I belong to a moms' group and yesterday went to a baby shower which really pointed out to me how much less crunchy I am than some of the other moms. I think people should be able to do what works for them and while I enjoy hearing other people's thoughts and ideas, I did get offended when I was asked during a conversation whether I would have a VBAC were I to birth another child and I answered no, another mom said "OH! MY! GOD!"From the tone she used, you would have thought I said that I enjoy torturing small animals in my spare time. After she said OMG, she rolled her eyes and turned away from me. Fine, whatever (eye rolling is a huge pet peeve of mine). Another mom (who had both a c-section and a VBAC) said that what was most important was that the baby was healthy. The eye roller said "Maybe, but the memory of how you give birth stays with you so that's really important." Ummm....yes, the memory is important but not as important as the baby. I think that if your about-to-be-born baby is in crisis, you take that beautiful birth plan you slaved over for months and throw it in the trash if you need to. I'm not in favor of elective c-sections unless prior history has shown that there'd likely be another emergency section and I think, as long as its not dangerous to the baby, that women should be allowed to try a VBAC if they want. BUT the fact that I would not choose to labor for hours on end again knowing that there is a significant likelihood that I'd still end up with a section does not make me a horrible person. Of course, her eyes rolled again when I said I wasn't having any more children. Two is good for us.
So, after thinking about the shower and other topics of conversation that came up, I came across a quiz online which determines how crunchy you are. I scored as instant oatmeal by a point or two; I was very close to being jello. Not really a surprise. What saved me from being jello? The fact that I did cosleep with Jess and still do when Mike is at work and the fact that I rarely wear makeup. What kept me from being cruchier than grapenuts? Among other things were type of birth, nursing, and education. I don't understand homebirth and I cannot wrap my head around the idea of voluntarily having an unassisted homebirth. I wanted medication. When I was wheeled in for my emergency c-section, I was damn glad I'd had an epidural because if I hadn't already had a line in, they would have put me under general anesthesia which I didn't want. I think its great when a woman who wants an unmedicated birth is able to have one; I knew that was not the choice I wanted to make and was glad I made the one I did. I had no desire to breastfeed either of my children (and before anyone says I couldn't have nursed Jess, there are women who induce lactation to breastfeed children they adopt). The idea that breastfed children are smarter and healthier doesn't hold so far in my house - neither of my kids are sick often. Jason has always done well in school and Jess is excelling in preschool and has hit some end of kindergarten milestones. Are they geniuses? No, but I don't particularly want to be Doogie Howser's mom either (MA is not the state to live in if you do have an extraordinarily gifted child because the first thing to go here in school is gifted and talented classes). I think breastfeeding is great for those who want to do it but I disapprove of the pressure put on those of who don't. (And, I think this doll is ridiculous http://www.nydailynews.com/lifestyle/2011/03/23/2011-03-23_breast_milk_baby_doll_teaches_young_girls_how_to_breastfeed.html. Jess has seen my friend nurse and has pretended to nurse her dolls but she didn't need a special apron to put on with flowers where her nipples would be to show her where to have the doll latch on - can't anyone use imagination anymore?). The quiz also asked whether I ever breastfed someone else's child or let someone else nurse mine. Sorry but this has a serious ick factor for me. Education - I don't homeschool. Unless there is a serious reason to, I will never homeschool. It would require my quitting my job which would require us to move to an area we could get by on with one salary which is not something we'd do except as a last resort (the areas we could afford on just Mike's salary and still pay all of our bills are not places we want to raise our kids). I could homeschool quite well through elementary but would need to hire a tutor for math as soon as the kid hit middle school as Jason has an engineer's mind and I sure as heck do not. Letters and numbers SO do not belong together. He tried to explain Pi to me the other day and all I came away with was a very large headache. I can see pros to homeschooling but it's not for my family. Radical unschooling (and for those who don't know, that is one method of homeschooling; I am not referring to all homeschooling) is one philosophy which I strongly disagree with; it goes against my beliefs as a parent. I believe children do need structure and clear, consistent expectations; I do not believe that it is healthy for them to be in control of all aspects of their lives.
So, here I am ....instant oatmeal. I'm pretty happy with that. I have friends who are very crunchy and friends who are less crunchy than I am. Makes life interesting.