Do You Ever Feel Like a Dummy When it Comes to Parenting Terminology and Movements?

Mom and daughter
Apparently I've been babywearing since the birth of my first daughter. At least I think so, anyway.

You’d think because I write for a parenting site that I’d be on top of most things parent-related. You’d think.

And yet. I don’t know all the top mommy bloggers (or most any of them, really) or the latest kerfuffle in parenting styles (are Space Shuttle parents next after the Helicopter ones?). I have two kids under the age of 4 — who has time to read (other than Good Night, Gorilla and the Knuffle Bunny trilogy, that is)? I really only know what’s happening in my house, and more specifically, with my kids.

Lately, however, I’ve been glancing at headlines other than the ones I’ve written with increased curiosity (and because I know so many of the writers at Baby’s First Year are highly entertaining, educated and talented!) because I sense that some of the pieces could be of interest to me as a mom. Phrases like “baby-led weaning” have caught my attention (I still have no idea what it is but figuring it out is somewhere in the vicinity of my to-do list), as has babywearing.

And it dawned on me yesterday that it’s quite possible I’ve been babywearing and don’t even know it.

If a tree falls in a forest and no one’s around to hear it, does it make any noise? If I don’t know if that what I’m doing is babywearing, does it count?

I’ve been carrying my 3-month-old daughter Peony around in a Baby Björn lately. Is that babywearing? I mean, it makes sense, I guess (although I’ll feel really stupid if it means something entirely different). Or could babywearing mean I have a baby hanging onto my nipple at all times? Because it feels like that could be what it means, too. In which case, I’m also babywearing.

No matter what it means, I’m not entirely sure why babywearing seems to be a movement with a name (and a capital “B”).

This isn’t the first time I’ve been befuddled by parenting terms, or by the fact that there are so many parenting movements. Like, I had no idea that disposable diapers were referred to as “sposies” (with great disdain by people who use cloth diapers, apparently). Or that “too posh to push” is how so many people think of the vast majority of women who have c-sections. I honestly hadn’t a clue there were people who are really and passionately into breastfeeding (even when their own babies aren’t involved) who call themselves “lactivists” (and boy, do many of them often come across as militant and humorless).

For many reasons I’m trying to get better about the parenting and baby slang, but the reality is, when a tree falls in my house, I need to hear it so I do. Anything that happens outside (for the most part) is just white noise.

Do you ever feel confused or left out by some of the parenting and baby terminology?

Image: Meredith Carroll

Article Posted 5 years Ago

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