I spend a lot of time with parents who believe in rearing children like we do. Therefore, it’s always a little bit of a shock to me when I mingle with mainstream parents and hear how most of society parents these days. I just don’t understand it. I can’t wrap my brain around why anyone would choose to treat pregnancy like a disease that you need to be cured of, actually scheduling to have your child cut out of you. I can’t imagine why anyone would choose to feed their child an inferior food because they believe breastfeeding is icky; especially when breastmilk has been proven to be a wonder drug: decreasing the chance of obesity, illness, cancer, etc. I don’t understand why, after all that has been shown about that gel in disposable diapers increasing the risk of certain cancers, a person would choose to put their child in those things 100% of the time; especially when you consider the huge financial cost of a product that can only be used once and then must be discarded, never to biodegrade in our landfills. I can’t get why so many people distance their children from them physically, struggling with oversized strollers when baby wearing is not only easy parenting, but has been shown to produce more confident, assured children. And why must their tiny babies be left alone in a room to cry it out at night rather than safely nestled in mama’s arms or within arms reach in a bassinet at the side of the bed? Why would you chose to further your sleep deprivation in the early months by having to get up, walk down a hallway, pick up screaming baby and feed them a bottle of something you must prepare when you could just reach over, latch them up and go back to sleep, baby happily nursing at the breast? In what world is it really a good idea to inject your child with 64 different doses of disease before the age of two? And why, after all that is known about the ineffectiveness of antibiotics for viruses, do parents accept a dose from a doctor when nothing has been done to actually discover the root of the illness? Fever is a body’s natural response to illness and yet, most parents administer Tylenol for even the mildest heat, eliminating the body’s ability to kill off the bad bugs naturally. They smear antibacterial soap all over themselves and their children, seemingly unaware that some bacteria actually HELPS the body.
I don’t claim to be the authority on parenting. I don’t even claim to be “good” at this gig. But I’ve followed my instincts and I’ve done my homework and I just don’t understand why other parents don’t see the stuff I do. When I talk to mainstream parents about this, I often find they just don’t know. I hear phrases like, “well, I had to have another cesarean; the doctor told me I couldn’t have a natural birth.” or “I simply couldn’t have given birth without the epidural.” or my personal favorite, “they have her on…” as though the doctors are in charge of the child’s well being. Why do they allow themselves to be robbed of their power as a woman, a parent, a customer of the medical system? I know people have their hearts in the right place and I know that people do what they think is right. I know that stuff happens to thwart good intentions and sabotage breastfeeding or birth plans. I know that people get very defensive about how they parent and I am sure I’ve pissed someone off with my long list of wonders. But so often these choices seem to come about from a place of misinformation or from a lack of information. And me? I’m all for informed consent. Something needs to be done. Our kids are too important for parents to just take the word of their doctor (a medical expert, not a parenting expert), mother-in-law, friend or any single book. If you cannot be your child’s most informed advocate, who will?