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Old 08-10-2012, 07:39 AM   #1
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Parenting labels. Anyone ever break free?

So the last 6 months or so I've been doing a lot of personal soul examination and searching and have just had an amazing array of 'enlightenment' about various things in life.

One was parenting labels. By admission, I used to be extreme AP/natural. Trying my hardest to do everything by the "AP" book, buying all organic, all natural toys, etc, etc. Well I finally realized that you know what, I can't fit the label. For many reasons. One, because 2 siblings can be so different in personality that the same things do not work. And for me personally I found that if I 'strayed' in one natural/AP area, my so called AP counterparts, distanced themselves. If I couldn't keep up with the latest natural toys, or organic food, etc, etc, then I wasn't "fitting" in.
And you know what, I'm okay with that! I just realized, yes, I'm me, and I do what's best for me.

It has been the most freeing experience [not only in parenting but many areas! Including spiritual path, approach to life, to politics, to loving people].

Anyway, I know there are some mamas on here who have never lived under a label! Awesome Is there anyone who had a similar experience?

Plus I realized that no matter what a person does, it seems that moms are so hard on each other and it's sad honestly. I'd rather be supportive. Plus I've learned that beating someone over the head, being judgmental, etc is no way to get a message across. To be honest, from the "outside" I now see that I was even so extreme I turned many people off. I just looked crazy and unloving by being so judgmental.

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Old 08-10-2012, 07:39 AM   #2
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Re: Parenting labels. Anyone ever break free?

Oops, I meant this to be in parenting! Sorry mods, you can move it. I thought I clicked the Parenting forum!
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Old 08-10-2012, 07:51 AM   #3
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I never labeled myself but others did. I basically do what works for us. I feed us a well as i can within our budget. I try to buy as many "good" toys as possible. We cosleep and I've breastfed my second and he's 18 months and I'm ready to pop being pregnant. Never did those with my first because he had medical issues. I get pain meds during birth-have NO interest in doing it naturally. We did circ our boys but if I could do that again I wouldn't. We fully vax only because I our oldest's medical problems. It's just what works for us. I minimize the risk and take the risks that I can live with. I'm neurotic enough as it is so I pick my battles.
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Old 08-10-2012, 08:07 AM   #4
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Re: Parenting labels. Anyone ever break free?

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I never labeled myself but others did. I basically do what works for us. I feed us a well as i can within our budget. I try to buy as many "good" toys as possible. We cosleep and I've breastfed my second and he's 18 months and I'm ready to pop being pregnant. Never did those with my first because he had medical issues. I get pain meds during birth-have NO interest in doing it naturally. We did circ our boys but if I could do that again I wouldn't. We fully vax only because I our oldest's medical problems. It's just what works for us. I minimize the risk and take the risks that I can live with. I'm neurotic enough as it is so I pick my battles.
That sounds a lot like me! My first was mainly formula fed for a variety of reasons. Was circ'ed. My second was EBF and intact. I wish we had not done our first, but I don't worry about other families. We did the family bed until they transitioned on their own, both boys were around 3 years old. I wore them a lot. But I'm all about cheap walmart and dollar tree toys We do healthy and unhealthy foods, we love our mac n cheese and hot dogs

It's been quite a parenting ride for sure, finding what works for us.
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Old 08-10-2012, 08:08 AM   #5
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Re: Parenting labels. Anyone ever break free?

People call me crunchy, hippy, AP, etc. I don't mind it actually. I am all those things, and I love the way I am. I don't parent or live this way to go "by the book". I parent and live with using my instincts and what makes sense to me and it happens to fall in this/these categories. I don't care what other people think or say. I think you can be dragged down by it if you feel you're a failure or not living up to the lables if you dont' do everything 100%. But to me it doesn't matter because I live my life the way I feel fits my family and I and others sayings won't drag me down one bit
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Old 08-10-2012, 08:10 AM   #6
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Re: Parenting labels. Anyone ever break free?

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People call me crunchy, hippy, AP, etc. I don't mind it actually. I am all those things, and I love the way I am. I don't parent or live this way to go "by the book". I parent and live with using my instincts and what makes sense to me and it happens to fall in this/these categories. I don't care what other people think or say. I think you can be dragged down by it if you feel you're a failure or not living up to the lables if you dont' do everything 100%. But to me it doesn't matter because I live my life the way I feel fits my family and I and others sayings won't drag me down one bit


People IRL also call me a "great mom" that's one label I hope to always live up to!
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Old 08-10-2012, 08:12 AM   #7
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Re: Parenting labels. Anyone ever break free?

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People call me crunchy, hippy, AP, etc. I don't mind it actually. I am all those things, and I love the way I am. I don't parent or live this way to go "by the book". I parent and live with using my instincts and what makes sense to me and it happens to fall in this/these categories. I don't care what other people think or say. I think you can be dragged down by it if you feel you're a failure or not living up to the lables if you dont' do everything 100%. But to me it doesn't matter because I live my life the way I feel fits my family and I and others sayings won't drag me down one bit
Yes, exactly. I found it sad that once I shook the labels and just did what works for us [which is a hodge podge], I lost my die hard natural/AP friends because I didn't fit the mold and wasn't doing things "right". I just figured it was their loss
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People IRL also call me a "great mom" that's one label I hope to always live up to!
Yes! That is the highest compliment. When people tell me you're a great mom, I blush because though I don't feel like it a lot, I love that I guess it is showing through how much I love my boys
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Old 08-10-2012, 08:14 AM   #8
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Re: Parenting labels. Anyone ever break free?

When I was pregnant with my first and again as a new mom of just one, I read everything I could get my hands on regarding parenting. I decided that I liked the idea of AP parenting. DH and I knew before we had kids that we didn't want to spank, that I was very much intent on nursing, and some other things.

Well, I very quickly discovered that doing things the AP way for the sake of being AP was not going to work for us. We wound up figuring out that we all got more sleep if we co-slept. But, we also discovered that DH and I had a better marriage and our whole family benefitted if DH and I got time together as a couple (which meant leaving the kids with MIL or *gasp* a babysitter. I breastfed my first for exactly a year. It was a tough stressful time for both of us and I discovered that it is possible for a baby to self-wean by a year (the last time he nursed was on his 1st birthday and he never once after that wanted to). I also discovered that a 2 1/2 year old can still want to nurse all night long, but that if you have daddy put her to bed (in her own bed) she will sleep much better and with the breasts not accessible, she won't care.

We do what works for us. We don't spank. But, we do yell at times. We have dinner as a family whenever possible. But, we also leave the kids with sitters and have a full schedule that prevents family dinners every night.

My kids are getting older and I have learned what works fo us. It isn't a style of parenting or any one philosophy. I no longer study parenting books. Honestly, the only parenting philosophy I really subscribe to is from Dr. Ray Guarundi. He says that if you want exceptional kids, you have to parent exceptionally -- i.e., you are your child's parent first and foremost, not their friend and they don't need to "keep up with the Jones's" So, basically just because little Janey has a cell phone does not mean that my 7 year old needs one too because they come fraught with possibilities for bad behavior.
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Old 08-10-2012, 08:19 AM   #9
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Re: Parenting labels. Anyone ever break free?

We do what works for us. Sometimes that's crunchy, sometimes that's mainstream, sometimes that's healthy, sometimes it's not, and sometimes it's a mix of some or all. Like this mornings breakfast of fruit loops (sugar, yum!) with organic milk. And you know what? That's all ok because again it works for us. We're ALL happy and healthy.

Live and let live and be happy doing it.
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Old 08-10-2012, 08:23 AM   #10
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Re: Parenting labels. Anyone ever break free?

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We do what works for us. Sometimes that's crunchy, sometimes that's mainstream, sometimes that's healthy, sometimes it's not, and sometimes it's a mix of some or all. Like this mornings breakfast of fruit loops (sugar, yum!) with organic milk. And you know what? That's all ok because again it works for us. We're ALL happy and healthy.

Live and let live and be happy doing it.
^^ I used to let it upset me what others said about my parenting, but you know what, my kid is happy and so am I!
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