Thursday, March 08, 2007

Not Crunchy Enough

I know that this might be a controversial topic, but this issue has been preying on my mind. I consider myself to be a pretty AP mother. I breastfeed exclusively past one year, co-sleep, babywear and spend most days with my children. However, I am a big advocate for vaccination and use disposable diapers. Whenever I go to AP lists or read magazines (Mothering, etc.) I am made to feel like a terrible parent for not being crunchy enough.

I have a full time job. I can keep my kids with me, but I still work. At the end of the day I get, maybe, one load of laundry a day. If I did cloth diapers then all of my other clothes would be dirty. I know that cloth diapers are better for the environment and I hate how much trash disposables makes, but my decision is made. I have friends who cloth diaper and do EC. I admire them for their ability to do those things, but I cannot, I don't have the time (or frankly the motivation).

As for vaccinations, I know people who had polio as children and still have major health problems because of it. Or whose mothers had German Measles when she was pregnant and has hearing problems. If I can prevent my children from terrible diseases, I will do it every day. I think vaccines are an essential thing for most children. If my kids made some child who has reactions to vaccines ill, I would feel terrible and would be somewhat responsible for that illness if I did not do everything I could to prevent it. I know this is a contrarian opinion to many AP parents, but it is how I feel.

We all do what we think is best for our children.


Susan (5 Minutes For Mom) said...

I'm just like you...
I do lots of AP stuff, like breastfeed my almost 2 yr old and co-sleep. But I failed at cloth diapers. I did try... when Julia was two months old I went out and bought $500 worth of the best cloth diapers and proceeded to have the worst weekend of my life. It was all about diapering. I had to change her every hour or two and she still got the only diaper rash of her whole life (before and until now). My life became about diapering and I couldn't handle it. But the real reason I stopped was the diaper rash. As soon as I went back to disposables, it went away.

I felt like a real failure, so I don't talk about it much. And when I'm with natural parenting moms, I just don't bring it up.

Almost none of my neighbors and local friends are 'natural' or AP parents, so it never comes up.

And I completely agree about vaccination. But I'm not a debating type of person, so again I never bring it up with people. I understand people's concerns with vaccination and I wish it were less risky, but I think that it is the lesser of the evils and that I should do my part to help stop horrible diseases like polio that ruined so many lives.

Chris said...

Why be an "AP" parent? Why not just be the parent that you are and make decisins for your family based on what is best for them and for you? You shouldn't have to apologize parenting your children your way. (BTW, my best friend did some research on the pros and cons of cloth diapering before deciding to use them on her son and came to the conclusion that all the extra laundry she would have to do would probably waste enough water and electricity to balance out the amount of space she was not taking up at the nearest landfill, and it's not really cost effective unless you use them on more than one child.) Sometimes I feel like our culture exists to make mothers feel guilty about everything. Enough already! Let's just try to enjoy as much as we can of our babies' childhoods, 'cause they're gonna be going off to collge before we know it.