On other blogs I read or on Twitter or just in general searches on BabyCenter message boards or other online forums, I'm constantly seeing arguments related to different decisions or styles of parenting. I find it so frustrating. Even I have received criticism on my different decisions. When do we just let it all go and encourage moms & dads to take care of their kids & make decisions based on what is best for their families?
Breastfeeding vs. Bottle Feeding? I'm in favor of FEEDING your babies.
There are many proven benefits to breastfeeding, but there are many reasons why breastfeeding may not work for someone.
Stay at home vs. Working moms? I'm in favor of WORKING HARD to provide the best possible life for your children - at home or in a workplace.
Both stay-at-home moms & moms who work outside the home are working moms. It is tough staying home with your kids & it is tough keeping a job during the day & coming home to a house with kids. In both situations, they are doing the best they can to provide for their children and should be encouraged in either situation.
Disposable vs. Cloth Diapers (vs. Elimination Communication)? I'm in favor of doing what works for YOUR FAMILY
Disposable diapers are convenient, easy to use & widely accepted by babysitters! They are also expensive & one of the most frequently seen items in landfills. Cloth diapers are cheaper, environmentally friendly & super cute (in my opinion). They are also messier, stinkier & have to be washed. Pros & cons to both. Really worth an argument? Who can say (other than you) which pros are better or which cons are worse in terms of your child and your family?
Natural birth vs. Medicated birth? I'm in favor of MOM'S COMFORT
No matter which way you break it down, labor & delivery are hard! For some women, like me, the experience and the benefits on the side of natural labor make labor without medication a much more favorable option. For other women, the benefits of an epidural far outweigh any part of an unmedicated birth. In that situation, with hormones & pain & the overwhelming knowledge that you are about to bring a person into the world - it's important that women feel comfortable, confident and empowered, no matter what specific method that means they use. To argue with them about it means that you are saying that you know better what is best for them & their body. I vehemently disagree with doing this to a pregnant woman. Let her decide what is best for her.
Scheduling vs. Demand Feeding? Again, FEEDING & monitoring GROWTH should trump all
Some women find scheduling to be too controlled, too hard on their milk supply and too difficult for them to do. Other women find scheduling to give them a peace of mind, a predictable pattern for their day and, in my case, the method that keeps their milk supply up and their baby blues down. Some women find demand feeding to be comforting to both them and baby and the best method for them when it comes to breastfeeding. In the end, I believe all women (and men) are focusing on feeding their babies and making sure they grow at a healthy rate. There's no argument if this is occurring. Why would someone need to create one?
Crib vs. Family Bed? Everyone getting enough SLEEP is the important part.
Some babies sleep better in their own bed, in their own space, in their own room. Other babies sleep better with mom right next to them to cuddle or comfort as needed. Some moms sleep better (and in my case have less instances of baby blues) when baby is in their own room, in their own bed, in their own space. Other moms sleep better knowing baby is right next to them, in the same room, in the same bed. As long as everyone is being safe about their decisions, the only important thing is creating an environment where babies can sleep.
So, really, why the arguments? I believe moms should encourage each other, help each other, defend each other. I believe that a mom has just as much of a right and responsibility to choose a method different than mine if she believes that is what is best for her baby and her family. Who am I to say that my methods are "the best" for them?