When I was pregnant with dd just a few years ago, I joined an online community of preggos. It was there that I learned abbreviations like dh, ds, dd, etc. It was like learning a whole other language. I also learned that some moms were firmly in the “crunchy” camp or the “metro” camp. I couldn’t make heads or tails of this at first, but then I picked it up rather easily. To over-simplify:
“Crunchy” moms…cloth diaper, breastfeed exclusively, rear face until the child is well past age 1 or 2, make their own baby food, etc.
“Metro” moms…use “sposies” (disposable diapers), formula feed exclusively, turn the kid front-facing as soon as possible, buy Gerber off the shelf, etc.
Looking at these two options was like picking Democrat vs Republican: this is all I get to pick from? I can either be a Kinsey 0 or a Kinsey 6? For reals? It made no sense to me.
So, like much of my life, I picked what worked for me. Luckily, I found a group of like-minded preggos and we formed a small island of sanity in an otherwise overly hormonal discussion board. Eventually, we bugged out to our own private boards, just to get away from the crazies (who had taken to cannibalism by then).
Thus, we get to where I stand, or at least where I went: I use disposable diapers (I’ll get into that later); I pumped as much as I could when neither kid would feed directly from me, and when that wasn’t enough, I supplemented with formula; I turned my kids front-facing around 18mos because (at the time) it was a perfectly okay thing to do; I bought Gerber and felt no twinge of guilt.
I fully support a mom’s decision to breastfeed (bf) or not, because it’s HER decision based on what SHE feels she can manage. Things were different years ago, when I was a baby, and my mom had nowhere to pump at work (and mechanical pumps only existed in hospitals). Disposable diapers weren’t yet invented then. Formula was all the rage, so she bf’ed me before and after work, and I got formula during the day. You do what you can, and you do what works for you. You work it out with your pediatrician to make sure that it’s all safe for your kiddo, and that’s about that.
So, that’s where I’m coming from (and, obviously, the genesis of this blog’s name). I don’t believe that any one way is THE way to go, and I incorporate the bits of philosophy that work for me and my family, and I adjust as I go. I encourage others to do so…because life on the extremes isn’t nearly as much fun – or interesting – as playing in the middle.