Some mommy friends have pegged me as the reading-thinking-alternative-type and they expect me to be doing things like Elimination Communication or Baby Led Weaning. ‘You know what?’, I say, ‘there is just no more energy left for that’.
I think EC is a great idea, but heck I didn’t even have the extra energy to use cloth diapers – and that idea I was really into!… until it turned out Anya was born in a hospital (rather than at home, as expected) and we stayed there for four days getting increasingly used to the disposables they kept giving us. Hey we did move straight to chlorine free as soon as we were home, but the move to cloth just seemed like an additional step neither of us had the oomph to initiate at a time when we had no sleep, no time for anything basic like brushing our teeth or cooking, signing up for a diaper service just wasn’t happening.
Same with Baby Led Weaning, I think the idea is great and makes a lot of sense, but I just wanted to do what was easiest (whilst sticking to healthy choices, too).
With both EC and Baby Led Weaning, I feel I have incorporated elements of those philosophies into how we do things, I am kind of dabbling with them on the side, but dive into them full time? Nope, not right now.
And so it is. I tread the path of co-sleeping, of natural breastfeeding (no pump) and baby wearing – to name but a few of my choices. All of these approaches take energy. The first two combine to mean I have not had a full night’s sleep for nearly seven months. Baby wearing I love, too, but it is tiring on the old back. And generally doing things differently from the mainstream takes energy, too, somehow. Even if you are not literally defending your stance (which likely you are at least at times) you are choosing when to participate and when not to when it comes to conversations where people are assuming their way is the only way. You might be the arguing, persuading, inspirational type or you might be the ‘quietly doing what you love’ type, but either way, I bet it takes some energy just to keep going when you are different, when you are not seeing your choices reflected all around you, by the media, by your peers, by random passers-by.
It is all good. It is all fun and it is GREAT to have the choice… but yet I say, it is important to pick your battles. Just like I don’t think you should do anything just because others do it, likewise, you shouldn’t chose something just because it is counter-current or ‘alternative’. Let your choices ring true in your heart and put your (finite) energy into those things which matter most to you.