I am flawed. I make mistakes and really bad decisions. I think I am honest about my life and even my failings here on my blog, but if you are getting the impression that I am a perfect example of a gentle parenting, environmentally conscious, crunchy earth mama I will end up disappointing you when we meet in person.
Sometimes I yell. I try not to, and I know it isn’t the best way to parent, but sometimes it happens. My mom was a yeller. My grandpa too. It is my first reaction and I have to remember to take time to breathe and count and think before I speak when I am angry. I hate this about myself and actively work on making better parenting choices, but sometimes I forget.
I think clothdiapering is awesome. I love everything about it from the cute little prints and bright colors to the fact that we are putting less chemicals on our baby’s body and less garbage into the landfills. I am so glad that we do it. But sometimes I am feeling lazy or overwhelmed (all alone with four kids, remember?) and my kid might just be in disposables for a bit until I catch up on laundry.
I think that what we eat has a profound effect on our health. So I try to feed my family the best food I can find. I work hard to plan out meals and make things from scratch. I buy organic and/or local whenever I can. But guess what? Sometimes I will make sandwiches or grab burgers on the way home because it is easier and I don’t think it is wrong as a once in a while treat for the kids. And sometimes my kids have had to eat the things I know aren’t good for them because it was cheaper and we were broke. In the past, there have been times when my budget allowed me to buy (not enough) good stuff and go hungry or plenty of not so good stuff so that my kids can go to bed with full tummies.
Although I am a self proclaimed “babywearing, breastfeeding, cosleeping mama” my baby rarely sleeps in my bed these days. In fact, much to my chagrin Cooper sleeps better on his own! This has always been rather weird for me, as my other babies were all happy and secure cosleepers, regardless how I felt about it at times. I feel that regardless of my parenting choices or ideals it is important to do what is right for each individual child. So even though in the past I have coslept with all my littles because I believe in its awesomeness- I recognize that it doesn’t work for Cooper. And that’s ok with me.
I strongly believe that circumcision is wrong. I wish it was banned so that it wouldn’t be an option for uninformed, well intentioned parents. I do not think anyone has the right to cut something off another human being without their consent for what amounts to a cosmetic procedure. However I guess you need to know my sons are cut. I don’t talk about it on my blog because 1.) I don’t really care to discuss the state of my children’s penises with the world at large, and 2.) I am deeply ashamed that I wasn’t better informed and my poor babies suffered for it. For the record, I did it because I had a family member that had to have it done after an awful infection, and I thought I was doing the right thing for my babies in preventing them future pain and suffering. I know better now. I regret it every time I change Cooper’s diaper. It makes me so sad that I didn’t research this like I have every other parenting choice we have made. If we ever have another baby boy he will not be circumcised.
I never brought this subject up until this past spring (when I was accused of being a hypocrite by someone who knew someone that met me) because I felt like I would be condemned and labeled unqualified to support or write about attachment parenting with sons that have been cut. I felt that I was unworthy to support the cause, or that my support would be unpalatable to the intactivists. Which sort of happened. I was called out publicly and privately for it. Whether or not I am “AP” enough was put into question.
People can make mistakes and learn from them. Usually when they learn better, they do better, and encourage others to do the same. No one is perfect. I try so hard to be a good person. Writing out my thoughts, feelings and dreams on my blog helps me strive to be a better person. It makes me feel like it is possible for even (flawed, imperfect, sometimes lazy) me to reach for those ideals.