I’m a woo-free natural mama. I don’t believe in the pseudo-science surrounding a lot of the prescriptions. I try to do my research, but I don’t “f**king love science.” I am not interested in raising my children to create a better, more caring world. I don’t care about the environment.
I am handling motherhood in a certain way and my son is being raised in a certain way so that I can feel good, and so that he can be strong and get what he wants out of the world.
I happen to have been raised without using much over-the-counter medicine and didn’t go to the doctor often because of who my mother is (thanks!) She isn’t anti-Western medicine—and neither am I. There are just a lot of things that can be done before you take antibiotics.
I am not pro or anti vaccine. I am not for “informed choice”. I am happy to be a free rider on the herd immunity that our nation provides. Nobody likes a free-rider, but everyone wants to be one. Our son will be getting some vaccinations; but that isn’t my point.
Whatever my choice, I will not be make it because I have a fear or autism or the heavy metals or cancer. It is because I can.
My children will be unschooled. This isn’t because, as many seem to think, because unschooled children are bastions of liberal ideology.
I am unschooling because I want my children to enjoy learning. I want to be the person to give them those opportunities. I want to influence their ideas more than other people. I want to have more say in their peer group.
I am unschooling because I want my children to be competent and confident in making their own decisions, and never have their curiosity taken way from them. I want them to remain in a growth mindset. I want them to compete on their own terms.
I am not unschooling because I want my children to take better care of the animals and the environment.
I want emotionally healthy children who are amicable, cooperative, and giving. To this end, I am raising them in the gentle parenting style, as advised by people like Dr. Daniel Siegel, the inventor of the field of interpersonal neurobiology, and Dr. John Gottman, one of the lead researchers in family systems, because I want my children to be able to get ahead in life. It just so happens that these skills are the skills of winners. While takers usually end up somewhere in the middle of the race of life, the givers end up at the top and bottom. I want my children at the top.
If, on the other hand, being at the top and being happy and fulfilled meant being ruthless and violent, then I would raise my children to be ruthless and violent.
While some might find this a dim view on why to raise my children in the way that I do, I find that ultimately, pragmatism towards one’s values carries you further than ephemeral ideas and reaching for the ideal. It is close to home that I want my son to be successful. It is much further away that I want Earth to be loved and respected so that it is a beautiful paradise for seven generations down the line.
The more abstract and idea, the less you get feedback from it in your environment. The less you get positive feedback, the harder it is to remain steadfast in your approach.
I will tell my children that we did all of these things because it is what felt good to us, and we thought it was the best way to make them strong and to want to continue a relationship with us in the future. I will make it clear that there is no shame in approaching things from a selfish angle, and the closer to home you make your goals, the more likely you are to achieve them. These are a few among the many great lessons I choose to model—and later, discuss—with my children.