Attachment parent, helicopter parent, crunchy, silky, hippie and mainstream….if your a mom on a parenting forum you’ve heard all these terms more then you probably care to even remember and have heard and watched the arguments ensue over these varying aspects of parenting. I’m guilty of labels and guilty of debating my (well researched) point of view…after all I have labeled myself “The Squished Hippie” and do in general identify with the more natural side of things in most instances….and why wouldn’t I have strong convictions of what we’ve chosen to do? I do not parent how I did with my first child or even my second or 3rd…our parenting has evolved and will continue to evolve as our children get older. I’ve never claimed to be some 100% crunchy, dred wearing (although I’d LOVE to have dreds), flowy skirt, doesn’t care about her looks or fashion, flower child…I explain some of my reasoning for the name in a previous post…but that’s just a small portion of my reasoning and our life. Are some of the things I do hypocritical? Absolutely they could be viewed that way…but it has nothing to do with my parenting. I dye my hair, because I like to keep it fresh (and also recognize that I am dumping chemicals on my head)….I wear makeup occasionally because I enjoy getting dolled up every once in a while and I wear jeans and low cut shirts and boots made out of leather. I don’t shave (yes people that’s right…I DON’T SHAVE….anything) but not because of some hippie ideal. It’s actually much more simple then that….I don’t want to!
Parenting comes in all forms…I don’t subscribe to a parenting style. I take a little from column A, a little from column B, and some from column Z and blend them into my own style. I wear my kids, don’t cry it out and we spank. I don’t put up with back talk, they wont act like hellions in public and please and thank you’s are not optional. They are expected to help around the house (which they don’t get paid for), keep their playroom clean, do well in school and be kind to others. Before having kids I was going to be the awesome parent. My kids were going to have all the freedom I was never given and I wasn’t going to MAKE them do anything like the dishes, we were going to be best friends and they were going to be perfect little people with perfect manners who never made me want to pull my hair out. I was sure of this….no one could tell me different, and all those moms who laughed about my big dreams of perfect children were wrong. I poured over attachment parenting books, gentle discipline books and mindful parenting books. I spent hours and hours researching everything I could on these topics….and deciding this is the type of parent I was going to be.
With the first child it was easy to parent exactly as I had planned. He was a fabulous baby…is still a fabulous kid and made being a first time parent a piece of cake. The more kids we added to our family, the more it became a challenge to continue to hold onto my ideals that I had set for myself when I was becoming a parent for the first time. #2 and #3 are not easy like their brother. They’ve both taught me a lot about what being a parent really is….not all of them have been welcome lessons, but still necessary ones. They’ve taught me that gentle discipline doesn’t always work for every kid, that time outs aren’t always enough and that Supernanny and Dr Sears dont have all the answers.