Go here and read this before you read the rest of my post.
As I was sitting at work today a friend posted this article. I read it and immediately breathed out the hugest sigh of relief ever. I've never considered myself a 'bad' parent but there have been MANY times on this two year journey (or almost three, if you want to count the pregnancy) that I feel like I have been told and told that I'm doing things all wrong. I have been lectured, ridiculed and let down when it has come to my natural instincts and how I feel about raising my son.
This article... well, it was one of the first I've read that made me feel like maybe I have it right.
Why do I feel that way? Well, let me tell you.
To start, I think the most controversial issue has been Henry co-sleeping with us. From day one, my baby has been in my bed. When the doctors have asked 'does he sleep independently in his own crib?', I have looked them in the eyes and simply said 'no.'.. which has resulted in pamphlets, ridicule and the accusation that I am putting my baby's life in severe danger. When parents and siblings discovered that he had been residing in our bed, they bought Henry a bassinet and again, I was lectured, ridiculed and accused that I am putting my baby's life in severe danger. It has been heart-breaking to me and I have even argued with my husband over the matter. Henry still ends up in our bed almost every night, and it is also where he takes his naps most of the time. I have always felt that we all sleep better together in one bed, and when Henry sleeps in his crib, it really makes me sad that I don't have his warmth next to me through-out the night. This is something we have always shared, and will continue to share, as long as he wants to sleep with us.
Second, I am a very 'open-minded' parent. My son plays independently in our fenced-in side yard on most days anymore while I am working on house work or gardening on the other end of the yard. I don't feel the need to supervise his play at all. If he doesn't come in or I don't hear him for awhile, I will go check on him, but otherwise, he has complete independence to do whatever he pleases. He runs, he jumps, he climbs, he has a 'real' hammer, he falls down and he gets bumps and bruises, but it doesn't bother us at all. That's part of being a kid, and especially part of being a boy.
Last, I totally agree on the school thing. We're not there yet, but I'm really hoping to homeschool Henry. For one, I don't like that public schools are so anti-faith. For two, I don't feel like public schools can possibly attend to the needs of each individual child. Every kid needs a different kind of encouragement, a different kind of reward and discipline, and a different kind of plan to learning. Children sit in a class all day to learn very little, they come home, they take a quiz and then they forget it all over a 3 month span of no schooling. I know that not all kids learn from experience, but experience is needed when learning.
So yes, I felt relieved when I read this article. I felt like maybe I'm not doing everything wrong, and it felt great to know that someone else agreed with me.