Tuesday, July 15, 2014
I've broken a few rules in my day. You wouldn't guess to look at me now, the suburban mom I am, but it's true.
There were tattoos, punk shows, illegal substances, and various other daring adventures that made my younger years a tad exhilarating.
But really, when it comes down to it, I am a pretty straight and narrow kind of person at heart. Even while I was engaging in all that fun stuff, I worked, got good grades, graduated college and grad school, and generally showed what a responsible citizen I was.
I can't help it - I always really want to do what's right, no matter what the situation. I want to follow through on what is expected of me. To be truthful, I get annoyed when others don't.
I use my turn signal.
I wear my seat belt.
I show up on time.
I answer emails promptly. Mostly.
I. Follow. Rules.
Hell, I usually fess up to KG about tiny infractions, just to ease my conscience. I have a serious Jiminy Cricket inside of me, for better or for worse.
I've written before about how much of a test parenting is. Parents are constantly faced with open-ended problems that have no simple solution, only a "do whatever you think is best" type of response.
It starts during pregnancy with: "How much weight should you gain? "What should you eat/not eat?" Then there is the: "Will you breastfeed? Will you cloth diaper? Will you co-sleep? Will you practice Attachment Parenting?" Then it moves to: "Will you sleep train/CIO? When will you start solids? Will you do purees or Baby Led Weaning?" There are no rules on these things. You are supposed to just go on gut feeling. Really, it's anarchy. This drove my rule-driven sensibility insane.
On other things baby-related, there are some rules, or at least guidelines. Those pesky emails from fun parenting resource websites love to remind me of these.
Is your baby doing...?
Has your child started...?
Have you stopped...?
You know, just to make me slightly more paranoid about meeting expectations than I already am.
There are many rules I follow, especially about sleep, sunblock, and general safety related things. Those are non-negotiable. But some things, I'm figuring out, I need to be less rigid about in order to make our day to day work for all of us.
So here it goes:
Well, annoying-parenting-website-who-shall-remain-nameless: we are breaking some rules in our house. Gasp.
I confess: my son is over 12 months (18 and a half thank you) and we are still on 2 bottles a day, morning and bedtime. And...he doesn't hold his own bottle. Never has and probably never will. We cuddle and he drinks his milk. And yes, we've tried sippy cups of milk and it is a no go.
Confession 2: We eat snacks (and sometimes meals) while playing, and not in the high chair. Yup, he grabs a bite, plays, rinse, repeat. Does it make a mess? Yes. Does he eat more snack this way than trying to get him in the high chair 5 times a day? Yes. If I can get him to eat in the chair 2-3 times a day I feel victorious.
Chaos I tell you.
Confession 3: We do screen time under the age of 2. There is Sesame Street. There is Curious George. There is Max and Ruby. There is Bubble Guppies. Not all day, but enough so KG and I can shower, make coffee, and get dressed.
How dare we!
I could go on, but you get the idea.
That doesn't mean I don't have guilt about these things. Clearly, I am writing about them here, purging myself. But maybe I need to ease up on myself a bit, as several people from my mother's generation have told me. I've been such a stickler for rules my whole life, but times are changing. I am changing.
Who knew I had it in me?
What are the parenting "rules" that you break?