Well I don't know about all of that. I feel like how I parent is dictated by two over arching beliefs. 1) I'm cheap and 2) I'll give anything a whirl if it makes sense.
The first thing that just made sense to me and appealed to my cheapskate-ness was breast feeding. I make it, its supply doesn't diminish until I start weening, and will always be adequate to feed my son. Plus it plays into a third, on the fringe, rule of mine- I'm lazy. You mean I don't have to prepare bottles, or go out to the store when I'm low on formula? Sign me up. Also, the health benefits James receives are huge and long lasting when given this great start to life. Finally, from what I've noticed, I was able to drop the baby weight pretty quickly after having him, another big bonus.
The second thing that made sense to me was practicing baby carrying. I started with the Baby Buddha sling for when he was a new born and have now graduated to my Ergo. With James being so colicky, this provided an excellent opportunity for him to be near me but for me to have my hands free. Even if I was just sitting on the couch, the fact that my hands were not constantly supporting this growing little bundle was a huge relief. I got the sling in a lot of second hand items off of Kijiji and bought the Ergo from a liquidation store from eBay. Cheap- check. Making sense- check.
But does that mean I'm a part of the super crazed 'post Time magazine article' attached parent group? Hmmm........
Next, I've been cloth diapering now for 3 months and I love it. I'm actually addicted to my go to brand of choice "AppleCheeks". They are a fantastic product which I was introduced to after my first attempt at cloth diapering, with another brand, failed miserably. This makes sense to me since I was seeing the huge increase in garbage diapering a little one caused. I hated that I was almost sending a bag a day roadside, filled with diapers that wouldn't decompose until James' children, children, children, children, children, children were long gone. My AppleCheeks are simply fantastic to use as they are very simple. Washing them is just a breeze. Not to mention, in the short time James was in disposables, he would have 'blow outs' at least once a day where his clothes would get stained permanently. In my AppleCheeks? I can count on my hand how many times they haven't been able to contain the messiest of messes. (Which I am pretty sure that it was a human error in putting them on.) Anyways, I digress. They fit the 'make sense' bill and the 'I am lazy' criteria as I don't have to ever worry about running out for an emergency box of Pampers. But how about the "I'm cheap" rule? Well, it is pretty expensive to start up your stash, for sure. However, disposable diapers now range between $30-$50 per box. Depending on how many you go through, I'd say my cloth diapers will still end up saving me around $1000 by the time James is potty trained. Cheap? I'd say so!
But does that mean I'm an enraged eco-activist? Hmmmmm.....
Finally, homeopathic teething remedies. As noted in a previous blog entry, I believe there is major weight in alternative medicinal practices. These include homeopathy, naturopathy, acupuncture, and reiki just to name a few. If there is any way you can treat yourself without using medicine or having to constantly see a doctor, I would rather do that. I wanted to see what options were out there for James when teething came around and I was quickly recommended the amber teething necklace. Baltic Amber has been used for centuries in Europe as a remedy to teething and other problems surrounding pain. Basically, the amber is rich in succinic acid which is released when worn next to the skin. The skin absorbs this acid which is used by the body as a pain reliever and anti-inflammatory. Awesome! Although James hasn't started cutting teeth yet, he does were his necklace 24/7. During the day, it's around his neck and over night I tie it around his ankle as a cool anklet. The science behind it makes sense to me. As does the fact that children have been teething for thousands of years and mothers must have been able to help their little ones through it before Children's Advil. In the long run, a $20 necklace is much cheaper than the bottles of Advil one child would go through to ease teething pain. Again, I wouldn't have to run to the store when it ran out. Check. Check. Check.
But does that mean that I'm completely anti-western medicine? Hmmm....
I think more than trying to identify with one group, or being labeled a certain type of parent, mothers and fathers should just do what makes sense, and keeps them sane, at the time. Regardless of what people think and how they perceive you. I know when I'm carrying James in his Ergo while he is rocking his amber necklace and fluffy cloth diapered bum, people might be sizing me up as "that type of parent". All the while, I'll be giggling to myself that I'm simply cheap, lazy and like things that make sense.
What's your carp?