Tuesday, January 10, 2006

thinking about parenting

Parenting can be so individual. Everyone has their ideas about what's best, and many people will start an argument based on what they think is the prevailing theory of the day. There's so much judging out there. Ok, true enough, there are plenty of inattentive, materialistic, self-absorbed or just plain negligent parents, especially in this culture which doesn't support or value the family (I'm talking about *real* family values, which generally clash with corporate America's lusty needs- and the Congresspeople beholden to corpAm.).

But when it comes to how and how much to love my babies, I'm not going to let anyone's judgment bother me. Derek and I are going to parent the best we can (and I'm deeply grateful to be partners with him in this). We've already talked a lot about some decisions: we're going to co-sleep in some form, we think attachment parenting is sensible, we've eliminated tv from our household, and we're going to eat well thanks to living next to a wonderful grocery store. It's not a chain store, so we have the freshest local organic options for cheap. Don't think we're not grateful every single day for this! We're very blessed.

And also, we were very intentional about making some sacrifices/choices to live here, to raise kids the way we think is best. We don't have much money, so we had to prioritize some things. Quality of family life is one major reason I moved back here from DC (even though at the time I hadn't met my husband, I knew I wanted to have a family here).

The kids are going to eat well (ha, back to eating) because that's a fundamental value for us- the broad politics of food are deeply important to us. I believe passionately in the principles of Slow Food. I've been reading Mothering a little bit these days- there are some really nice birth stories on there.

In essence, I want to raise my kids to be inquisitive, sensitive, rigorous and thorough thinkers. I want them to have fun and be silly and run around outside a lot. I'm so grateful that my husband and I agree on how to go about this.

I guess the bottom line is, no matter how other people choose to parent, I'm going to take responsibility for my decisions. And I'm not going to let others' opinions or guilt trips negatively affect my mothering. I'll take into account the good advice and chuck the rest without batting an eyelash. It feels really good to believe in my plans.