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Old 10-22-2012, 12:17 AM   #1
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How has your actual parenting style changed?

I remember before my 18 month old was born I had all these grand plans. I was going to be a great mom that EBF'd, attachment parenting, co-sleeping, babywearing etc...

But then the reality set in that I really just need to focus on my parenting style and what works for me. I think I felt a lot of guilt at first. The first time it really clicked was when my weekly baby update emails suggested that BF time is time that I shouldn't be distracted and I should be bonding with baby. OK got it, check! I made sure to have my phone away and everything off. Great! But then I kept finding myself staring out the window and then feeling guilty about that! It was then that I decided to just go with what feels natural, and without feeling guilty. What works for others may not work for me and vise versa.

Co-sleeping - NOT for me. EBF - yay, we made it to 9 months before supplementing with formula. ETC... Is there anything you were planning on doing that just ended up not working out or feeling natural? It's only been a year and a half, and I love watching my parenting style evolve. I remember filling out our application for foster care a few years ago and I had such a hard time with the questions about parenting style - I really didn't know, and I guess you never do before kids are in the picture.

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Old 10-22-2012, 12:36 AM   #2
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Re: How has your actual parenting style changed?

I learned you can plan all you want but your kids don't necessarily read all those great articles. Cosleeping was a no go; my son was the problem, anytime we were in bed together it meant play time or kick Mom time. He slept in car seats, bouncers and baby swings a lot because of reflux. He hated being worn too it was stroller all the way. Thank goodness I had the foresight to purchase a good stroller in addition to slings during my pregnancy.

ETA - I planned to breastfeed but due to medical problems he had to be put on high calorie milk which meant formula was combined with my breast milk to up the calories so I wound up pumping full time. I think he had to have 26 cal/oz but it has been years and I don't feel like going through his medical files in the garage to track down his old diet.

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Old 10-22-2012, 12:39 AM   #3
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Re: How has your actual parenting style changed?

My parenting style has changed the most when I've had more kids. Each one adds a new element to life so things need to be adjusted accordingly. I don't have the same time I spent with my first to speend with my third and sometimes I have to be a little more controling than I like because with three boys chaos runs free.
Also as my older ds is moving into the "tween" age I see my parenting becoming different because you don't have the bfing, co-sleeping, attachment lifestyle choices any longer.
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Old 10-22-2012, 01:13 AM   #4
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Re: How has your actual parenting style changed?

i was SO AGAINST cosleeping because docs/pediatricians make such a huge deal about it being unsafe. well, my little man has never gone a full night without sleeping in his crib.

also, i wanted to EBF for a full year. well, he's never had formula, but he's recently turned 6 months old and we've started introducing solids.

also, i was really against the idea of watching tv at all while he's awake. well, he doesn't watch TV and we don't watch TV with him, but i think i would die of boredom if i couldn't watch TV/internet surf while nursing...i mean, he nurses like 4-6 hours a day probably!!
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Old 10-22-2012, 02:25 AM   #5
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Re: How has your actual parenting style changed?

Like you, I discovered my child did not read the same articles I did :P

I was planning on a natural birth with my first. HAH. Didn't even pretend to make that a goal with my second, which was a good thing as I nearly ended up with a c-section..

I did succeed at BF but with herculean effort the first time, it wasn't so bad the second time. I did not do homemade organic baby food as I had planned to. Either time. Beech-Nut and I became good friends. Cosleeping is really not my favorite but both kids slept better when we did and I like sleep. DS2 has had toddler formula since 11 months old and I cut way down on nursing him at that time because he is not a gentle nurser. I thought I would always do CLW, but I am going to try to wean him over christmas break because he is so not gentle and it hurts.

Oh, and I said I would take the pacifier away six months ago. He still has it.

Also, I was very anti-TV.. not so much now.. amazing how much you 'know' before you've been there!
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Old 10-22-2012, 04:18 AM   #6
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Re: How has your actual parenting style changed?

I went in with almost no rules and only planned to follow baby so I did pretty well. I planned to BF which worked for me, we did food a tiny bit earlier then we thought, but we didn't stress a wee or two early. I planned on CDing, and thanks to my sensitivities, to smells and chemicals on my skin (perfumes and dyes can give me hives), I couldn't even travel down the Sposie diaper aisle let alone use them, just changing DS at IKEA with their free sposies almost knocked me over from the smell, so CDing it was. I was curious about ECing, DS bawled the first time we tried it, so it was shelved, a few weeks later tried it again and we all liked it so went with it. We had zero plan to co-sleep, until the night we went to place DS in his bassinet and DH asked if we could co-sleep. We really just did what worked for us.

Honestly I only had one die hard rule, I would even tell people when DS was tiny, I had no idea why I was so hardcore about the rule, I really had no personal reason for it but stuck too it, No pacifiers. I figured it out mostly, my Mom was so against them it was twofold, first it was so ingrained how evil they were, even if I honestly don't believe that, it was told to me so many times, it was hard to ignore that voice in my head from my Mom. Also I was afraid my Mom would literaly rip one out of DS mouth, yes she is that hardcore. I am so glad DS didn't need one otherwise, it would have been so hard to go there.

So, overall because we had so few set rules planned things went pretty much as planned.
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Old 10-22-2012, 06:24 AM   #7
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I guess I thought I would EC but it didn't really work out. On every other score though, I assumed I would be more mainstream and I've turned out to be more alt. I mean, my 4 year old still nurses 3 times a week (she just won't let those last few go) and making my own granola seems easier than buying it.

This parenthood journey has brought about profound changes in how I see things. Sometimes though, I wish I could go back to before I had kids, just for a week, so that I could thoroughly enjoy the freedom and lack of care and worry.
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Old 10-22-2012, 06:44 AM   #8
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Re: How has your actual parenting style changed?

I didn't want to co-sleep and ended up co-sleeping. Most of the stuff I felt strongly about I went through on though. I nursed DS and pumped for DD. I did get over myself though and quit pumping earlier than I intended to because it was affecting my parenting. I do not CIO. I limit screen time. I feed them healthy (well, I'm still working on getting DD to accept real food through her tube).

Oh yeah, I did break down and spank for a time, but learned that I was right to begin with and that it does NOT work, and really just makes things worse. I'm back to being anti-spanking.
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Old 10-22-2012, 06:52 AM   #9
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Re: How has your actual parenting style changed?

Well, before I had kids and when I had one infant, I was perfect. I had all the answers and my answers were right.

I agree with PP who said that the more kids she has the more she changes. Each child has taught me something and humbled me greatly. My DD shattered my image of parenthood, but has created something better for me than I ever imagined.

I think my most important lesson has been to enjoy every stage. I tend to cling to moments, and mourn the loss of stages while yearning for the next. Over the years I have learned that every stage brings gifts and to try to live in the moment. This is something I am still figuring out.

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Originally Posted by danner View Post
This parenthood journey has brought about profound changes in how I see things. Sometimes though, I wish I could go back to before I had kids, just for a week, so that I could thoroughly enjoy the freedom and lack of care and worry.
Amen. I thought I had worries before kids. Right. Wouldn't it be amazing to go back and appreciate it. I think that experience would also give me a profound appreciation for what I have now, too.
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Old 10-22-2012, 09:12 AM   #10
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We weren't going to cosleep at all. That lasted 2 days. Were going to BF, my 1st NICU baby flat out refused. Sleep train, ummm didn't really happen. Never have THAT bratty child in public. They all have those days.

Being a parent is humbling. I never ever make snap judgements anymore about the kid screaming in the store. Cuz some days I'm that mom.
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