When Alyvia was a baby I followed whatever everyone else told me to do. My parenting would change with who I was around because I was trying to please everyone else. Not only did this exhaust me but it really confused Alyvia. I also did things that I had always seen modeled before me and never thought that I would have an option to do differently or to question what it was that I was doing.
When we moved to Chicago I had no daily examples of being a mom, my sisters were not around me and I had no close friends that were parents so I had to become my own person. This was something very new to me; all my life I followed my sisters and aspired to do everything they did (without questioning if it was right for me) and now I had to think on my own. Jonathan will sometimes joke about me being a completely different person now then I was when we met and I just have to laugh because its true. The more I begin to think for myself and ask God how he wants me to raise my family, the more passionate I become about raising my children. I want to raise them the way God wants and the way I want, not how anybody else wants me to raise them. What works for some may not work for our family.
I am going to pick up my baby when she cries, nurse her when she is hungry (yes, even if she was just fed 5 minutes ago) or if she just wants comfort, let my little ones snuggle in the bed when they are having a bad dream. I will carry Amelia in a carrier on my front/back for as long as it comfortable for us both. I will not force them to eat everything on their plate if they do not like it BUT I will make them try at least a few bites. I will not pump my children full of artificial products, red dyes or unwanted pesticides BUT will not deny them when we are with guests or with company. I will cloth diaper my babies. I will vaccinate on a delayed schedule. I will stick up for them, even if this means I am that "crazy mom" at the park!
These are some of things that I am passionate about as a parent and some may not agree with it, but guess what? At the end of the day they are my children, God gave them to me and I am trusting Him to show me how to raise them.