A number of people who’ve read the description of this blog in the About Me section or elsewhere have commented on some unusual wordage I’ve used:
“Modified” Attachment Parenting
“Modified” Holistic Lifestyle
and wondered what the heck does that all mean?
So I figured now would be a good time to elaborate a bit.
Basically, in the case of Attachment Parenting and Holistic Lifestyle, we’ve chosen to modify how we practice those. Usually we modify in the direction of common sense, such as not co-sleeping when we’re so sleep-deprived that we can’t do it safely.
Or in not baby-wearing, since I’ve got twins and my abs are shot – it’d be my back doing all the work and this mama just can’t hack that 🙂
And sometimes we modify in the direction of sanity-preservation, such as our decision to stop cloth diapering after one year because it was just too labor-intensive for super-sleep-deprived parents to cope with on top of twinfants.
Or our decision to stop breastfeeding after six months of torture involving herbal and medical supplements, low flow, a hospital-grade breastpump, an SNS (Supplemental Nursing System by Medela) and pleading by our lactation consultant for us to stop (and she was the best in three counties!) and culminating in a bit of a heart-attack on my part.
Yes, ideally we wish we could have had the wherewithal to do every single thing on the checklist of Attachment Parenting and Holistic Lifestyle, but something had to give, and for the sake of our childrens’ well-being, we made concessions to sanity or common sense, or sometimes even economic factors.
In our home, the twins are the ones who eat the organic fruits, veggies and so on. We just can’t afford it otherwise, and since their systems are still developing, we figure it’s more important that they do so.
While they spent the first two years of their lives in mostly organic clothing, we’ve had to switch to conventional as they got older.
When they grew out of their Naturepedic crib mattresses, we got conventional ones, but we did at least wrap them according to Dr. Sprott’s protocol.
When we go out to a restaurant, we try not to think about whether the food is being cooked on teflon, or warmed in a microwave. We’ve just reached a saturation point, where we’re overwhelmed trying to keep up with the Crunchy-Joneses.
And did I mention that we’re sleep-deprived?
So much for modified.
And with Heartistic, we believe there’s an art to parenting. Following one’s instincts as well as combing through reams of information from various sources, trying to find what’s best for one’s children. And of course, ya gotta have heart! So if you combine Heart + Artistic, you get…Heartistic! The art of parenting with heartful artistry, as you shape this little person you’ve been given the priviledge of caring for into a decent, caring, wonderful person capable of exploring their potential to its greatest heights!
So far, I think we’re not doing too badly. Pretty much everywhere we go, people compliment us on our children, how friendly and happy they are.
Instead of just being all warm and fuzzy with them, we’re trying to insure that they have respect for themselves, as well as others. We want them to have a healthy self-esteem, and be able to determine what it is that they want, rather than bending to peer-pressure. We want them to be self-disciplined, have self-control and be able to take responsibility for the consequences of their actions.
We want them to be able to trust, as well as be trustworthy. To accept it as their right to defend themselves and have the courage to protest if they are mistreated.
I could go on and on and on….but basically it boils down to:
We want them to know that they were lovingly created, that their Heavenly Parent watches over them and loves them dearly, and to love their neighbor as themselves.
And when we make mistakes and fall flat on our parental faces, as we sometimes do, we’ve learned to forgive ourselves if we haven’t lived up to the standard of parenting we wish we could achieve. We’ve learned not to cripple ourselves with guilt at all the things we must be doing wrong.
I used to think that Hell was where they show you how your kid might have turned out, had you not made any mistakes as a parent!
Now I’m a bit more loving with myself, too. There’s only so much a person can do. You do your best, and let God do the rest. So far the girls seem to be turning out pretty good.
Now if I could only get some Divine Intervention in getting them to eat their veggies…