Those are my sons… Camden and Benjamin. I never imagined I would ever be a parent. Neither did my parents, or family members. I was always that teen and twenty something that loathed children. Part of me still doesn’t like some kids, but that is another post in itself…
A lot of my views on parenting in general changed in the moment my first son was born. I had so many thoughts and ideas on parenting, before I even became a parent, as most do. Now looking back, I laugh at those soon to be parents who know it all, and just want to pat them on the shoulder and say… oh just wait!
I thought I would put a list of things together that pregnancy and motherhood changed my thoughts on.
1. Childbirth – I thought pregnancy and childbirth were just a walk in the park… until I did it myself. No one tells you how rough pregnancy can be on some women… not all of course.
2. Pacifiers – I was always the one judging other parents in public when I saw their child walk by with a pacifier, whether their child was 3 months, or 3 years old. I said my boys would never have a pacifier… until my oldest was about a day old. Shoulda Coulda Woulda!
3. Abortion – While I was pretty pro choice before I had children of my own, being pregnant and giving birth strengthened my views on abortion, and reproductive rights as a whole. I can say today, especially being pregnant with a daughter, I am far more pro choice than I probably will ever be.
4. Bottles & Formula – Before I had children, I had no idea women even used their breasts to feed a baby! Seriously… I am not kidding. No one in my family ever breastfed, so it was something I was simply not exposed to… ever. When I got pregnant with my oldest son, and started learning more about breastfeeding after being shortly introduced to it in postpartum doula work, I was all about breastfeeding. Especially because it was free, and better for my children. I am super grateful for this because had I not learned, I would have never gave it at try!
5. Home Birth – Wait… People actually give birth at home? Until I started becoming a doula I never even thought women did that this day in age. The more I learned about the current maternity care system… the more I knew why women were making these choices. Heck, looking back, I wish I had opted for a home delivery for my first son, and I may not be in the situation I am today.
6. Poop – At one point in time… I was actually grossed out by poop. But that is something that kind of went right out the window. Now… it is part of my day-to-day life. Heck, if I don’t deal with poop on any given day it is like Christmas! I am certainly not grossed out by it anymore… gag reflex is under control.
7. Cloth Diapers – I went from thinking they were probably the grossest thing ever to being the biggest advocate and sales woman for them. LOL! I never imagined that I would be washing crappy diapers… ever! But I am now a cloth diaper freak. From the patterns to the ease of pocket diapers. We will be cloth diapering our newest addition a lot sooner than we got on board with our youngest son.
8. Doctors – I always thought that women should just listen to what their doctor says, and that should be the final word. Until I had crappy care with my first child. Heck, I barely knew midwives were an option! Now they are all I will see! I have learned to research, get second opinions, read studies, and truly become educated, because sometimes providers are not looking out for your best interest, but what may be easiest for them, or what they are comfortable with.
9. Childbirth Classes – Useless! At least that is what I used to think. I never took one, I thought they would be boring and nothing I couldn’t learn from my crappy copy of What to Expect While Expecting… well that turned into a major fail on my part! I wish I had taken one… or even more when I was pregnant with my oldest. And my belief in the effectiveness of childbirth education has brought me down the road to become a childbirth educator myself.
10. Junk Food – I wish I could say I always feed my children organic, or the things that are best for them. But sometimes, it is survival of the fittest and junk food becomes a tool of bribery. Of course I am not going to let my kids live on ice cream and twinkies, but the occasional cookie is not going to kill them. Of course if you asked me three years ago, we would be an all organic family… Oh how things change!
What did you change your mind on when it came to having children?