Have you noticed in recent years the growing need to label each and every aspect of parenting and motherhood? Natural Parenting, Attachment Parenting, Breastfeeding, Extended Breastfeeding, Cosleeping, Non-vaxing, Cloth Diapering, Babywearing and on...
Many of these labels stick to me, they apply(in my opinion), but whether they fit appropriately is left up to interpretation. I consider myself a natural parent but I'm not a vegetarian, I don't eat only organic and I don't practice homeopathy. I consider myself an attached parent but I don't homeschool. I didn't really babywear, we used a "crotch dangler" with my first child and I didn't babywear hardly at all with my twins. We co-sleep but we also believe in time-out's, discipline, rewards and consequences. I love animals but I also enjoy that my husband hunts and that we're able to provide fresh, natural meals for our family with what he's able to bring home.
Lot's of things about me contradict peoples definitions of what it means to say you're "this" or "that."
You might be thinking "so what?" if people want to label themselves then it's their right and there should be no problem with that.
Don't label me and I won't label you
My problem with labels, is that I've seen an increasing number of people using these to help them determine who they like to associate with, who they want to befriend or who they want their kids to befriend. I've seen labels used to make assumptions, used to make moms feel bad, and labels defined clearly enough to exclude people.
I've seen members of "natural moms" groups hide that their spouse smokes cigarettes, or moms who feel they have to explain why breastfeeding didn't work out beyond XYZ weeks for their child. As if they'll be disinvited if they can't check "yes" to all questions on a parenting checklist that doesn't and shouldn't exist.
For the most part, ALL the labels are made up. Some have come to have been "defined" by Dr Sears or Dr Phil or whomever, but in reality, YOU know in your heart what type of a parent you are and you shouldn't feel pressured to conform to or disclude yourself from any given label.
This is not to bash you for labeling yourselves. I do know that in a world where we all spend a lot of time online that it helps us meet like-minded people. I just wanted to point out that your definition of "natural" or "attachment" or "babywearing" may not be the same as someone else's and that's OKAY.
So, is anyone else as sensitive to the whole "labeling" phenomenon or is it just me?
Co-sleeping, Breastfeeding, Hunting, Fishing, Tattooed, Geocaching, Cloth Diapering, Non-vaxing, Public Schooling, Mini-van driving, Hospital Birthing, Epidural having, Flip-flop wearing, Bleach Blonde blogging mama! (j/k of course!)