Wednesday, May 16, 2012


It has come to that time of the year when my best friend Jenn goes to NY for the summer to work for her dad. And though I've had to deal with this every summer for the last 4 years now, I still never adjust. I go through "Van Duren withdrawal" as I call it. Of course I'll live, and of course I'm glad Jenn is able to go home for 10 weeks during the summer and work to take care of her and Matt, and I'm glad she gets to see her family, but I still miss her. :) At least we will have plenty of summer left when she gets back. :)

See you soon Jenn!

Motherhood and Popular Opinion

So, I'm sure most of you have seen/heard/read this article by Time Magazine. I've read the article, seen the controversial cover and heard many opinions on the picture, the parent, and the parenting style. This is the conclusion I have come to. Please remember this is my opinion. Key words here: "my opinion".

I am not a mother yet. I haven't made all the decisions on how I will raise my children yet, so I won't presume to know everything about parenting. Here is what my experience as a nanny has taught me so far. As far as breastfeeding; I don't think it really matters as much as people try to make it seem. I nanny for a girl now who was adopted and NEVER breastfed. She is advanced, she is smart, she loves her mom and dad and they love her. She is rarely sick. I nannied for two children in NY who were breastfed, maybe not for extended periods of time like the little boy on the above mentioned cover, but for more than a year. They too were smart, advanced and rarely sick. They loved their parents and their parents loved them. I was never breastfed. I think I turned out ok. I think I'm pretty smart, and I'm healthy.

As far as co-sleeping; the girl I nanny now has always slept in her own bed in her own room. She sleeps great. Her parents sleep great. Everyone feels rested. The kids I nannied for in NY, the baby slept in a bassinet in mom and dads room for the first year. He slept well, they seemed to sleep well. Everyone is rested. Again, I don't think that any one of the children is more well adjusted or feels more loved than the other.

I have some friends that are AP (attachment parents) and non AP. I don't personally believe that my AP friends are better parents than my non AP friends. I just think that you have to do what suits you. Do what feels comfortable to you. If you feel it necessary to wear your child all day, or share your bed with them or breast feed until they are 10 go for it. If you need to put your child in a swing so that you can get 20 or 30 minutes of mommy or daddy time, or if you need your own space to feel well rested at night that's ok too!  My grandma gave my mom the best advice when she was pregnant with me, and my mom passed it along to me. She said "everyone is going to try and tell you how to raise your children, they will all have advice, and the best thing for you to do is to smile and nod your head, then go home and do it your own way". I have a friend who's adopted one of the "Spock principles", and here it is. They do not tell their children "no". They believe that their children will be better disciplined and learn faster this way. And despite the multiple ER visits they insist it works for them. That is great. Is it something I would do? Probably not. I personally think, key word: "think" that that's a little nuts. But they are not my children. Thank God for free agency.

What it comes down to, is that there is not ONE right way to raise children. All people and children are completely different. What works for you, may not work for me. What I swear by, may not be your cup of tea. People need to stop tearing people down for their personal choices and be more tolerant. Am I saying don't call someone if you see a child being abused? No. But use common sense.

I'm finished ranting now, and if you have any opinions, I'd love to hear 'em. :)