Monday, December 13, 2010

Parenting Perspective

Okay, I admit it. My husband says I'm part of a cult. And sometimes I agree.

How so? Well, I'm a bit of a [says in quiet undertone voice] attachment parenting mama.

Flee while you still can!! I am one of those! You know the kind, the ones who are active (or like me, used to be active since I have NO time right now, but still give advice when asked) in La Leche League (which speaking of that, there are 2 awesome groups, one in Hebrew and one in English running in Jerusalem right now- email me for details).

The kind that breastfeeds a toddler, interested in baby led weaning or baby led foods, tries to wear or hold her baby as much as possible, doesn't believe in cry it out sleep training, has co-slept with her baby for now close to 2 years, and still has her in her room when not... I know. I'm a freak. I'm facing it.

It's not a cult, I tell my husband- I raise a happy, well adjusted, independant, smart, courageous and adorable toddler this way! Her needs are met, I am in her life, despite working during the day, and all is right with the world! And then he conceeds, that yes, everyone is happy- and then mutters "LLL, it's a cult" under his breath. And we both laugh.

Now. I am usually a very non-judgmental person. I try very hard to be like this. The problem is usually not me- but people around me. Like for example, if someone mentions she's giving her one year old milk, and I remark, "Oh that's nice.", she immediately feels she has to defend herself and say, "Well, I breastfeed for a year, and now I need a break, and I'm happier and so is he, so now we stopped nursing."

Okay lady. I get it. And truthfully, a side of me says- yay! You are happy and your baby is happy! So what's the problem? I certainly don't care! I think 3 days of breastfeeding is a huge accomplishment and mothers should get awards for it!
Yet AP parents get a flak, sort of, of being judgmental of others' parenting, so hence the response.

Yay! I'm happy you found a bedtime routine that works for you. Do you really think I care that your kid is in another room than you? Do what works! As a wise friend once said- if it ain't broke, don't fix it. (Now, if you let your kid scream for hours alone to get that result, don't expect me to praise you. I may nod and say, OK, but I'm certainly not going to lambast you in public for it. If I feel you are receptive to a comment, I may recommend The No-Cry Sleep Solution as an alternative.)

So I'm throwing this out to the blogosphere. Do you feel people judge you on your parenting style? Are you judgmental of others? Do people feel they have to defend their style to you?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Chanukah in Israel

One of my favorite holidays of all time- but here in Israel, Chanukah is taken to a new level.
Besides for my daughter having learnt in Gan for the last 3 weeks consecutively every last detail about Chanukah- dreidel spins, menorahs are polished and then lit with oil, the Pach Shemen was very important- did I leave anything out- and then actually coming home with several songs about Chanukah, Israel tends to make a big deal about this holiday.
The Ubiquitous Sufganiyot line the street, so much so that you can smell them practically everywhere- caramel, jelly, and plain- you name it, they've got it. Livivot, or Latkes, are being baked everywhere, so potatoes are on sale at your local grocery or makolet.

But not only that- traffic hits a new high at around 4 pm, as everyone frantically rushes home to light their candles as soon as they possibly can. I got home at 5- and my whole block (practically) had their menorahs already proudly displayed in their windows, or in the aquarium boxes on the street. The Kollel men shift their schedule tocome home at 4 and then head back at 6.

I guess it's nice having such a nice, big, deal made of the Chag HaORim, Festival of Lights. It's beautiful to see even those who are not religious celebrating this day. Where I work made a special effort to erect a menorah and light it on time for all the workers still there.

So whereever you are, have a very Happy Chanukah this year, and may we be able to see the Temple that the Jewish people fought for rebuilt speedily in our day.