I read so many books while I was pregnant. I’ve consulted a gazillion women and sometimes men, who either walked before me or are currently new parents themselves. There’s a wonderful quote by Natural Mother Magazine that I love to remember and use as my compass, “Research Everything, then follow your instincts.”
It would be an understatement to say that every parenting decision I made before Zander was born has changed. Every single idea went out the window. Literally. Somewhere near the Beverly Hills side of Cedars-Sinai. It was a nice view out that window, it was the perfect place to let them go.
The moment Zander entered our lives, without being conscious of what was happening, I believe I let go of everything I thought I knew. In that moment everything changed. It just got really simple: Whatever you need Zander, whatever you need.
I want to start by saying I have no judgement or concern about what other parents choose to do.
Personally, I do not want to sleep train. I plan to breastfeed (in public when I have to) until Z is at least 2 years old, unless he weans himself sooner. I co-sleep, I use cloth diapers, and whatever else ‘crunchy’ thing you can think of. Yes, I even encapsulated my placenta.
Okay, maybe in my 20’s these ‘hippie’ Momma-all-natural choices would have been closer to who I was trying to be, but God knows, this is NOT how I planned it. Not at all. If you asked me up until the moment he was born, I absolutely believed that sleep was the most important thing for us. We had to get it right with this new baby, it’s the fountain of youth, you know.
As far as going green, I switched to eco-friendly cleaning products coincidentally right around the time I got pregnant, but that was it. I was confident I would not even be thinking about cloth diapers. Not in a million.
And, please, don’t even talk about placenta anything.
Somewhere during pregnancy I realized I would be okay with breastfeeding, even though in all my vanity I never wanted to give up my firm, full, blessed tatas. Along the way I learned that there were immense benefits to children if they were breastfed til 1 year old, and now I know it’s 2 years old. So that’s what I do.
Here’s how a few of my other ‘locked in’ beliefs shifted, without even a gasp or notice or mild discomfort from me. Well, maybe with the placenta. Let’s start with that one. In my 3rd trimester a pregnant friend said she was doing it and when she told me about the benefits, it was really hard to ignore. I’ll write a whole article on the placenta, it’s such an interesting topic. Best thing I ever did.
He’s allergic to disposable diapers. We tried different natural, non-chemical brands but it didn’t get better. For some reason I had imagined cloth diapers meant I would be covered in poo. Surprisingly to me, that’s not the case at all. And thankfully we live in an area where a cloth diaper service takes care of the clean up for us.
As far as sleep, I miss it. I really, really do. Am I going to change what’s working so that I can save a few lines in my face? It’s tempting as I write that, but seriously? Whatever you need Zander. Whatever you need.
I had NO idea I would be this kind of Mom and these are just things I DO, decisions I made. Who I AM? Sometimes I remember the girl I was before I became a mom. She was cool. Who I have become, I’m getting to know her. So far, I have more purpose, more patience, more love, and more everything.
Are there things you thought you knew before you gave birth? How did your pre-baby ideas differ from real-baby decisions, if at all? Here’s a fun questionaire to fill out PRE-baby: 10 Parenting Questions.