Healthy Mommy

Healthy Mommy

Crunchy Parenting Philosophies 101

April 2, 2019
CrunchyParentingPhilosophies

When my daughter was born, I made a promise to myself to stay away from the parenting books and blogs so that I would be sure I was using my intuition to raise my child and not somebody else's ideals. I know my tendency to be dogmatic and follow rules to an extreme level.

I'm proud to say I (pretty much) followed this "no-rules" rule for the first year of Charley's life. I truly believed that this time was about loving and caring for my baby, first and foremost. I did that. And I did that well. 

That said, when toddlerhood hit, I felt like my sweet rainbows and butterflies philosophy got knocked on its (earmuffs…) ass. I had no idea how to handle her tantrums (complete with body-flailing and head-banging) or how to transition from doing everything for her to allowing her to do some things for herself. It was time for me to face the music:

I needed help.

So I consulted the Google Gods and found more parenting philosophies than one could ever need. To start with, by psychology's standards, there's authoritarian, authoritative, permissive, and uninvolved. But within those styles, there are nuances, and what you could call "schools of thought."  So far, I've come accross:

  • Positive parenting
  • Attachment parenting
  • Conscious parenting
  • Spiritual parenting
  • Slow parenting
  • Waldorf parenting
  • Reggio Emilia parenting
  • Montessori parenting
  • RIE parenting
  • Hand-in-Hand parenting

Those last three really spoke to me. They're all a bit crunchy because, let's face it, I encapsulated my placenta, I breastfed until Charley was 18 months old, and the girl drinks homemade bone broth out of a sippy cup. I'm crunchy. And if you're more of a traditionalist, it's totally cool. Stick around and maybe you'll learn something or skip these posts all together.

Though different, all three of these philosophies have one thing in common: respect for the child. Through them, I've learnd the best thing I can do for my daughter is to treat her like a human being. Try to understand where she's coming from, what she's going through. Get down to her level as much as I can. But still remember that I am the authority. And she needs me to be that. 

Amen to all of that.

Over the next few weeks, I'm going to share with you a summary of them here in hopes that you can come accross them faster than I did, and decide for yourself if any of them will work for you (or maybe a little bit of all three).

Warning: This stuff is nuanced and complicated. I still struggle with it all daily. I'm not pretending to be an expert. Quite the contrary, I'm telling it like it is — the good, the bad, and the very ugly.

Stay tuned!

Much Love,

HealthyStaceySignature

Healthy Mommy

The 10 Things That Make Me a ‘Bad Mom’

March 8, 2019
BadMompost

This may be a health food blog, but my new full-time Mommy life doesn’t allow for pretty pictures of colorful salads and hours of research on the benefits of turmeric or bone broth. I’ve been wracking my brain wondering what I could possibly write about right now on Healthy Stacey that’s of any help to anybody. But recently, I came to the conclusion that I’m just not in that head space right now.

Then I thought, maybe I can offer parenting advice? HAHAHAHA (that’s me laughing at myself). Because I have no idea what the heck I am doing and in no position to offer advice to others. So then I decided, instead of offering advice, why not offer the truth?

Mom life is HARD. And about 75% of the time, I don’t think I’m doing it right.  In fact, on a daily basis, I think about all of the things I do that are most likely going to turn my child into a needy, selfish, messy, maladjusted human being. I've never said it out loud, but that terrible nagging voice inside is constantly calling me a bad mom. Instead of quelling the negative thoughts and reminding myself how great a mom I am (or asking my husband to remind me), I decided to embrace it. Shout it from the rooftops!

That’s why I’m giving you my list — The Ten Things That Make Me a "Bad Mom," in hopes that you share yours too so we can all remember that we’re not alone and we all have a little Bad Mom in us.

  1. I dread hearing her sweet cries for “Mama!” in the morning, knowing that either my sleep or my short-lived alone time is over even faster than I expected.
  2. My feeling of dread equally matches my feeling of excitement when I close that door to her room at 7:05 pm and head downstairs for three blissful hours of alone time.
  3. I’ve already been on two different elementary school tours, and she’s only 16 months…preschool doesn’t start until they’re three. Yes, I am that eager for the day she goes to school and I got (some of) my freedom back.
  4. As much as I tried to avoid screen time before two (per the American Academy of Pediatrics), there are days when I just can’t entertain her any longer and resort to Kid Zone On Demand (an assortment of children’s shows all in one place on Comcast). When she actually sits to pay attention (read: stare mindlessly at the screen), I get so relieved for a moment of peace — even when peace means watching Caillou whine for the 32nd time about how hard his life is (this little boy has a serious hate following, which of course means Charley LOVES him).
  5. I secretly hate when I meet another toddler close in age to Charley who seems totally capable of cleaning up, playing independently, and/or sharing, leading me to wonder why my child is so averse to all of these things.
  6. I’ve read many times about the importance of routine and not overloading your kids with activities. Something about them being overwhelmed and needing consistency while they’re trying to make sense of the world, yada, yada, yada. But every time I try to stay home to give her “safety” and “routine,” I end up wanting to climb the walls because it’s all on me to entertain her. Inevitably, I give in, and we end up at the library, or gymnastics, or dance, or music, or her other music class, or the neighbor's house, becuase I NEED CONTACT WITH THE OUTSIDE WORLD. Oh, sorry. Was I yelling?
  7. I only brush her teeth once a day. And when I do brush them, the only thing she’ll give me is her tongue so who knows how much cleaning her actual teeth are getting. Incidentally, I just wrote a post for Mama Natural on bottle rot, which made me feel even worse about putting her at risk for early tooth decay.
  8. On long car rides, I give her bags of snacks — totally ruining her appetite for lunch or dinner — because I know it’s the only thing that will keep her from throwing a fit for at least half the ride.
  9. When she throws temper tantrums, she bangs her head on the floor (or the closest hard surface she can find). Though I stop her most of the time because I don’t want her to get a concussion, sometimes, when I’m really over it, I just let her go and hope she’ll learn her lesson by how much it hurts. I know. I’m terrible.
  10. I once gave her a huge orange slice while at the airport and didn’t pay attention at all while she was eating it, until the moment I saw her put the entire thing in her mouth — peel and all — and swallow it.

Phew. That felt good. Exhilarating even. You know why? Because once I wrote them all down, I realized they weren’t THAT bad (right?). And it reminded me of all the things I am doing right (I'll save that for another day). Or at least with good intention, because what is right really when it comes to parenting?

We're all killing ourselves every day trying to do the best we can. But then we read the parenting books and the parenting blogs and second guess our choices; we go on Pinterest and Instagram and think, I could be doing more; we see other moms at the children's museum who looked like they just stepped out of a J. Crew catalog complete well-behaved and equally well-dressed child and suddenly become convinced that you ARE doing it wrong and just aren't cut out for this kind of work.

It should go without saying that I love my daughter dearly. She is the most incredible creature I've ever laid eyes on and I'm so proud to be her mother. I often remind myself that the more spunk she has (i.e. I'll-do-what-I-want-ness), the more likely she is to turn out the confident, defiant woman I want her to be. I just didn't realize — until I was knee-deep in motherhood — how hard the job would be to get her there.

Alright, now, it’s your turn. Seriously, write ‘em down. Comment below. Or on Facebook. Or email me. Just get it out. You’ll feel better. I promise.

Much Love,

HealthyStaceySignature