Sunday, January 31, 2010

Competitive parenting

I am starting to get slightly worried about bringing kids into the world. Reading stuff on Mumsnet makes me think that unless I breastfeed them until they are 3, let them sleep in my bed until they are 18, push them to pass exams to get them into the best schools, force them to eat sprout and cabbage soup, carry them in a sling and dress them in natural nappies (Amongst other things) then I will be a very sub-standard parent and will be judged by other mums and dad for just being crap at raising kids.

Very interesting debate on there at the moment about extended breastfeeding. Some woman said something bad about extended breastfeeding on GMTV and so lots of the mums are up in arms. Fair enough, it probably is bad to compare breast milk to a glass of coke but the way some people post you'd think that mothers who only breastfeed up to the recommended 6 months are evil. I am guessing that if I do ever get pregnant I will probably only take about 8-9 months off. I want to go back to work, I want to earn my own money. I will therefore probably move from breast to formula at some point, certainly I won't be breastfeeding exclusively beyond maternity leave. A little bit of me also thinks (And I know this is an unpopular opinion) that women really only do breastfeed for ages because THEY like it, because they can't give it up. It seems to become all about the mum rather than the child. That would probably be a very bad thing to say on mumsnet though.

I wonder too about sleeping arrangements for children. Do people really have their children in bed with them for years on end? I find that odd. I don't know if I would cope with something like controlled crying but I can't see why it's considered such a bad thing if it's done beyond a certain age. Of course you wouldn't leave a baby bawling it's eyes out but as it gets older surely there is something to be said for getting into a routine?

**I have had to edit this to say HA HA HA HA HA HA HA. I am now a co-sleeping, cabbage eating, breastfeeding (Toddler - 2 years) mother who will never ever do controlled crying..

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