Being a parent is hard. Of course, there are the late nights, the paranoia of your kids catching D68, the constant preoccupation with not messing them up too much, and then there are other parents. Not just any parents, but this new breed of hipster-eco-trendy-hippie kind of parent.
Although (thankfully) a small sector of the parent population, they are very vocal in their activism and in their judgment of others. And while I generally don’t mind their opinions, it bothers me when their reasoning for doing something is: “Other cultures do it this way, so it’s better.”
This blog post is not directed to those who have researched and made a thoughtful decision on these matters. Instead, this blog post is directed at people who follow trends and those whose reasoning is “this is how they do it in other countries.”
For example, there’s the issue of cloth diapers. The new hippies will say, “but other cultures use cloth diapers, so it’s better than the American way.”
No, it’s not. I’m from another culture. When I was growing up in Cuba, cloth diapers is all we had, but it wasn’t a choice. Most of the other cultures that you claim to know about use cloth diapers because that’s all they have. Once my family migrated to Florida, my cousins didn’t use cloth diapers for their kids. Why? Because we’re in America and can buy actual disposable diapers.
Another example is the matter of co-sleeping. Again, if this is something you choose to do, then fine, but don’t give me that, “It’s the preferred method of various cultures around the world.” It’s not. People in most other cultures co-sleep with their kids because they don’t have any more room in their house. In Cuba, I lived with my great-grandparents, my grandparents, my mom, my aunt, uncle and my two cousins. People in most third-world and developing have the same living arrangements, but again, NOT by choice. They can’t afford housing, or there just isn’t anywhere else to live.
So, please, if you want to co-sleep with your son until he’s 20, that’s your choice, but defend that as your choice, and not as some lame excuse that has nothing to do with actual facts.