I find it pretty funny to look back at how so many of my beliefs about parenting stuff have changed since my pregnancy with Ariana. I had accepted so many customs without really examining them. The more I researched and prayed, the more evidence I found to make different choices. Many of them were things that Carlos already seemed to know intuitively, whereas I had to painstakingly study them out in order to be convinced. I am glad beyond words that we agree on these things and that they aren't a source of friction for us, especially when so many people whom I love and respect see things differently. So where were we then, and where are we now?
Then--An epidural is as necessary as anesthesia for a root canal. I got one ASAP with Ariana and Joel.
Now--Elena was born without any meds of any kind. I didn't even want a Tylenol afterwards. I am so grateful (see her birth story for details). If we have another baby, we plan to go natural again.
Then--I planned to breastfeed for a year, since that we the minimum recommended by the AAP. (I didn't realize that the AAFP and WHO recommend a minimum of two years, or that all three encourage breastfeeding as long as the mother and child wish).
Now--my kids will wean when they are ready. Ariana just stopped a few months before Elena was born. Both Elena and Joel are still going strong.
Then--I never considered anything besides disposable diapers. Cloth? Eww. Gross and way too much work.
Now--I love cloth diapers and would never want to go back to disposables.
Then--Circumcision is just what you do. There was probably a good reason for it, right?
Now--Any cosmetic surgery on my kids will be performed because they want it and understand the risks/benefits, and are old enough to get adequate pain relief.
Then--My kids will be in their own room, and won't be in ours beyond the first few weeks as a newborn.
Now--We get so much more sleep when we are together! Why on earth would I want to wait until we were both wide awake and at least one of us was crying, and then we both had to calm down and get back to sleep?
Then--All babies have to cry it out at some point to learn to self-soothe.
Now--I'm so glad that God doesn't make me cry alone to learn to be independent from Him!
Then--Kids need spankings and other punishments to learn to obey.
Now--Do unto children as you would have them do unto you. Discipline is about making disciples, not about punishment.
Then--Vaccinations are necessary and safe. Trust the pharmaceutical companies.
Now--Vaccinations are unnecessary and unsafe. Trust God.
Then--Most kids don't have to think about food allergies.
Now--I wish most kids didn't have to think about food allergies.
Then--Carlos will be a great dad.
Now--Carlos is an amazingly wonderful dad, and a better parent than I am in many ways. I am still much better at breastfeeding than he is, though.
Then--I will love and enjoy my kids.
Now--I love and enjoy my kids.
Obviously, we have undergone some pretty drastic changes in our views. If you are interested in the process behind any of these, I'll be happy to share. And if you just read this and feel a deep burden to pray for our kids ;), we gratefully accept prayers and good thoughts!