I believe breast is best, and I will nurse in public. I always use a cover, but I will not go sit in my car or some nasty bathroom. You don't like it, you can look away. I suppose I also believe in extended nursing because Brentley still nurses. He doesn't nurse anywhere near as much as he used to. Only when he's tired, upset, or not feeling well. He doesn't nurse for food anymore really, but I don't plan on stopping. We are just going through a VERY slow weaning process.
I don't believe in circumcising. I researched this extensively before Brentley was born (talked to people I knew, talked to moms on cafemom, researched articles online, and asked my doctor and midwife, and of course Chris since he is a guy). We feel that it is purely cosmetic. We never even got Grace's ears pierced because we don't want to alter their bodies without their permission. If Brentley wants to be circumcised one day, then he can. If we had gotten him circumcised, he cannot go back from that. I will not alter my children without their permission.
I believe in vaccinating, but not blindly. I am actually sort of torn on this. There are things I'm not comfortable with on both sides of this fence, but (again) through my research, I believe vaxxing is the better choice for our family. However, we don't do flu vaccines, and they only get two vaccines at a time as to not overload their systems. Also, if one of the kids were to have a serious reaction, I would no longer vax that child. I watch their reactions closely. Grace always got a fever, she would get really fussy, and the injection site would get hard and red. If it ever would have gotten more serious... like a high fever or a rash, I probably wouldn't have let her have anymore vaccinations. Brentley just gets fussy for a little while, and then he's fine.
You all know that I am a car seat nazi, so I won't really go into that except to say that this is the one area where I don't believe it should be a choice. This is truly about safety... life and death. This should not be regarded as something you can pick and choose. We will be extended rear-facing, extended harnessing, and extended boostering.
I highly value education. I want my children to always try their hardest. As long as I believe they are doing the best they can, I will not be upset. If I know they could do better, there will be consequences.
My children learn early. Grace can already do everything she needs to be able to do for kindergarten except write her name, and we are working on that. She is also beginning to learn Spanish. She picked it up from Dora, but I am helping her along now that she is showing interest in it. In addition to that, I am teaching her sign language. Right now we are starting with simple signs and the alphabet. She can already do A B and C. Brentley will be taught at the same pace. I find it to be a waste of time to wait until they're four or five to learn these things. They are ready so much earlier than that. I know that planning on sending them to public school may not seem like I truly value education, but we live in the best school district for miles. I have worked in the school that they will be going to (in four different classrooms) and it is Ah-may-zing! Plus, I am studying to be a teacher. I am learning first-hand how the system works, and I will know how to effectively add to their education when they are home with me. Again, I believe this is what will work best for our family.
I value imagination very much. Grace has a very active imagination, and I love to see it blossoming! I have always loved where books can take the imagination. I have a list of book series that I want my children to read including Magic Tree House books, The Shadow Children series, the Harry Potter books (haven't read these, but I've heard nothing, but great things and plan to read them), and the Hunger Games series. Each of these books has great educational value as well as great potential to allow their imaginations to soar. I have so much hope that books will bring them the same joys that I have always found in them. I have read more books than I can even name. So many more than just these here, but these are the ones that top my list. The ones that I learned from. The ones that I connected to. The ones that made me want to believe in the places I was transported to by the books. I want them to have these experiences too.
I also place a lot of value on appearance and attitude. Even now, I make sure they look presentable when we go somewhere. I want them to realize that a first impression is everything. The way you look is the way you'll be judged. It shouldn't be this way, but it is. I also want them to have a presentable attitude. Grace always says please, thank you, you're welcome. She even says bless you when someone sneezes. We are working on yes/no sir, yes/no ma'am. The way you look and act is everything in today's world.
I want to have a completely open relationship with them. I didn't know what a penis or a vagina was until I was almost 8 because I was never taught the proper names. I remember being very confused when one of my friends was telling me the real names.
I was never taught what a period was. I learned from one of my friends and from secretly reading the book "You" by American Girl whenever my mom would take me to Book-A-Million. Yes, secretly. I was afraid of what my mom would think if she knew I was reading that book. If I hadn't learned through that book and from my friend, then I probably would have thought I was dying or something the day I started.
The only sex talk I ever received was, "Don't have sex." And I got that from my dad when I was ALREADY four months pregnant (he just didn't know yet).
I do NOT want these things for my children. If they have questions about their bodies or even the bodies of people of the opposite sex, I will answer them honestly. It will be age appropriate, but it will be honest. I believe being open at a very young age will allow an easier open relationship as they get older. I was always scared to talk to my mom about anything like that because she never brought it up, and things were awkward if I did, so I just never did.
I want them to be able to ask questions without fear.
This is all I can think of right now. I will stand by my decisions. I will even advocate for them, but, as long as you aren't hurting your child, I don't care what you do. If you don't agree with these things, I don't mind at all. Different things work for different families. I won't judge your parenting style, so please don't judge mine :)