I Have No Parenting Style

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Not that I am lacking in stylish parenting, I simply have no set parenting style, therefore my children will grow up to be lazy and stupid.

This is how I feel sometimes when I read through the whole internet, with all parents seemingly in one camp or another. And so many of them wear it loud and proud. I have my own set ideas of how I am raising my kids, which usually has nothing to do with anything creepy or illegal, yet sometimes I am (or was) reticent to admit to my choices for my kids. I don’t want to be yelled at for making the wrong choice.

Fenandbexwithstool

Actually now, for the most part, I don’t give a troll’s nut about what people think. When I was a new mom, though, I was looking all over the place for answers and ideas and kindred spirits. It’s hard to find kindred spirits when you’re not really sure who you want to kindre with, and all of your friends are gay or don’t have kids yet. And your mom’s dead, and you just cherry pick things you find interesting that you’ve read/heard about that sort of fit in to your lifestyle.

I’ve never been one to put bumper stickers on my cars or wear clothes with logos or slogans, and I have to say, I’m a little weirded out by people who align themselves SO FULLY with one way of thinking, and define themselves by those terms.

I wore my kids in slings and carriers and loved it. I breastfed, co-slept, focus on learning through play, and so on. But I don’t understand making that what my social media descriptions are all about. I would feel as if I were walking down the street screaming to people that I was pro-choice, or as I shook someone’s hand for the first time I simultaneously told them all about how I firmly believe school lunches are helping to perpetuate terrible eating habits in our country.

Although both of those things are my beliefs, I feel the need to keep them to myself until they come up in conversation. I’d rather connect with people who are smart and funny and thoughtful, instead of connecting because they also stick their breasts in their children’s mouths.

And honestly, I’m really not trying to put down people who are uber-passionate about their parenting style, I really just don’t understand it. Which makes me think about when sometimes people can’t understand my sarcasm. Which makes me blink really slowly.

Parenting brings out the vocally opinionated in some people, it seems. And it also seems that once a few people start to brand themselves as certain types of parents, others can’t wait to jump in and unite or attack.

This used to make me very nervous, but then I learned to shut my laptop and go make a pillow fort and break out a snack. With or without kids.

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12 Comments

  1. Name
    03/20/2014 / 8:46 am

    Amen!

  2. Bar
    03/20/2014 / 10:14 am

    love your honesty jeanette…and agree that it i would have a hard time labeling myself. oh, and cutest kids evan!! xx

    • 03/20/2014 / 7:05 pm

      Thanks Bar! It’s a little scary to be honest, but I’m trying to move more in that direction….

  3. 03/20/2014 / 2:17 pm

    Cuties!
    Do you have a recipe for those peanut butter bombs?
    I am not the most consistent. I just get too tired. Many of the things I do are out of practicality like breastfeeding. I can also be a little too easy on my kids because I don’t want them to be sad. But in the end I don’t think what we do matters all that much. I believe in nature over nurture.

    • 03/20/2014 / 7:13 pm

      Hm. I think my parenting style should be labeled as, “Whatever is easiest” now that I read this. I like your laid-backedness, lady.

  4. Ana
    03/21/2014 / 8:11 am

    Ha! I couldn’t agree more! I totally believe in going with your gut and trusting that you will be a good parent without having to adopt a “style”. Do what comes naturally!

    • 03/21/2014 / 4:36 pm

      Thanks, Ana- I had a feeling you were a laid back sort like me when it came to parenting…

  5. Stephanie Haass
    03/24/2014 / 5:11 am

    Love. This. Post. 😉

  6. 03/28/2014 / 2:31 pm

    I also can’t get on any bandwagon when it comes to parenting. I tend not to follow the rules of this world, opting instead to copy the rules of my parents’ world, which is why my kids slept on their bellies as infants and I fed smooshed grapes to my two-month-old. What? They were seedless.

    And now that I’ve worn the 70s and 80s styles out, I am coming to terms with the fact that my children and I are individuals who really can’t be caged.

    You’re a good mom and I can’t wait to buy your kids’ artwork someday.

  7. 07/11/2014 / 1:16 pm

    To preface everything I’m going to say: I’ve raised four kids (3b1g) and lived through what you’re saying. I said that no wonder our kids are screwed up, “they” say be consistant, if one thing doesn’t work, try a new strategy…soooo, I was consistant in my non-consistancy. Had to go through a ton of strategies to find what worked with my kid(s). Then after a short time (too short IMO), it wouldn’t work sooooo, back to the drawning board.

    I went back to school and learned a ton about child development (sorta like closing the barn door after the cows got out?) and stuff I wish I had known then.

    I have taken a bit from there and here and developed my own “theory”–common sense/logical that if I were to impart upon parents to enhance their parenting skills I would share them if given the chance. Oh, while writing here I ran out of room so I wrote them out in my blog–if interested, just click on my name.

    Trusting ourselves is a big part of parenting. Keep up the good work.

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