More Major Parenting Decisions, Explained

>> Thursday, January 17, 2019

You guys really liked when I shared about the reasoning behind some of our most important parenting decisions. So, here's more major decisions and why we've gone the way we've gone. Again -- this is what WE do, not what I think YOU should do. There's no judgement here, so I hope you'll extend the same courtesy to me and my family.

I gave birth without pain medication three times.

But I elected to induce my last baby, so I'm definitely not sharing this as a holier-than-thou kind of thing. It's simply a fact. And I didn't do it out of the purest of intentions either. It was more selfish than anything else. I'm scared of needles and definitely scared of a needle in my spine. I don't like the idea of being numb. It actually freaks me out just thinking about it. I would also say that -- on the whole -- my labors were pretty short. I was pumped full of pitocin the last two times, making the contractions much more intense, but I would rather deal with that over and over and over again than get a needle in my spine.

Maybe that's weird, but knowing what to expect now . . . when the pain got so bad that I felt like I couldn't take it anymore, that typically meant it was almost over (except with Ada. Then it meant I had two more hours until she was out!)

We don't push tons of extracurriculars

I shared in my last post that we're pretty hands-off when it comes to academics in our house. The same goes for extracurricular activities. I have friends and acquaintances who put their kids in EVERYTHING. And I mean EVERYTHING. They're driving here, there, and everywhere. I both admire and pity them. Basically, I was involved in things as a child -- but not as a young child. My rule is one big activity at a time. If there are other things, they have to fit into the day and be really cheap.

Right now this means that Ada takes a gymnastics class on Saturday mornings. She's also in a school choir that is very inexpensive ($40 for 8 weeks) and meets at the school at the end of the school day. I decided instead of paying money for piano lessons that I'd try teaching her the fundamentals (and it's going well -- we just do it whenever we have a spare 20 minutes). Otherwise, we might do one-off classes . . . but generally, we are living the "slow life" in this respect.

I do combination feeding

Eden gets two bottles of formula each day, so I am no longer exclusively breastfeeding. We are combination feeding, and it's going great. When I shared my struggles with breastfeeding (I have a great supply . . . but mentally, I don't like being tethered to my baby 24/7), I got many well-meaning comments about how I should pump instead of offering formula. I hate pumping more than I hate breastfeeding.

I've finally learned by my second, but especially by my third baby that formula isn't some fluid sent to earth from Satan. In fact, Eden is doing great, and I love giving her bottles. Especially now that she's in the super distracted nursing phase -- with a bottle, she's all business.

We vaccinate

My kids get all their vaccinations on the standard schedule -- no questions. I haven't even done any research in this area because I trust my doctor and my life experience. For example, when Ada was in the pediatric intensive care unit, there was a boy in the next room dying of a preventable disease because he didn't get vaccinations. It was a huge eye-opener, and something that many anti-vax people don't actually see.

I don't love babywearing

OK. That's not entirely true. I do love it when we go out for the rare day. The snuggles can be amazing. But for me, babywearing isn't a way of life. I don't lust over Tula prints or tie fancy wraps (because I'm terrible at it -- I've tried!). I see women conquering the world wearing their babies, and I'm partially jealous. But I also love putting my baby to sleep in her nursery for her naps. So much as I have tried, I cannot get comfortable just wearing my kid all day during all activities. It's claustrophobic for me. I'd rather just wait to do what I need to do until I can do it quickly on my own.

This is one area where I feel like I WISH I was a different person, a different mom, but I'm just not into most attachment parenting things (and before I became a mom -- I was going to be THE attachment parent).

I don't do essential oils on my kids

Inevitably I run across EO conversations each and every day, especially in parenting groups. Jimmy has an ear infection? Try this essential oil in his ear! Sally has a chest cold? Diffuse this essential oil to clear her breathing! I know these people are trying to do what is best for their kids, but I feel like there's a lot of misinformation out there (on both sides) related to EOs. The safety for children hasn't been demonstrated in research enough for me to want to slather it onto my kids. I save essential oils for personal sniffing and for cleaning supplies. Maybe I'm ignorant, but I'm OK with that.

Want more parenting talk? Check out these posts:

My parenting strengths and weaknesses
My major parenting decisions, explained
Thoughts on picky toddler eating
Instant gratification + parenting
3 years staying home with my kids // thoughts

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