Originally Posted by CatsCradle
Back to the issue of "raising my own kids": after reading some of the responses here, I have to ask myself, what does 'raise' mean? I have my own definition of what raising a child is, and of course it is not going to mesh with someone's definition, so therein I think is the problem. The definition itself.
There's definitely some truth to that.
I'm more than open to outside influences and the time she spends with others, but at the end of the day, DH and I are the ones who are responsible for and need to provide her with the love, security and wherewithal to become a confident, and hopefully happy, adult. I mean, I think there is a certain fear attached to the definition of raising kids, and that by relinquishing some control over your child, you fear that you are not raising them. Just my take on it.
Ugh. Just ugh. "Fear"? Why "fear"? I didn't "fear" that I wasn't raising ds1 when I was at work all day. I felt that I wasn't. I still feel that I wasn't. He spent more hours (if we don't count the time when both of us were asleep) in the care of other people than he did with me. Other people saw his first step, heard his first words, watched him figure out reading, did crafts with him, helped him navigate issues with his peers, etc. etc. By my definition of "raising" a child, I wasn't doing it, except on a very part-time basis. I've also heard the WOHD/SAHM dynamic described as "he works and she raises the kids" many times, in many places, so I don't think my definition of "raise" is the same as yours, yk?
And, yeah - I chose to SAH, now that I can do so, because I wanted to raise my own kids, as per my definition of "raise". That's the reality. I'm not going to call it something else, because someone else chooses to believe I'm talking about them when I say it. If your definition of "raise" is more big picture and broader in scope, then you're going to hear it differently than I meant it...but I'm not talking about you ("you" being whichever WOHM is getting bent about this at any given time). I'm talking about me. I don't get bent if a WOHM says she chose to WOH because she wanted to do something useful with her life (and yes, I've heard that many times, too), or whatever. That's them. I'm me. My choices are about me and my family, not about anybody else's family. I might refer to "dumping my child into daycare" - not because I think there's inherently anything wrong with daycare (I've seen some really wonderful ones), but because that's how I would feel about it if I had to put my own child in daycare...because I don't want to! It would be an unhappy choice for me. But, saying that I don't want to "dump my child into daycare" does not, in any way whatsoever, mean that I think all children in daycare have been "dumped" there.
I choose to bedshare for about a year (a little longer with dd2), then transition into a bed in our room for about another year (again, a little longer with dd2). That doesn't mean I think that's "better" than never bed-sharing, or having a family bed until a child is however-many-years old. This is what works for us.
I EBF for six months, unless the baby shows a strong desire for solid food before that (only one went all the way to 6, but two went to over 5.5), except with ds1, where I only went a little over four months. After that, I breastfeed to around age two, but dd2 will probably go longer than the others, except ds1 (again) where I weaned earlier. I don't do total child-led weaning, but I also try to breastfeed for two years. Again - that doesn't mean I think it's horrible to wean at a year, or to do child-led weaning and stop at age five. This is what works for us.
I wore ds1 (no slings or wraps or Ergos, but I had a lovely soft Snugli that he and I both enjoyed, and then a frame backpack that kept him up close) until he was...2.5? Maybe 3? I wore dd1 rarely after about six months, as she didn't like it much. I wore ds2 constantly for well over a year. I haven't worn dd2 more than a handful of times in the last year and a bit. Personally, I choose to wear my kids as long and as much as they like. But, that doesn't mean I think that's "better" than someone who babywears until their child is too heavy for every available carrier, or someone who uses a stroller from infancy. This is what works for us.
I had an unwanted c-section, after I verbally refused consent with ds1. I fully intended to VBAC and then VBA2C, but caved on the next two. My attempted HBA3C ended up with an emergency c-section and a stillborn son, for which I'll feel guilty for the rest of my life. I had a truly elective (maternal request), scheduled c-section with dd2...even though I didn't want it or think it was truly necessary, because it was the only realistic option for my family. That doesn't mean I think those choices are "better" than someone simply scheduling a repeat, because they feel the risks of VBAC are too high, or "better" than having a HBAC, or whatever. These choices were mine, and they didn't always work for me, but they were, at the time, the best choices for us.
I WOH when ds1 was a child, because I didn't want to live in subsidized housing - or on the streets. Welfare wouldn't have paid standard rent here, and my ex was a massive financial liability. I hated being away from ds1, and felt that I was missing out on too much of his life. I'm so, so grateful that dh makes enough money to support me being a SAHM now, with my other three. I, personally, felt a strong, strong need to be home with my kids, and involved in the little, daily details of childcare (that is "raising my own kids", to me). That doesn't mean I think I'm a "better" parent than a mom who needs to WOH (and when I say "needs", I don't just mean financially - I mean moms who feel the need to be financially independent, mentally challenged, work in a certain field...like a calling or vocation, maintain their skills in the job market....or even simply a need to not spend their entire days changing diapers, wiping snotty noses, fixing snacks, etc.), or a mom who was able to SAH all along (maybe by making more sacrifices than I was able or willing to make when ds1 was young). This is what works for us.