Now that I'm pregnant with baby girl #2, I've been thinking about all the ways I've changed my views on certain things. Parenthood can flip your opinion faster than a toddler destroys a living room! My advice to new moms (and dads): Try to not say that you'll never do something, or always do something, because you will eat your words! That said, here are some things I've changed my mind on since having a child.
I smoked in high school and in college. Of course I knew how bad it was for me, but what did I care? I was 18 going to live forever! Plus, I was just so super cool, smokin' my cig, saying things like "Oh my God, I totally need a cigarette right now!!" Most of my friends smoked, and it was a social thing, especially at the bar. Cigarettes were practically currency (not in the prison sense, but still...). When one of my best friends got pregnant our senior year, I was a little put out that I could no longer smoke around her. Like, really? What's the big deal? I mean, I'll open the window!
Fast forward to June, 2009. Holding that positive test in my hand, I knew my smoking days were long gone (they had been gone for over a year at that point, but I still had the option). Now, I'm like a smoke detector! I work on a smoke-free campus, and I can pin point with amazing accuracy which students smoke, which staff members smoke, and how long go their last puff was. I walk by smokers standing outside of buildings and dramatically hold my breath as I pass through their fog of nicotine. If I know someone smokes in their home, Little Toots will never go there. My mother-in-law smokes, but she does so respectfully. She goes far away to have a cigarette, washes her and hand and brushes her teeth after, and if possible she changes her clothes.
It drives me bonkers to see mothers with a cigarette in one hand and a baby in the other. I want to scream at them "You are KILLING YOUR CHILD!" Since having Little Toots, smoking now equals coughing, ear infections, SIDS, asthma, and a half dozen other preventable illnesses. This is by far my biggest change of heart.
#2. Nursing Toddlers
Before, and even after, having Little Toots, I felt that nursing was for babies and toddlers should be weaned. I nursed Little Toots for 8 months. She stopped being interested in it, and I called it baby-led weaning. I now realize that she was probably on a nursing strike, and I should have kept at it. I used to think that toddlers nursing was a little creepy. I mean, here is this great big kid, with teeth, the ability to walk and talk, yet they are drinking milk from their mother's breast! Ugh! Since then, I've done a TON of research and I realize the value of full-term nursing. Every worldwide health organization recognizes the benefits of breastfeeding until two years of age. I fully intend to nurse the newest little one as long as possible! Here is the link to The World Health Organization
#3. Male Infant Circumcision
Oh, the things I've learned about circumcision! Originally, I was in the "let the dad decide" camp, now I'm firmly against cutting perfect baby boys! I don't even think it's a "personal decision" for parents to make. It's genital mutilation plain and simple. There's no medical benefit, and we're not religious so that wouldn't make a difference to us. Basically, it's a cosmetic surgery and I would never alter my daughter, so why my son? I'm a little relieved that I'm having another girl, so we wouldn't have to worry about it, but I truly hope this barbaric practice ends, and soon! Check out The Whole Network to find out more...
These are just a few things that have changed since becoming a mother...and I'm sure that my opinions on other things as I learn how to manage two children!