Saturday, August 8, 2009

Decision Making is Hard

Moms make a lot of decisions. I would say parents make a lot of decision, but, well - In the many discussions B and I had before Q was born we talked about my role as a stay at home mom. One thing we talked about was while B is obviously a parent and involved in all major decision making, there would be a lot of decision making that I would make while he wasn't around. Small things of course but big things too - nap schedules, buying baby stuff, etc. We agreed that as a stay at home mom it would fall to me to keep up to date on important baby related information - health info and all sorts of other stuff. This means I read all the books and then pass on the info, links, or the post-it marked books to B. If you know me you know how much it kills me to have to do all this reading about baby stuff (sarcasmsarcasm). I've been thinking that I'd like to post some book reviews here on my blog because I've read some interesting books that I'd love to recommend (and warn against!). I've been thinking about information tonight; where parents get it, what they do with it, and what information to trust and follow. I find myself being a little bit of a hypocrite on certain things and I wanted to explore that and find my way. I find parenting to be a very windy path and a good chance for some self exploration and I hope to flesh some my own self exploration out here on my blog. Feel free to critique or comment as you wish.
The thing about me being a hypocrite - I noticed this today, well, this particular thing - I was talking to B, making some point about developmental milestones, and I heard myself say "the
AAP, the WHO, and LLL all agree that..." but I also know that I don't follow a lot of guidelines given by these organizations because I think of them as outdated, incorrect, or otherwise not worthy of following. Let me qualify that by saying that there are a number of things these organizations recommend that pediatricians themselves do not agree with AND these organizations rarely agree with each other on specific issues.
I feel like a hypocrite because I use those organizations to support some of my choices and I rail against these organizations for their stance on other choices I make happily. I can't have it both ways, but I choose to anyhow.

The one thing that's indisputable in decision making is what
works for you (given that you're not actual harming yourself or your child obviously). But then again some people would think you are harming your child for something as simple as... I don't know, but something simple.

I've been spending time with a variety of moms lately and I love being around people who make such different decisions than I do, I like to find out why they do what they do. Not in a critical way, but because it makes me examine myself and it usually makes me go to google and do some more research on something. It would be easy for one (like me) to alienate themselves by being very high and mighty about their decisions and preaching about how wrong people are for doing something. But who am I to talk? I know I'm not doing everything "right". Heck, I'm not even doing everything the way I want to be doing it, but everyday I try to do it better than the day before. I'm trying to move towards my idea of "right" which is obviously different from everyone elses (as it should be).

I have very strong opinions about how my children should be born and raised, but I recognize that not everyone feels the way I do (how boring would that be?) and I honestly appreciate it (for the most part). I'm really trying to make well informed decisions. I don't want to be someone who tells someone else what to do or why what they are doing is wrong just because it's not the decisions I made. But I'll be the first to hand you a book to educate yourself, which is not to say that if you are educated you would make the same decision I would. I like that even more. I love it when I find someone who read the same book I did and came out with a completely different take on things - its fascinating and it usually makes me go re-read the book and get lots more information than I had before.

Education is probably the thing I feel most strongly about. I try to respect any decision that is well educated. I think as a parent it is an incredible disservice to our children to follow pediatrician and government recommendations blindly. When I do follow someones suggest I want to follow with my eyes wide open, reading and trying to understand as much as I can.

Speaking of which, what is UP with pediatricians wackadoodle recommendations lately? I feel like I have read a million and one stories recently about pediatricians saying the most bizarre things and giving all sorts of parenting advice opposed to medical advice. That would make me bonkers!

I think the two things I feel most strongly about as a parent are these: educate yourself and trust (and follow) your intuition. I'm working on both of those.

Thank you for reading these late night ramblings.

Oh, and please recommend your favorite books to me!

1 comment:

  1. I can remember reading books on various aspects of child rearing, trying to figure it out, trying to get it right. Most of the books left me feeling very inadequate. I was sure I was doing it wrong or not doing enough. I think you have hit on the formula: read what you can, talk to friends, trust your instincts and make decisions for your family. What works for one does not work for all and what works for your first child does not necessarily work for the next.