and I have a firm faith that parents do what's best for their children and themselves. So polite debate is fine, but try to keep any comments out of the realm of rude.

Oh, and if you guys are wondering if the kidlets were entertained the whole time, think again. We've had a scuffle, a crying jag, and a little boy standing IN the toilet whilst trying to write this. But that's okay!


  1. I love this list!! Thanks for posting this! Considering I'm not technically a mom yet, I still I few things I have gone back on already.

    I always swore I would eat extra healthy foods while pregnant, when really I've developed this insane craving for sweets that I've never had before and my energy has been extra low so we have a lot of "short cut" meals, but still not super unhealthy just unvaried.

    I also swore up and down that I wouldn't "binge eat" and only gain about 25 lbs (insert snort here), and while I don't binge, I definitely have the munchies like crazy and have already gained 20 lbs, sooo...yeah.

    Other ones: Always get lots of sleep every night, take daily walks (I take lots of walks but not daily), always wear cute maternity clothes (double snort), not have any crazy emotional breakdowns (triple snort), not resent being pregnant/complain about my little blessing.

  2. Well, my three children are now teenagers... so all this stuff is a while ago for me!
    Primarily, we wanted our children to be well-behaved and polite and a pleasure for anyone they met to be around, so we enforced this behaviour right from the start. So we were quite strict with them (but definitely not abusive) We had firm rules and we removed privileges when we had to. They knew who was boss and they always knew they were loved, which is definitely NOT the same as giving in to their demands!
    I'd like to think I was tough but fair, so while I was firm about not having favourites, I was also firm that each one get their deserved special time with me. For that reason I would never have entertained the thought of extended breastfeeding (although they were all breastfed til a year old). Now they are teenagers, my older two are technically adults, and I'm proud that they are all very well-behaved, very polite, and very considerate. They still treat us, their parents, with great respect. They are fun to with and they have lots of friends; they are hard-working and have excelled at school and university. They give me pleasure every minute I spend with them.
    Even though it sounds like you are having some tough times right now I'm sure you will feel the same with your brood too, it is a cliche but being a mother IS worth it and IS the most rewarding job in the world!

  3. It's funny how things change after you're actually thrown in situations... I thought cry-it-out sounded reasonable, but that's definitely not something I'm comfortable with, every cry is attended to because Izzy is so young. My friend whose first son just turned one looks at me like I'm crazy, tells me, "they learn at a very young age how to manipulate you, you know that right?"... instead of arguing I just let her know that I'm not comfortable with that at this point.
    I plan on letting Izz self-wean so who knows how long we will BF but I'm sure it will be extended, same friend as above is happy to be "done" with BF, her son turned one on the 19th & almost to the day she stopped pumping. I love the special time my daughter & I have together while nursing, I can now only imagine being sad when she no longer wants to nurse.
    Even though we had a girl, we didn't know until she came so we also talked about circumcision. "It's just something that EVERYONE does" was my feeling, I never knew until recently that was grossly untrue! I knew if I ever had a boy it was something I would have to reconsider. I heard the other night the stats are now something like 63% are NOT circ'd. It surprised me my SO was adamantly against the procedure, as he is circ'd and so is his first son. He was young when his son was born and didn't know better, but once he educated himself on the procedure and how unnecessary it was, his mind was made up, which was a relief!
    Co-sleeping is something I never thought I would do also, even the first few weeks I tried to use the bassinet consistently. Occasionally I let her sleep with me and noticed how much better we both slept, then gradually she was in bed with me more & more & now it's every night. The bassinet is basically a laundry basket now, lol... I'm not sure how this will change as she gets older, I can't see having an older child in bed with us but I've learned now not to make predictions for the future... you never know once you're presented with a situation how you're really going to feel about it!

  4. hmmmm, I thought I would cosleep, but it didn't work for us.

    I was sure I would wean at a year. But he self-weaned at 3 yrs 9 months. The conversations we had as he got older were priceless. And I feel like there was one thing I did right.

    I didn't think we would cry it out, but mine cried no matter what, and cried less if left to go to sleep on his own. When we figured that out, life was much better.

    I was sure I would use disposable diapers. My mom had cloth diapered but was not into changing or whatever too often (frugal gone wrong) I still have a scar from diaper rash as a baby (sorry, TMI) but, after researching it, went for it, and really enjoyed it.

    I thought I would go back to work, and continue to have some sort of career. I tried, but health issues made life untenable, and then when those were finally resolved, I realized I loved being with goose.

    Didn't even think we would consider home schooling - I taught public school 7 years and am pro-public school. But it is different with your child. He may still go to public school next year but it won't have been without angst.

    I thought he wouldn't have much exposure to television (and really he doesn't in the scheme of things) - but I was raised with out TV. But my child has two parents, and this is a good thing!

    I thought he would play outside alot. And he does sometimes ... but each child has their personality, and he is definitely inside more than I imagined.

    Hmm, this has been a fun introspection. Thanks for the "prompt"! I'm sure there are others.

    BTW, did you get the check for the kefir grains?

  5. Well one thing is for sure,...I'm definitely NOT going to be reading, "Our Babies, Ourselves," anytime soon. (BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!) You know me,...just trying to be funny.