My guest post today comes from my friend Dee. She blogs at Trees All Dance.
I first met Dee through my blog two years ago. Then we chatted on Twitter here and there, and then finally met up at a Moms Night Out.
I love love love having a friend who is a black woman that shares parenting philosophies.
Before my eldest child was born, I knew everything. Sure I wasn’t going to have the waterbirth at the birthing center like I’d originally planned and there wasn’t any diaper services nearby, but I had nursery. A nursery where my baby, who I would only nurse for four months, tops would sleep peacefully in his crib from the moment we arrived home.
That first night, when he cried in the next room, I picked him up, put him into bed with us, and the rest is family history.
Natural Parenting wasn’t much of a stretch for me. I didn’t break ties or family tradition to do what felt right. In fact, I can’t think of a single negative remark from my family or friends regarding our choices.
I guess that’s not much of a surprise considering I jokingly call myself “second generation crunchy”.
My mom, the eldest of nine, was determined to parent her kids in a way that was opposite what she had known growing up. Where my grandparents were stern, Mom practiced gentle discipline before it became part of a checklist for The Right Way to Parent. So I didn’t have that disconnect I sometimes hear people talk about where my parents say to “do as I say, not as I do”. Gentle Discipline is the hardest thing for me to practice because I may be many things, but patient isn’t one of them.I yell way too much, but it’s not the only thing I ever do, so I try not to think about that as one more way I’m probably screwing my kids up 😉
I also grew up seeing babies nursing and distinctly remember my aunt pumping for her preemie two years before I had my first child. Once, when I felt shy about nursing my crying infant in front of my grandmother and other women in my family, she commanded me to “nurse that baby!” and so I did. My eldest nursed for almost two years, my second for two and a half years, my third for three and a half years, and I have a 16 month old nursling at present.
I didn’t intend to be an “attachment parent”, it just seems to evolve from one generation to another in my family. While I don’t think it comes naturally to everyone, I hope that my children, should they have families of their own one day, will look back with fondness at the way their father and I raised them. I hope they will find value at the way they were parented and that they will incorporate the wisdom of past generations into their own special brand of attachment parenting just like their mother and grandmother before them.
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