Friday, November 14, 2008

Parenting Conflicts

*It's almost midnight. Jeffrey and I are sitting in the living room taking pictures of random things, when Mads wakes up for the upteenth time since eight.*

Me: Did you hear that? She made a noise.
Jeffrey: We just put her back to sleep.
Me: *Running to grab baby, so I can give hugs and cuddles and loves until she drifts back off*
Jeffrey: You're spoiling her. She's going to be such a brat.
Me: What??
Jeffrey: We can't rock her to sleep forever.
Me: What??

This is the first time I realized that Jeffrey and I don't share the same parenting style. I guess he's just always gone along with whatever I wanted, but now he's decided to speak up.

I never really thought about what kind of Mommy I would be. Things happened so fast, I just figured I would wing it when Mads got here. Which is exactly what I've done. I've been winging it every day. I guess I'm in the attachment parent category. My instincts tell me to never let her cry. I co-sleep because she sleeps better when we cuddle. I nurse her, not just for food, but to comfort her. I give hugs when she screams, and I babywear to keep her happy. Self-soothe? She's just a baby, that's what I'm here for. I'm willing to let her decide when she's ready to sleep alone, to let her decide when she's ready to wean some day. It may not be "The Right Way", but it's my way. I just kind of fell into it. If you asked the AP community if I was turning my child into a big 'ole brat, they'd say hell no. But if you talked to the 'Ferberizers' of the world, I'm just being selfish and lazy. I'm setting my child up for failure because she doesn't sleep in her own bed, and because she gets her way at the ripe old age of six months. I don't know who's right, I don't think anyone does.

I don't believe that there's really a 'right way' or a 'wrong way' to parent, I'm pretty sure it's just 'my right way' and 'your right way'. I guess it's just a tad bit selfish of me to assume that Jeffrey's 'right way' involves having Mads in our bed, or to think that he's on board with my child-led theory. I never really asked him how he felt about it all. I guess we'll either have to find some kind of middle ground, or I'll have to find enough research to bring Jeffrey over to the dark side.

It amazes me that I never considered any of this though. I didn't think the parenting debates would come up until Mads was much older. Sorry, Daddy.

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