My initial foray into all things crunchy happened while I was pregnant. I chose to switch providers (to a group that would be more supportive of a natural unmedicated birth), hired an incredible doula, started seeing a chiropractor for those pregnancy aches (hello sciatica!), and took prenatal yoga classes at a local birth center. Having like-minded mom friends only reinforced my decisions.
It turns out that my upbringing may have been playing more of a role than I realized. My parents employed a great deal of practices that are considered “granola” in the way they raised my sister and I. My sister and I were brought up with cosleeping, elimination communication, cloth diapering, breastfeeding, and homeopathy being a part of our lives. You see, my parents were accidental hippies.
A couple of hippie kids
I was breastfed for until I was six months old and my sister until she was a year. While that’s not very extreme, it was quite a feat for her because she wasn’t getting a lot of support from others. Maybe it was her experience that caused my mom to be one of my biggest breastfeeding cheerleaders, especially during those first difficult weeks. She even came with me to the nurse in at Target that happened in December!
In most of South Asia, cosleeping is quite common. Most homes have a large family bed, in which the parents and most children sleep in. Growing up, my family was no different. My parents brought a smaller twin size mattress and placed it next to their bed for me to sleep on. I think we slept that way until I was 8. Waking up on weekends was the best, because we’d be able to lounge in bed to our hearts content.
E sleeps with us now, at 14 months. He starts off in his crib and wakes up at some point in the middle of the night. Rather than spend precious sleeping time trying to get him back to sleep, he comes to sleep with us. He typically sleeps through until we wake up. I realize this arrangement seems kind of crazy to some, but it works for us. We get a decent night’s sleep before work and I enjoy those extra snuggles. My favorite part has to be waking up together on weekends and being silly in bed together.
Homeopathic medicine was quite normal for my family. If we had a sore throat, we would be given Rhus Tox. Pulsatilla was given to us for menstrual cramps as teens. Nux Vomica was for headaches. I still remember when my sister was like 4 or 5, she ate half a bottle of some homeopathic medicine she found. She got into so much trouble 🙂 We have taken a more holistic approach to E’s maintaining E’s health. Aside from feeding him healthy food, E is given Hyland’s teething tablets or some Camilia for teething issues. He also wears an amber teething necklace, but I’m honestly not sure how effective it is.
E is not cloth diapered, nor do we do EC. This is mainly because I knew I would be heading back to work and most day care facilities are not okay with cloth diapers. Sadly, the same goes with EC – we both work and wouldn’t be able to pick up on cues for EC. I think if I were a SAHM (or D was a SAHD), E would be wearing some cute fluff and probably potty trained by now. My parents used EC with me and swear that I was potty trained by six months. I wonder how much of that is hyperbole and how much of it is truth. Either way, it would’ve been kind of cool to have potty training taken care of by one year of age.
How much of your parenting style is influenced by the way you were brought up?