The other day I was walking through our neighbourhood and overheard two women talking about attachment parenting and a book they were reading about it. One of the women was saying that she was following the book word for word, while the other was struggling to make it work.
As a social worker, I’m pretty familiar with theories, in fact I had to take several classes about them when I did my Master’s. I have to say even in my work I haven’t been crazy for theories. Instead of working from the very popular cognitive behavioural or long-term therapy views, I focus my work more on narrative and empowerment models. So, needless to say, I’ve always kind of found parenting methods to be, well, bullshit.
Some hold great ideas in theory, while others are just downright insane. I’ve flipped through a few books, and honestly, usually roll my eyes. Parenting theories, for the most part, are just unrealistic, especially ones that push schedules. They capitalize on the norm, except there is no such thing as a “normal” family and to suggest there is, is just old-fashioned, and ignores how families should be special. Don’t even get me started on models that try to get all up in my relationship.
When I babywear my kids, it’s not because some theory told me to, and I’m definitely not making a statement, it’s just way simpler sometimes. I had the girls in their carrier yesterday to go to the doctor because hauling two car seats with 12 pound babies in each one up and down a couple hills is just a massive pain.
I get that for some people, they need the consistency of a schecule and a plan, and for others, parenting methods suit them well and that’s great, for them.
When Buds was teeny, I remember asking Jas if I was too laid-back a parent because I wasn’t always stressing about naps or numbers of feeds or, later, solids. It seems crazy that parenting is one time I am mostly relaxed. I don’t keep the girls in a bubble because they were preemies, and I don’t stress about them being out in public, and I suspect a lot of that has to do with the fact this is my second time around.
That’s not to say that I’m all hippie either, I recognized Braeden’s needs right away; he created his own schedule and I followed suit. I knew when to expect him to be tired, hungry, and even cranky. Of course, he continues to throw us for a loop, but that’s because, sigh, he’s growing up. I’m so glad I never was so anal about his nap schedule or him being in his crib to sleep that I missed out on things.
If someone asked me my parenting style, right now one thing comes to mind: survival.