Thursday, November 11, 2010


Controversial seems to be a very appropriate term to describe parenting. Regardless of the topic, any parents stance on a particular issue can stir a strong debate. I've spent the last year, being pretty guarded as to what my particular stance is on any given issue. I feel like people are much faster to judge you than they are to listen to you. I've always had a very strong fear of being judged, I wish I could do the "right" thing, and have everyone's instant approval. As unrealistic as I know that is, it's still something that I've always wished for.

I'm now 51 weeks into this parenting thing. I've decided to try to take a much less fearful stance, and instead a much more confident stance. To start, I've decided to share my views on some of the more controversial topics. These are purely my opinions on how I raise my child. I fully believe that every child and every parent deserves to have their own style, and I would never judge anyone for having different opinions.

1. Vaccines- As of right now, Ethan is not vaccinated. No, I do not believe vaccines cause autism. To be honest, I don't really have an opinion as to whether they do or do not. After doing hours and hours and hours of research, I determined that for right now, he doesn't need them. This seems to be one of the most controversial topics today for raising kids. People on both sides of the debate, strongly believe their side is 100% right. People on both sides of the debate have "proof" as to why their side is correct. As much as I can understand why this causes so much controversy, I really wish people from both sides of the debate could at least be more respectful in sharing their opinion.

 2. Sleeping- Whether babies should sleep by themselves, or co-sleep, whether they should self sooth, or be helped to sleep, this too seems to have very differing, very strong opinions among many parents. Ethan has only slept through the night a handful of times. I've always nursed him through the night. Ever since he was a few months old, I've had several people tell me that I needed to stop. That by nursing him I was enabling him. I later learned from the metabolic specialist, that if he wanted to nurse, I should absolutely never deny him. Thankfully I had listened to my intuition, had I not, it could have worsened his metabolic condition.

3. Nursing- Over the last several decades, breastfeeding has gone from obsolete, to almost trendy. Now, it seems like most people at least try to breast feed their babies. However, whether it's done publicly or privately, for a few weeks, 6 months, a year, multiple years... it seems like once again most people have an opinion, but on this topic also seem to forget the definition of an opinion. I worked very hard in the beginning at getting Ethan to nurse. It was very difficult for us. But, I pushed through and now he's a champion nurser. I've decided I'm going to nurse as long as Ethan wants to, and I'm still comfortable with it.

I've decided these seem to be 3 of the most controversial topics among early parenthood. I feel like God has blessed both Eric and I with a very strong intuition. We are using that intuition to raise our son, to the very best degree that we possibly can. I think most parents can truly say they're doing the best they possibly can. I really feel that if we as parents relaxed a little bit, became less competetive and judgemental, and more supportive and helpful, this whole parenting thing could be a bit less stressful, and a bit easier.