Tuesday, March 3, 2009

What is normal?

I heard about a child development specialist who conducted a study to determine if all parents were concerned with being "normal". She had been seeing many different parents and she found that they all seemed to wonder if their parenting choices were within the "normal" range as compared to other parents. She undertook a study of primarily North American parents to determine if their worries were universal - she found that they were. In a nutshell, all parents wondered if they were "normal". I must admit, I have never had this thought cross my mind. Perhaps I have taken for granted that my parenting choices thus far have been unconventional. I cloth diaper, I co-sleep, I never let my child "cry it out". I chose midwifery, I agonize over vaccinations (I have chosen an alternate vaccination schedule and have omitted some of the standard vaccines) and carry my baby in a sling as much as possible. I nurse her to sleep, she has never even napped in her crib. I hope to breastfeed as long as I can. I have never wondered if I am normal because I know I am not. To tell you the truth it is liberating to know that you are not "normal". I don't feel like I am in a competition with other parents - I feel like I am in a different race. That is not to say that I have an issue with anyone who chooses to parent in a different way - as far as I am concerned, whatever works as long as the baby and the parents are happy and healthy. I'm sure that when my Darling Daughter gets a little older I may have more concerns about normalcy but for now I am content to be to know that "normal" is not what I am. Answer the poll if you want or add a comment about "normal".

1 comment:

  1. What's that saying again? "Normal is only a setting on your dryer"?