I opened Facebook yesterday, only to see a post about natural parenting. Question: isn’t ALL parenting natural? What I do is not unnatural, it’s not artificial and it’s not steeped in method. We call it the “I’m winging it, if you have any constructive criticism, I’m all ears” method. I didn’t READ the baby books, or even the kid books. As you pick up your jaw off the floor, get ready for this one…
The can of worms: breastfeeding. Many moms don’t, for whatever reason that suits them. Is it anyone’s business how we feed our kids No. It’s just not a topic of conversation I care to delve into, so please, stop prying. For the record, what’s good for mom is good for baby. The why, the how, the particular methodology isn’t up for discussion here. My bigger question: why would you care?
Free-range vs. helicopter parents. For the LOVE OF GOD, give it up. There is no FIRM method that results in happier, healthier children. All of the data produced by either end of the spectrum is soft. Do I secretly want to monitor every move my child makes to protect her? Of course! I’m a mother, that seems natural (see above parenting method) to me to want to protect my child. Do I want her to be independent one day? Of course! So I let that imaginary leash out a tiny bit in order to give her freedom and build confidence.
GMO vs. non-GMO. The data is also sketchy here. I say do whatever the heck suits you. I have no business going through your pantry examining what your family eats, nor should I tell you what’s right for you.
Homeschool vs. Traditional. Hey, as long as your kids are productive citizens who do good stuff in the world, who cares how they got there. Is it for me to judge how you educate your kids? Hell no. I’m too busy trying to educate mine to worry about yours.
Vaginal, unmediated, caesarian section… During casual conversations, women enjoy chatting about their birth experience. Often, women use the word “natural” to describe an unmediated vaginal birth. Ok, spare me the details of that birth but listen up: birth is an event by which a child exits a woman’s body. The “how” and “why” doesn’t matter. Are we really going to continue engaging in the birthing pissing contest that goes on? Again, the mommy wars rage on, and I just sit here on the sideline shaking my head in disbelief. Birth is an event, it’s all-natural. Stop sharing with me your birth story with Michael Buble playing in the background. My birth was messy, painful and I didn’t like it one iota. I get the whole “outsourcing” it gig…which gets me to my next point.
Many of my friends have twins. No, please don’t ask if they were natural. They are human beings, therefore they are natural. Prying into someone’s reproductive choices is like asking “so, did you poop this morning, how’d it go?”. This is just perpetuating the mommy wars. However your children arrived in your arms, whether it via fertility treatments, the old-fashioned way, surrogacy, or adoption…your kids are natural because they are, naturally, yours.
No really, I don’t want to read your Facebook post about your vaginal birth whilst breastfeeding your 12 month old and knitting your own pee-pee tee-pee. To be honest, I don’t care. I don’t want to swap stories about my birth, how I fed my child or how she arrived. I’d much rather know how YOU are doing, how you’re coping with adjusting to life with two or how you are feeling. Stop holding yourself to ridiculous standards mamas; you might just miss a minute reading all of these books telling you how to do what you already know how to do.
- Shelby Van Voris