Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Renamed: I'm crazy :)

Yes, I like to read, research, do what's best for my children and family, and sometimes it's not the norm. And sometimes it takes more time than doing it the easy way. And sometimes even my hubby thinks I'm crazy at first (take cloth diapers). And sometimes, I change my mind and go back and forth. And even better, sometimes I'm a hypocrite! And definitely what I decide for me and my family is not necessarily best for my friends and their families. And sometimes, I choose to voice my opinion (which I rarely do if not via my blog) and I know it's not the norm and people will think I'm crazy, and I'm totally ok with that, because I have been prayerful in my decisions, and I know they come from the Lord!!

It started before Cara was born. I was crazy about breastfeeding. I knew I wanted to do it, I knew formula was not an option and I knew I wanted to do it for a year. And I did, all of it. It wasn't always easy, and I didn't go and do as much as I do now that Cara's weaned, but I felt I gave her the best start in life, and even if it was tough, or I grossed someone out by doing it (ALWAYS discreetly) in public, I still did it because it was best for me and my baby. And I plan on doing it with Micah.

I also knew that I didn't want my child watching tv a lot. She never really 'watched' it before 6 months, and from then on, she only watched it every other day or 2 to watch Signing Times, and boy did that help when she couldn't talk but could tell us what she wanted. Yes, Eric and I watch tv, and we grew up watching tv, and we turned out just fine, but that doesn't mean that just because we did, that Cara and my future children will. Just think if she spent that time reading or learning or coloring, or doing bible study that I spent watching Dirty Dancing 100 times over!! Granted, when I got pregnant, we let her venture out into the movie world (Cars and Nemo), but to this day she doesn't watch it every day. It's usually every 2 or 3 days, right before nap when she asks for it. And we watch about 20-30 minutes. There are days when she would sit and watch it all day if I let her, and on days when I don't feel well, that's exactly what we do.

I also was very into sleep training, as mean as it sounds. My child cried for 3 nights (progressively less each night) when she was 4 months old, and we have NEVER had a problem since, even when she's sick. She goes to bed awake, loves to climb in (now that she has a big girl bed) and talks herself to sleep. And I don't feel like a bad mom for doing it.

I made all her baby food. Yes, people thought I was crazy, people also think I do everything because I'm super cheap. I do make lots of decisions based on the fact that I could spend money on pricey (organic) baby food, but I would rather spend 20 minutes once a week making it, and then have that extra money for more fun things. It didn't take that long, and my child was not sick from the time I started making it all (Jan 2007) until the end of May 2007 when we started introducing more 'processed' food. Also, she to this day still eats all the veggies and fruits we give her (granted, there's less variety now because it's not all pureed and Eric and I just don't eat 40 different kinds of fruits and veggies). I didn't have a veggie from the time I was probably 2-24!!!

I cloth diaper. I wanted to since Cara was born, but didn't know enough and was scared of the mess. I finally (thanks to the help of a few key friends and going to a cloth diaper chat at a local consignment store) took the leap in early May and love it. I never have to run out to buy them, my water bill hasn't gone up (I wash about 2 times a week, and yes it will be more frequent once the baby is here), Cara NEVER has diaper rash anymore (which was NON STOP when she was in disposable diapers), and I don't gag on the poop, like I thought I would. It's actually easier to clean up than in a disposable. Wipe (cloth wipes) and dump.

We also strive to be debt free. You'd think we had 3rd eyes on our heads when we tell our parents that we can't go do something because it's not in the budget this month, or that we only buy Cara 3 things for Christmas, (1 that she wants, 1 that she needs and 1 that will grow her relationship with Christ, thanks Erin) because we want her focused on learning about Jesus and not Santa. They think we're absolutely crazy because 2 years ago, when we first started our Total Money Makeover and had lots of debt, we told them we weren't getting anyone anything for Christmas. Eric and I rarely exchange gifts, but we know that later in life, we will be able to go and do more, and give our kids what they truly need and want without having to cut back, because of the sacrifices we're making now. And this is how I'm able to be a very happy stress free stay at home mommy, verses what I was before I had Cara (you don't want me to go there!). Believe me, I wish my husband made triple what he did, and we didn't have to budget as tight as we did, but I also am happy that he is happy doing what he does, enjoys his job, and he is happy that he gets to provide and I get to stay home. If you'd have asked us 5 years ago; that would have NEVER even been an option to us!!

And now, I'm considering not circumcising my son. You thought all the rest was bad, just mention that in public!! :) I again have done lots of research, and believe it's best for him. I know it's the norm here, especially in the south! But why would God make us in His image, (Gen 1:27) just to have a piece of him cut off shortly after birth. We are not under the covenant anymore of having to have it done (1 Cor 7:19, Gal 5:6, 6:11, 6:15, Col 2:11, (read around the verses too). Our faith is through the grace of God, not under the 620+ laws of the old testament (Eph 2:8-9). They used to do it to little girls too (yes, we have foreskin you just can't see it like you can a boys). Doctors used to do it to boys without asking the parents permission (in the 70's, early 80s) which is why so many of our generation is done. Eric still isn't totally convinced, and that right there is enough for me to have Micah circumcised if Eric truly feels that's what's best. But again, I have been praying for God's guidance (and soon!) so that we are all in agreement. I know that when he gets older, he will look different. I know he may have to answer questions, or (oh my goodness!) even be made fun of. But I also hope to raise a man that is strong, loving, and focused on what God thinks, and not what others think of him.

And, I think all these things about my family. I do not judge what other people do for their families. I know convenience is a big factor in a lot of decisions these days, and that is great for others, but I want to know WHY I'm doing something, not just because everyone else does. I pray that I haven't offended anyone, and if you were at playgroup today, you didn't hurt my feelings! You are completely entitled to your own opinions, as am I. Obviously, the circumcision part is just 1 bead in a string of things that I feel that people think I'm crazy for!! :)


Kendra said...

Wow! Very good post Misty!! I wish I had as much determination as you when it comes to a few things you listed there. Keep up the great work!!

Jenn said...

You're a GREAT mom!!! Nobody'd better be telling you different, girl! That's just Satan trying to whisper lies in your ear. Rebuke him, Sister! God is pleased with you! :) Love ya!

Beaver said...

Okay, for just a minute, I'm going to play the devil's advocate (but not literally). In response to your circumcision argument that we are all made in God's image, why do women (and men), Christians and heathens alike, pierce their ears (and other body parts) and wear makeup? Aren't we, by definition of His image, physically perfect without these alterations? For that matter, why do we cut our hair and shave our legs, and, hopefully, armpits? The price of beauty? And I'm not just saying that because I hate shaving my legs and don't wear makeup. Haha.

Anyway, I read your post aloud to Eli, and he was the one who made the comment about the piercings (I thought about the shaving--you know me). We're asking ourselves these same questions while we're facing impending parenthood, dealing with the same issues, right down to the Dave Ramsey-inspired budget. I admire your honestly and "trail-blazing."

You are an awesome mother, and I hope that I can accomplish half of what you have! Continue to seek His will for your family and don't let anybody (let alone the Devil's advocates) get you down!

Love ya! E

Robert S said...

We made the same decision about circumcision. In fact I think Kendra said something about you thinking about it because of us. I knew it wasn't necessary Biblically, and even the medical arguments aren't really any good any more. One of the comments I was told by the doctor is the increased risk of STDs. I hope that how we raise Levi will have a large impact on making that not a problem. The rest of it is just teaching him to keep himself clean.

Valerie Pearson said...

First -- get it girl!! There is sooo much pressure put on moms BY moms; we should all be as strong as you!! You know we circ'd both our boys and each one was a researched and prayerful decision. I applaud you for your research and encourage you to seek even more sources from both sides of the issue; I know for me it is so easy to look for only those sources who echo what I already want to hear (or read...).

That being said, here is our logic. First, I know several grown men who have issues from not being circ'd (not dirty folks now!!) and I wanted to avoid that for the boys. Second, while I don't want the "locker room" attitude to rule the kiddos after working in a public high school I can't ignore that kids are vicious -- some things are worth the hassle (like Christian faith), some things aren't and maybe this is one thing that isn't. Mind you, "locker room" was not the decision-making criteria but still something to be considered. As weird as this sounds, I also wanted him to be like dad -- bizarre I know but I don't know the psychological ramifications that might have developed when I had to have "that" conversation (and now that I have a 3 yr old I realize "that" convo comes much earlier than I thought it would...). Next, while obviously I want to teach the boys to be clean the stereotype of the dirty little boy exists for a reason; my boys produce dirt and think that slowing down long enough to wash it off is torture. Obviously I didn't know that when they were newborns but I took a risk that they would be typical in their love of all things dirty and their abhorrence of the cleaning process; things paid off for me. For us, the decision had to be made on the probable rather than the ideal because after all isn't that where life happens... Hope my rambling gave a little bit of opinion/logic on one side of the issue.

Bottom line...whatever your decision it's what is best for YOUR son. You are his best advocate, that's why God gave him to you and not to someone else.

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