I don’t think I have been met with much more controversy in my life than motherhood. This is coming from the liberal who owns guns, supports the death penalty, is pro-choice, and believes in universal healthcare. I’m no stranger to controversial issues. I enjoy them. I enjoy arguing them and hearing other people’s arguments. But tell the world you are going to have a baby and then all of a sudden it’s a whirlwind of controversy. From maternal age to vaccinations so many parenting choices are controversial. Here a few of the hot topic ones (in my opinion) and my thoughts on them.
Maternal Age: I hear this one a lot. Especially since I had my first baby at 32. People get up in arms about how old the mother is. Who the hell cares? If your parts still work then you have everything you need to become a mother. If I were to get pregnant again in three years (something that is a possibility) I would be considered advance maternal age. REALLY? To me that sounds like I’m having a baby at the age of 50. I’m a firm believer that you need to have your shit together before you have kids. For me, that meant education and establishing my career first. I wasn’t even ready at 32 but when your birth control fails you deal with it. Personally I don’t want to be in my 60′s when my child turns 20 but if somebody else does big effing deal.
Breast vs Bottle Feeding: Hot topic button engaged. Everyone has an opinion on breast feeding versus bottle feeding. There is a lot of polarity on breast or bottle feeling and then there are us who could care less. Don’t get me wrong, I love the benefits of breast feeding. It’s inexpensive, encourages bonding, has health benefits for the baby, and gives me an excuse to let my boobs out. But I have always been of the mindset if breast feeding doesn’t work out for me it’s no skin off my nose. I’m on a lot of mom/parenting forums and there is a ton of people bashing moms who don’t breast feed. Some have the audacity to say it borders on child abuse. Excuse me? People might say I gave up too easy. I;m sorry but the flu, mastitis and Reynaud’s made it extremely unpleasant and painful. So much so that I resented breast feeding and my baby. (oh no she didn’t) Yes I said it. And don’t get me started on breast feeding well in to the toddler years. This is where I have a strong opinion. Just don’t. A five-year old on your teat is not okay.
Circumcision: To snip or not to snip. That is the question. People will claim that circumcision is cleaner, healthier, and helps prevents infections. At the same time research is showing that isn’t always the case. People are saying short of religious reasons there really is no reason to circumcise your baby boy. In fact, some insurance companies have stopped covering them saying they are cosmetic and elective procedures. Some call the procedure brutal and torturous. I can see that. I saw the pictures of my son strapped down to the table and heard his screaming from down the hall. I still don’t regret my decision. I’m sorry, I don’t want to teach my 7-year-old son how to pull his foreskin back and clean the head of his penis. Little boys are dirty. I know, my ex had a son I helped raise. The last thing they want to do is shower or do any thorough cleaning. I still believe that it is healthier and cleaner. Plus he matches his dad. Another conversation I don’t want to have is explaining why he and his dad are different. Maybe I’m lazy. Either way I’m 100% down for circumcision. I’m not quite sure how people let a rabbi do this procedure in their home and feel okay about, but I’m not Jewish and I don’t have the knowledge to comment on it other than I just don’t understand it.
Vaccinations: My blogger friend Jenn at Something Clever 2.0 blogged about this as her topic. Let’s just say I agree 100% with her. I think all kids need to be vaccinated and that saying vaccinations cause autism is bull shit. I don’t want to deny kids education but if your kids aren’t vaccinated I don’t necessarily want you around my kid. Deal with it. I get freaked out when people without the flu shot are around me. Diseases are eradicated for a reason. Vaccinate your kids people. I didn’t leave the hospital without getting two vaccinations for myself so I don’t kill my kid. Please read Jenn’s post on vaccines. She says it better than I probably can.
Postpartum Depression: Thanks to Tom Cruise being a douche bag in 2005 this has gotten people’s panties in a twist. Listen, postpartum depression is real. Baby blues are real. But there is a thin line differentiating the two. I’m 5 weeks postpartum and bordering on the cusp of the two. Want to know something else? I’M A TRAINED THERAPIST. I know every coping skill in the book and I still get sad and depressed. If that doesn’t prove that it’s real then I don’t know what does. Could prove the I’m a bad therapist but I paid way too much money for the degree from the cracker jack box to admit that. Science tells us hormone levels take a dump after pooping out a kid. SCIENCE TOM CRUISE DO YOU HEAR ME? Hormones regulate our mood. Yes some people are able to cope better than others. Some people can exercise, eat well, and get some fresh air and feel better. Others still have that lingering sadness. I’m all for medication if you need it. Medicating depression helps get you to a point where you can consider implementing coping skills. With out some hormonal boost you could get stuck at a point where learning coping skills isn’t even effective. Use the medication to get there, learn your skills, implement them and you should be able to decrease the meds. (I wish I had a video of me typing this section because you would have seen smoke from the keyboard)
Sleep Training: With my five week old I am just starting to read up on sleep training. I get that you can’t really train a 5 week old to sleep through the night. I just want some longer stretches between feeding in the middle of the night. The difference between getting up at two hour intervals and four hour intervals is huge. There are so many schools of thought when it comes to baby schedules. Some rely on strict parent directed schedules, cry it out methods, and soothing methods. I definitely don’t subscribe to the thought that you can spoil and infant by picking them up every time they cry. That is complete hog wash. I also don’t believe in letting them just cry it out. So I guess I am somewhere in the middle and with the soothing on a schedule method. I know people who have catered to every noise their child makes. They’ve pulled off the freeway if their child cried for more than a minute. To me, that is insane. I’d never get anywhere. I have three books to read on sleep training and attempting to figure out what kind of plan I’m going to use. I don’t want my kid screaming bloody murder but I don’t want to be up every time he makes a peep. You people who can let their kids scream for hours are certifiably nuts. Or deaf. Or both.
There are many other controversial subjects about being a mother that I could add to this post, but it has taken me all day to write this post (#stupidbaby is one of my favorite hashtags btw).
This post is a part of Theme Thursday. To see other bloggers take on some controversial topics, or to add a link to your own post, click the button below.