Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The crunch factor

I've been spending the past few months researching parenting styles/approaches and discovered I'm probably going to be pigeon holed as a "crunchy parent". Luckily, it's not a mainstream term just yet, but I can guess that I will be getting questions from friends and family on my intended techniques.
What is crunchy parenting you say? Well, it's loosely a set of "alternative" ideas to parenting. (You say alternative, I say NATURAL) Which help develop a close bond between parent and child.
I've stated before that the bond between us and our baby is extremely important to me, and with the gentle style of alternative parenting I think this will be the best thing our little family can do.
So what's involved and what do we intend to do?

Breast Feeding This one is a no brainer for us. I intend for doing it for at least 2 years, just as the WHO recommends 
Co-sleeping Not in our bed, but beside us in her own bassinet, then when she gets bigger we will side car with a cot.
MCN/EC Modern cloth nappies will take place after I have the nappy changing technique down pat. We will be using biodegradable disposables for the first few weeks and hope to teach her Elimination Communication too
Home made foods None of those sodium filled jars of baby mush from the super market for us. 
Baby wearing Hands free baby carrying. Seems almost too easy. And who wants to wrestle a pram and run down people in the shops with those massive wheels? We have 2 Boba carriers so far
Natural material toys We are trying to minimalise the amount of useless plastic toys and stick to educational wooden ones instead.
Environmental awareness  Being vegan, we already have a high awareness of our impact on the environment. We have a small herb garden which I would like to expand into a full veggie patch. We have a massive, albeit slightly neglected, compost pile too. I would love for Clem to learn first hand where her food comes from and stick her hands in the dirt.
Education I'm really enjoying reading about Montessori at the moment. I'm not as researched as I'd like to be just yet, but we know she will also be involved in Kodaly.

Now, I'm sure there is a lot more to parenting than just these few short points, but I feel that these are well researched and suitable for our little family. I'm not one to be self righteous, especially on a topic I have no actual experience with, but this is all going to be a steep learning curve for us. I think that going into it open minded and flexible, but with a slight plan and basic structure is as well prepared as we can get!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

What it feels like for a girl

I've had this blog stuck in my head for the past few days, but it never had an exact point to it, more of some kind of rant or brain to keyboard dribble.
So it feels like most of my life has been spent preparing for motherhood in some way, shape or form.
I am the eldest of four girls, all of whom I was expected to help with from a very young age, and with a big age gap between myself and my two youngest sisters, I became "assistant mum"
Every morning I'd get my little sisters ready for school. Clothes, hair, shoes, school bags, etc. I'd help my mum make dinner, do the washing, ironing, and cleaning. I was the perfectly trained, albeit extremely sexist and misogynistic, mini housewife in training.
As I grew into an adult I came to have more of a feminist view on this topic and for a long, long time I never wanted to be married or have children. I didn't want the role of housebound housewife.
But with all of these "duties" ingrained into me by my family and society, I gradually changed my mind for it to become something more acceptable to me. Being a wife didn't mean compromising who I was. I feel that my husband and I are equals in this relationship. I know that we will be able to teach our daughter about equality without making everything gender specific. I know that I won't tie her to any role because she is female. I will encourage her to try EVERYTHING she possibly can, and if anyone tells her otherwise she will have enough self confidence (and not in a snotty kind of way) to be able to prove them wrong!
I want to teach her to be a strong, confident person who loves herself and her family and that her gender does not dictate her life

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Body Image

Now here is a subject that gets me riled up. Body image and the pregnant woman!
As an impressionable teen I hated my body. Too short, "fatter" than my sisters, the wrong colour hair, freckles, you name it - I hated it. Then as I grew up I realised that magazines and the media project these unreal images that you're supposed to be like. It was like a light bulb went off;
These lies = $$$ for them. 
Not only was I being subjected to these images on a daily basis, they were brainwashing me and my friends of what a body should be like. I decided for myself that I would not pass judgement on other peoples bodies. Why would it be my business anyway? But it is something that is hard to escape when it is shoved in your face with magazines, internet and television programs.
I've become aware as a pregnant woman that my body has become almost a free market to talk about.

"You look so big" Well thanks, I'm 5 feet tall, where else is this baby supposed to fit?
"You look small for * months" Oh, great. Now I'm depriving my unborn child
"I couldn't even tell you were pregnant from the back" Yea, that's because my baby isn't growing IN MY ASS!

Then the ads for weight loss bombard the telly and the gossip sites. I know I should keep away from both because they poison the brain, but when will this stop?
 Today I read about Jessica Simpson getting a deal with Jenny Craig. SHE GAVE BIRTH A WEEK AGO! When did this insanity begin? Mel B just did the same thing and for weeks we got to hear her "journey" back to her pre-pregnancy weight.
I understand that for some people - CELEBRITIES - that this may be possible, but I don't have access to a nanny, a nutritionist, a gym, a personal chef, or a paid weight loss program. Nor does the "average woman"
We are then sold their photo shopped magazine covers in hopes we can read their "miracle baby weight loss" stories and hate ourselves even more for our bellies covered in stretch marks and boobs that hang just that bit lower than they did before baby.
I will not buy into this bull shit. I will not let my daughter hate her body for no valid reason. I will not hate my own body for creating and housing a life.
I will not accept society's unrealistic visions of motherhood.

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Nursery

Even though Clem will be sleeping in our room, we decided to make a nursery for her with all of her things.
Totally inspired by the Ikea range, of course. Slightly woodlands theme meets the vegetable patch.

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