Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Sins of the Mother

It was the 70s. My mom followed advice given to her by my and countless other pediatricians throughout the country: to start cereal at 1 month of age, that it was ok to introduce cow's milk at 3 months to save money on formula, to have babies wear the white lace up shoes to make their feet develop correctly.

Car seats did not exist, cribs were painted with lead paint, and a 5-year-old was an adequate babysitter for a younger sibling (or, you could just wait for the baby to fall asleep before heading out to the disco. We know somebody who witnessed this happen.)

I think we turned out basically ok regardless. Still, reading information currently available in books and online, I try to put into practice a lot of things that are the exact opposite of the standard child rearing approach of the 70s. Breastfeeding, babywearing, attachment parenting, delaying solids, etc. as examples. Oh, and Hank wears those leather shoes that conform to his feet versus the white ones that made 70s babies' feet flat as boards.

I have been making all of Hank's food since he started solids a few weeks ago. I find it fun and enjoyable, and not "just another thing" to add to my never ending and oft neglected to do list. I typically boil or steam the (organic, natch) fruit or veggies while I am preparing our dinner, and puree them using this processor or use a food chopper. I fill a covered ice cube tray with the food, and store the perfectly portioned cubes in bags. I have a cook book of homemade baby foods, and love this site.

So the question is -- what will people 30 years from now find wrong with child rearing practices of the early 2000s?


Favorite of the day: We sooo need to make these for the tiki bar!

Working on: Cleaning the house - company's coming!


S'mee said...

I think we will learn that all this constant stimulation (bouncers, jungle gyms, walkers, vibrating mattress pads, humming white noise and or crib hung music boxes, automatic all) will have an effect that is less than we hoped for. I think I see a trend for less attention, less creative, less self soothing/motivation, than we did with the previous generation...and the generation before that. (I'm old) Although they certainly help entertain little ones and give mom a 5 minute break - I worry. I am probably wrong, I hope that I am.

julie said...

I did make babyfood for my first little monkey--it's especially fun, a little later, to just puree a portion of whatever "real" meal you're making at the time.

Second monkey, however? I didn't introduce solids until she was old enough to feed herself--of course, she wasn't especially interested in solids until then, too, but I didn't offer, either. Just one of the five billion things--breastfeeding, cloth diapering, handling illnesses, traveling--that was SO much easier the second time around.

karen l said...

1 -I think we're going to find that we have a lot of flat-headed people from insisting babies sleep on their backs!
2 - I agree with s'mee about the overstimulation - babies need time to learn how to play with their toes and entertain themselves!
I'm absolutely amazed by all of the new products available for mommies today - (my baby is 25) - it's fun to get a baby shower invite just to see all the new stuff!

telfair said...

It's pretty satisfying to have a freezer full of pretty-colored little cubes, isn't it?

Angela said...

I've wondered the same thing especially when I talk to my mother or MIL about how what they did with us is now considered "wrong"! I try not to stress myself as a new parent because even with all the "wrong" things my parents did, I'm still a responsible member of society able to hold a job and *hopefully* able raise my little one well!

(btw, I enjoy your blog! I stumbled across it a while ago when looking for apron ideas and have been reading ever since.)

April said...

Hi Friend! My very forst blog comment ever!

My sister and I were just talking about how all the wories we have as parents now will probably be what we do wrong for our children. It is something I'm working on.

I am totally impressed that you are making your baby foods. I intended to do that... Those little glass jars were just too tempting to this lazy mama. :)

Junie Moon said...

I made my children's food, too. It gave me such a good feeling and I felt I was doing something good for them. Approaches to motherhood change in many ways over time, but the bottom line is to love, protect, and care for our children as best we can -- and that never changes. You are doing a wonderful job.

leslie said...

good for you jen! i tried cooking this way with both my kids and it was hit or miss. not sure why i couldnt stick to it. you know it really blows me away that babies would be held in your lap in the car when we were kids. also we used to all cram in the back of my parents squareback, like 4 or 5 kids, all loose in the back, no seatbelts!!


the one good thing about growing up in that time was that our parents let us run more loosely, we were outside so much and really learned about our environment. i think i am a great navigator now because of it. my step kids get lost riding their bikes to the store and they are teenagers! they are driven everywhere and never look out the window. when you are on your bike or walking to school every day, you notice every house, tree, fence etc. our kids need some of that now (and i dont mean being "walked" to school by a parent either!)


gardenmama said...

Interesting post! I enjoyed reading the first commenters thoughts as well!
Breastfeeding, babywearing, ap, delayed solids, babyfood making mama here ; )

Jennifer said...

Another mama (my boy is now 11) who has thought a lot about what we're doing that will turn out to be wrong. It gets hinted at here -- I don't think we're allowing children to be independent enough. We've become a very overprotective society; at 11 I was riding buses and trains downtown by myself and we don't let our son ride his bike off of our cul de sac! He's the only kid he knows who has to do chores. It's hard to know when loving/supporting becomes crippling because a child isn't learning to do things on his own or to know how to recover from disappointments and difficulties....