How I Offend Society by Being a Natural Parent

Namibie, une femme Himba et son enfant

So, I ran across a tweet from Dagmar Bleasdale last night that directed me to the heated debate going on in the comments of one of her blog post that discusses the how she is nursing her four year old.

At first, I was thrilled to see all of the wonderful encouraging replies she received of other mothers who have nursed or are nursing their children who are two to four years old. Then the negativity began to pour in which posters shared their disgust, claiming that these mothers must be physiologically damaging their children.

Image via Wikipedia

After reading, I decided I am going to share with you my blog friends and all of my friends and family on Facebook who are visiting for the first time, how our family operates, our beliefs and how I manage to offend so many people simply by parenting my children the way nature intended.

Let’s start from the very beginning, childbirth. While I was never brave enough to attempt a home birth with my three children, all three were delivered naturally (meaning through the vagina) not by C-section, with as little drugs and intervention as possible. A mid-wife in the hospital delivered my third. If a C-section had been required for mine or my children’s safety I would have agreed, but do not believe in voluntary or scheduled C-sections. My second, Goldilocks was two weeks late, and while we decided to be induced at that point, the thought of removing my sweet baby girl via C-section simply because she was not ready would have never happened.

I would also like to point out that I did not agree to any extra testing while pregnant or a 3D sonogram, as they are not necessary and have the potential to cause more harm than good.

Now, let’s move on to feeding the baby. Yes, I breastfeed, and yes I am an extended nurser. While our first was on soy formula until he was two and did not breastfeed, our middle daughter weaned at the age of 3 years and 3 months and our youngest is still breastfeeding at the age 24 months.

GASP….pick you self up off the floor now while I share with you a few thoughts and facts on breastfeeding. Firstly, for those of you that just found yourselves flabbergasted and disgusted, chances are you are stuck in the modern concept that society has warped into that associates the breast and the human body as sexual objects instead of what they are intended for. You are probably the person that scowls if you catch a glimpse of a mother feeding her baby in public. This is not natural, and it is beyond me how society has managed to become so warped that they would allow what is best for their own kind to be swept under the table.

Now, let’s move on to the facts. Dr. Katherine Dettwyler of Texas A and M University, sums up her finding quiet well here, which are that “The minimum predicted age for a natural age of weaning in humans is 2.5 years, with a maximum of 7.0 years.” A simple study of science of and human history, supports the findings and reveals how socially warped the world has become. So for those who choose to present with the question of “really, your still nursing her, shouldn’t she have stopped a long time ago?” I am simply going to begin replying with “really, you’re not nursing her, are you that uneducated?” Harsh, maybe, but I feel that women who choose to parent the way nature intended have been ridiculed and made to feel ashamed by society long enough.

Next….for those of you that do not do this yourself and did not know that I did, it will really blow your mind….I cloth diapered. Yes, my kids pooed in diapers and I actually put in my washer and cleaned them each day. Mind blower, I know! Really, people, it’s quite simple, we were not meant to have plastic and chemicals wrapped around our bum 24 hours a day. Not only is it an incredibly smart choice for your child it is cost effective and SO MUCH BETTER for the environment.

If I haven’t managed to freak you out or click away yet, here it comes, I DO NOT VACCINATE my children. Sure, they have some of them, Hep vacs and such, but really, why would I voluntarily pump my innocent little children full of chemicals, most times 5 different shots in one visit? It is NOT Natural! Many of the shots given to children are just not necessary in my opinion. They were developed in a time when hygiene was lacking and clean water supplies were not always available. We do not face these issues today and my children deserve the chance to grow up the way nature intended without a slew of chemicals coursing through their veins.

Now to round out the life that I live and love that leaves many feeling as if I just drug my nails across a chalkboard. I stay home and educate my children at home because that is what my husband and I have chosen to do. My life’s dreams do not include a successful career, large beautiful home or summer vacations to Europe. My dream is to raise my children in a loving home, teaching to appreciate the Earth around them and how to live a much more simple life.

With the exception of one or two meals my husband may make during the week and the few times we eat out, I cook for my family three meals a day, every day and 75 percent of that food is home-made, not processed garbage out of a box or freezer aisle and we sit and eat dinner together as a family every night.

Through the inspiration of Charlotte Mason, my children will leave my home when they grow up with the skills and knowledge to cook for themselves, how to grow their own food, how to mend their clothes if need be and so much more. So while my choices in parenting and natural living to do offend so many on a daily basis, they are mine and my families choices, and you do not have to agree but I suspect you are capable of respecting them. For while I may not agree with yours, I do the same. For deciding how we are going to carry out our life on this tiny little speck in space and what our true purpose is, is an individual choice for each to decide.