I have found that pregnancy and mothering boards can be some of the most heated on the web.
Everyone has different parenting styles, and they all seem to think that their way is the best. They fight tooth and nail to prove their point, and soon the debates become nothing short of nasty catfights.
There are, of course, topics that repeated garner much dissension among new/expectant mothers and we are labeled as one of two categories depending on what we choose:
|– gives birth at home||– gives birth at hospital|
|– plans for a natural birth (no meds)||– is pro-medication (epidural, labor-inducing drugs, etc.)|
|– prefers midwives||– prefers doctors|
|– eats placenta||– is grossed out by the idea of eating placenta|
|– breastfeeds (often for prolonged periods of time)||– formula-feeds|
|– is against circumcision||– is pro-circumcision|
|– does not vaccinate||– vaccinates|
|– co-sleeps (and later, family bedding)||– crib-sleeps|
|– uses cloth diapers & wipes||– uses disposable diapers & wipes|
|– believes that children can’t be over-nurtured or over-coddled||– uses the CIO (cry it out) method, is pro-spanking|
|– homeschools (or sends children to selective private schools)||– sends children to public schools|
|– additional lifestyle choices include recycling and eating/using organic food and products|
Obviously it is only in rare cases that a woman falls perfectly under one category; it is far more common to be somewhere in the middle, or to only lean to one side.
Based on the chart above, would you consider yourself to be Crunchy or Silky?
I have found myself to be more on the Silky side:
- I plan on giving birth in a hospital with an epidural. I will try my best not to get a c-section, but I will not consider myself a failure if I do.
- I fully trust in modern medicine. I like my OB practice and hospital, and have faith that they will do what is best for my baby. The idea of giving birth at home freaks me out — not because I don’t believe birth is a natural process and that my body will know what to do (I do believe those things), but because I constantly worry about the “what if”s of every situation and like to be over-prepared.
- I plan on breastfeeding for as long as I can for the first year. But if it doesn’t work out, I won’t beat myself over it and will have no problem using formula.
- If our baby is a boy, I want to circumcise but J is against it. And since he is the one with a penis, I will go along with him on this one.
- We will definitely vaccinate, but perhaps on a slightly delayed schedule (just so the baby won’t get a million shots at once).
- I will not baby-wear and do my best to raise my kids to be as independent as possible. I believe in the CIO method and do not believe in over-coddling or over-protecting children (except for the first three months, when you can’t “spoil” a baby). I will co-sleep for perhaps the first couple of months, but will make the baby sleep in the nursery, in the crib, as soon as possible.
- J and I try to recycle as much as we can, but we don’t actively go out of our way or inconvenience ourselves over it. We plan on using disposable diapers and disposable wipes and have no guilt about that.
- The same goes for organic food and organic products. We are fully aware of the benefits of organics and prefer them, but many times they are too expensive compared to regular products and too inconvenient as there aren’t too many organic/locally-grown stores in our area.
All this being said…
My personal belief is that parenting involves very personal choices (and many times, no one but the parent knows the full story) and so I do not feel it is my right to judge, or even try to sway anyone my way unless they ask for my opinion.