Tuesday, July 26, 2011

It's really not easy...

If there's one thing that drives me a little batty, it's hearing people talk about another's parenting decisions as the "easy way." As I was looking into the cloth diaper decision I read one mom's post about how she saw cloth diapering as an investment into the future and that while disposables are easier, cloth is better. Now mind you, I think cloth diapering is great. That's why I do it. And I do think it's an investment in our future. But really, is it "easy" to use a disposable? Someone's gotta work more hours at the office to pay for them. That sounds kind of hard to me. And someone's still gotta change them and take them out to the garbage. Whether you use disposables, cloth, or practice elimination communication, it all sounds a little more difficult than sitting on my lazy bum in an easy chair.

As I continued on the mom compared it with co-sleeping, that while training your child to sleep in his own crib is harder at first, it's a better investment in the future. Now hold on there...co-sleeping is easier? Yup, that's what I think when my little guy wants to hog the bed or when he wakes more frequently because his snack bar is within easy grabbing distance. But perhaps, PERHAPS, some of us choose to co-sleep for other reasons. We like the bonding time, the family togetherness, the emotional security.

Let me tell you what would be easier...throwing your kid in a crib, refusing to respond to their cries, never feeding them, never changing a diaper, and all together not thinking through your parenting decisions. Or you could sell them to your neighbors (that's if they'll take them). Yeah, THAT would be easier. But guess what, I don't know many mothers out there who like the thought of any of those actions.

Here's some food for thought, no matter how you roll in your house, parenting isn't easy! There's just something about that little life and wanting to give them the best possible chance in this world--wanting to help them feel loved, secure, confident, intelligent, healthy, everything--that compels you to keep going and to keep being the best mommy or daddy possible. If any of us were in this for it to be easy, we would have gotten a goldfish.


  1. From what I've read, there are cloth diapers that are pretty easy to use and are pretty comparable to the ease of disposables. I agree, we shouldn't assume that people make parenting choices based on what's easiest. That being said, ONE of the reasons I breastfeed because it's easy (for me). I don't like the thought of getting up in the night to make a bottle, or packing formula and bottles and things for a trip anywhere. I love the convenience and ease of breastfeeding. Thankfully that is one thing that has never been difficult for me, but I know that it certainly isn't the easy decision for everyone.
    But, just because something is easy for me doesn't mean I'm choosing 'the easy way out'. My easy way might be very difficult for someone else. Co-sleeping is easy for me, but others find it hard even if they want to do it (fear of smothering keeps you awake, waking at every sound and movement...). And teaching a baby to sleep on their own at any age may be easy for some (like my first child), but it can be very difficult for others (like my second).
    Don't know where I'm going with this, sort of rambling now. I love your posts. Parenting certainly isn't for wimps.

  2. I think your assesment of mothers who don't co sleep is unfair. Every parent must choose how to best raise a healthy happy child given their particular situaton. For some parents that means co sleeping and for others it means sleep training. The choices a parent must make are many and may be different for each child depending on need. Being a parent is hard enough and I think mom us are getting a little competitive with the idea of being perfect and for some reason that has made us all turn on each other. The life of a parent ( regardless of parenting philosophy) would be much easier if we were all more supportive and kind to each other and tried to understand our differences instead of looking for fault.

  3. Maybe I didn't communicate things fairly enough Ellen. I completely agree. I think that every parent makes decisions that work best for them and that even if something is easier for them, as Desiree said, it's not "easy way out." I do find co-sleeping to be easier, but I also think there are things that are easier about crib sleeping. The mention of throwing the kid in a crib and never responding to them isn't alluding to sleep training. I think that most parents who sleep train make sure to have a loving daytime relationship, have a nighttime routine, still check and console their child, etc. Even though I personally don't agree with "sleep training," I do believe that most of the time it is accompanied with love and regard for the child--not simply throwing a kid in a crib and calling it good. My disdain is not for parents who choose a different route but for the labeling of "easy way out," no matter what the parenting philosophies may be.

  4. Good clarification Amy.

    I am not one that co-sleeps, because I sleep so light that I CANNOT sleep with a child, heck I can barely sleep with a husband :) so for me even in a bassinet next to me was too hard beyond the second night so my kids all slept in their crib from very early on. And it isn't easy no matter what you choose because I still had to get up and get the baby to eat when he/she cried. I must also agree with Ellen, we mothers spend so much time criticizing how someone else is being a mother we are forgetting the most important part, we are all in this together! I can only imagine what better parenting could happen if we all supported one another instead of being critical. (I'm not saying you are being critical Amy, at all, this is in general).

    However, sometimes I think the use of disposables might be easier. You just change and throw away. You don't have to carry it with you when you are out if it gets dirty. But, for me it fits in our budget to do disposables, and I just prefer it...hahaha even though I know we could save money, I just can't do the other. Oh well, that is our choice, and it's nice that either way isn't bad, won't hurt our kid, and it isn't a strain on us.

  5. I did not intend for my comment to say you were being critical. I wholeheartedly agree with the idea that there is no easy way out of parenting (even parents that choose not to parent must live with their decision). What struck a nerve with me though was the description of the "easy way out" I would call that behavior abuse and abuse is not a different variation of parenting style it is abuse. I think there is so much controversy on the web that just brings parents down. And I think that we have to be very careful and walk the line of disagreeing with someone versus equating their parenting decisions to abuse, that line can be very fine sometimes, because as parents we have chosen a certain way to do things because it is the most beneficial for OUR children so anyone that is not doing it that way must be wrong and doing harm to theirs. That is simply not true and I think acknowledging our differences and being open to disagreeing with each other but supporting one another on our road to being a positive and engaged parent is a much better use of our time.