Friday, 7 October 2016

Non-Label Parenting

Non-Label Parenting; A Friday Night Ramble.

Modern society likes to put a label on things. Thin, fat, miserable, weird, expensive, girly, boyish... a lot (all) of them really grind my gears. I hate labels.
A newish one I've heard is "attachment" parenting. If you haven't heard of it, it's when mums do things like breastfeed, co sleep, carry in slings, are super attentive to their babies needs and have a deep connection with their child. Basically just parenting back-to-basics. 
While it's nice to have a name for your values, and find a group of like minded friends, there doesn't seem to be a label for parents that do the opposite, or not one that I've heard, which leads people  to believe that "attachment parenting" is some new age trend, aside from the "normal" parenting that include cry it out methods, formula feeding and naughty step training you find in parenting books and on mum forums-all of which have been drilled into us to be the normal way of parenting. 

The truth is, all parents are parenting. There are no wrongs and no rights, just parents raising children to grow into the world and contribute in their own way with their own personalities. If we were all raised the same we wouldn't be able to have that, and it's a blessing in itself. 
My own personal values with parenting aren't necessarily the next persons, and although some may say I fit into a certain box, why should that define me as a parent? For the record I don't fit in a box. I do things my own way, not to a rule book. I like to do things naturally, I like to go with the flow, I'm just not crunchy enough to fit into that category. And I don't really want to.
I've learned a lot along the way and still continue to learn with parenting, and my views on a lot of things have changed over the last 10 years. But I still do things a lot differently to how a lot of other mums do things. Neither of us are wrong, but neither of us should be labelled or seen as normal. We are all PARENTING. All doing things our own way. 

I can't understand why society has turned doing things baby-led and through instinct into a strange thing. It's believed babies have to feed to a tight schedule, they're urged to sleep alone and through the night (and cry it out if they don't) parents are made to believe they need to teach their babies not to need us for long. That they need to get back to "normal" ASAP.  Which fits in with some people's lifestyle, and I'm not saying it's wrong. But why is it the parents that work with their children as a team from the get go, that get the label for going against the grain? Why is there even a grain to go against? Why should any persons parenting style or decisions be made to feel not right?

Parents, mothers in particular, can be so hard on other mums, and I know so many mothers feel obliged to go against their instincts out of fear of doing something society deems "not normal". I'm not trying to say what is wrong or right for others, I only know what is right for me and my family. And the things that are right for me are just normal parenting. No label. Just doing my job.

L x

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