I was feeling a little inspired by Meeka’s Mommy’s post about the Mommy Wars.
So just as Meeka’s Mommy did, I’m just going to write where I stand on some of the hot button issues. Although I’ve vowed to not judge others, I can’t help it if you think I suck as a mom.
SAHM vs. WAHM vs. working mom
I am a full-time working mom. At one point, towards the end of my maternity leave, I dreamt of being a SAHM. I also, given the uncertainty of the job market, worry about leaving my job. I have a great job that offers me a lot of flexibility (but not full-time WAHM). I worry about walking away from something in case that Jeremy is unable to find a well-paying job as an attorney.
Daycare vs. Nanny:
Daycare. And taking it a step further – it is an in-home daycare versus a daycare center. I love the idea of a nanny (convenience!) but can’t stomach the costs. Same goes for a daycare center. I love the idea of it (since most claim to have some sort of educational curriculum) but the cost of the centers in my area are INSANE. But I absolutely ADORE the daycare she goes to now. AM gets plenty of interaction with other babies and toddlers, the provider is SUPER sweet and incredibly reliable, and we can’t beat the cost.
Breast vs. Formula:
Breast. I really really wanted this to work because… (and I’d love to say it is because of the great bonding experience or nutrition) it is FREE. Have you seen the cost of formula? Plus, being a flat-chested gal, I wanted to see if I could do it. And I could. Surprisingly well. I’m still breastfeeding AM now (although we’re doing to just morning and night) and built up such a supply of frozen breastmilk that we’ve got her covered until she turns 1 (next month!). I’m not sure when I’ll stop the nursings. I figured I’d let her tell me when she’s over it.
Baby-led weaning vs. purees:
I never heard of baby-led weaning until we were well into the purees. At that point, it was way too late. AM eats a mix of fingers foods (pasta, cereal, bananas) and purees (although we try to make them chunkier in texture). Believe me, she is well-fed.
Make-your-own food vs. store-bought:
We make our own food (although we buy stuff on occasion). A lot of this had to do with cost. And it is SO easy. I can’t stress that enough to people. We spend less than an hour 1 day a week prepping stuff. Actually, with the pasta – I make that about every day but that takes 15 minutes.
CIO vs. other methods of sleep training:
Oh man – I’ve seen some crazy comments over this. Women who let their babies cry it out are accused of child abuse. Child abuse seems a bit extreme to me because, from what I usually read, most of the moms that let their babies cry it out are usually doing so with older babies (over 6 months of age) and all seem to know the difference between whining and true hysteria. I let AM cry it out. I know when she’s truly upset and will address those cries immediately vs. when she just doesn’t want to be in the crib despite having spent the previous hour rubbing her eyes and rolling around as though she is exhausted.
Crib vs. Co-Sleeping vs. Other sleeping arrangements:
AM’s in a crib. She spent the first 6 weeks of her life sleeping in a travel crib that was pushed very close to our bed. But once she started sleeping through the night, it made more sense to move her to her own room. We haven’t had any issues yet (knock on wood).
Disposable vs. Cloth diapers:
Cloth for the most part. Our decision around this is fueled by trying to be green (although I realize there are environmental impacts around using the washer and dryer but I still feel keeping diapers out of a landfill trump the energy used to run those appliances) and cost. It is cheaper to cloth diaper. It is a lot of money upfront but then that’s it. However, we still use disposables at night. And I’m sure you’re all, “wait – you just said you wanted to keep diapers out of landfills!” Yes, that’s true and I feel like we ARE doing that by limiting ourselves to 1 disposable daily vs. 6-8. (hey man – sometimes we just need to justify things in our own heads to make ourselves feel better. judge away…)
Baby-wearing vs. other forms of baby-toting:
I have done it all. There was a brief period where I worried that I was causing AM to have a flat head so I insisted on ONLY taking her out in a Moby wrap but have since gotten over that. Her head is fine. Sometimes we use the stroller, sometimes we use the Moby wrap and sometimes I just carry her. I’m also pretty stoked that she’s able to sit in a shopping cart (although we use one of those shopping cart cover things like this one) mostly because it offers padding and just seems more snug and comfortable for AM).
Childproofing vs. not doing anything:
I read some condescending post on Baby Center awhile ago from a mom who said she didn’t bother childproofing anything because she was ALWAYS with her daughter and watching her. She made it seem like other parents potentially let their babies roam free while they drink a glass of wine in the bathtub or something.
We’re sort of childproofed. AM is mobile and can reach for things on tables so we’ve just simply moved those items that could be dangerous out of the way. We’ve also pushed things further back on tables (although she’s a sneaky one and can sometimes still reach items). We installed a baby gate at the top of both of our staircases since we let her crawl around but that was about it.
She lets us know when we need to add other things. She started opening cabinet doors and we just didn’t have the space to move these items to other locations. So we bought cabinet locks.
And then she started opening cabinet drawers. I really didn’t want to install cabinet drawer locks because it seemed like a pain in the ass so I rearranged the drawers so that the things she could reach were harmless (the only harm was the mess she made that I had to clean up!). But after the 100th time of her scattering her sippy cups and various measuring cups all over the kitchen floor, I decided I had enough. Jeremy installed some drawer locks the other day (that we got for free from his parents’ who had removed them from their cabinets). As expected, AM was mad that she couldn’t get into the drawer but then something remarkable happened. She f’n broke them (or something). They worked for 1/2 a day and after a few tugs from a very determined baby, they stopped working!
Any thoughts on the methods above? I don’t think there is only ONE correct way to do things. I really believe that people should do what works for them as long as it doesn’t endanger anyone.
I’m currently in the trenches of planning AM’s first birthday party. I’ll blog more about that later but there are some Korean traditions that have to take place and one of them is donning some traditional dress. My mom bought AM 3. She went a little overboard. I’m trying to get AM a little used to wearing the dresses because they’re pretty involved. Needless to say – she hates them.