Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Skeptic in Me

It started about 8 years ago. I wanted to understand all the hype about organic foods so I read a book called To Buy or Not to Buy Organic. It really helped me get an idea of what foods are worth purchasing organic. But it was such an individual thing. A lot of it depended on the foods I was consuming daily or weekly, which could be much different than someone else's diet.

Then during my first few years of teaching, I was so enthralled to actually get to do what I've been wanting and waiting to do all of these years. As the days turned to weeks and weeks into years however, my sky-is-the-limit view of education began to narrow. It wasn't that the majority of students I worked with had special needs. And it wasn't for lack of positivity and effort from myself and the teachers around me.

2009: here comes baby #1. I was opened up to a whole new world of do's and don'ts. I quickly learned that black print on a white page was much more clear than actually living out pregnancy, labor, childbirth and mothering.

At some point I turned into a skeptic. Do I really trust and conform to what "they" are telling me is best for my diet, my students, my babies?

Could one size really fit all?

And so began the education of myself. My quest for truth. I know it sounds dramatic, but I can't help but dig beneath the surface. I don't want to be rude or disrespectful to those who "run the show" because there are many authorities and professionals who are highly qualified and well-meaning. Don't get me wrong. I just want to find the best fit for me and my family.

People deserve to be informed. And while it is our right to be informed, it is also our responsibility. It's our responsibility to take the time to do it. To chose our sources wisely. The Internet is so easy and accessible, but there's also a lot of nonsense out there. There are wonderful books, but many written with bias. Dig deep. And keep digging.

Only problem is, digging is work. Hard work. And once you do the digging, you now have a huge pile to sort though and to maybe even (gasp) apply to your life.

You might be thinking two things: "Duh." or "That sounds completely overwhelming.". Kudos to you if you're already the investigating type. I could probably learn a few things from you! And if you're so not into this idea because it sounds overwhelming, you're absolutely right. It is. But to you I ask, what if you started with just one thing? Maybe that thing that's already been in the back of your head? I think you know what I'm talking about...

And take heart, I've always been a mediocre-at-best student. I don't have it figured out. Just taking steps. This stuff can take a lifetime. But I want to be a LIFE LONG learner. I want to ask questions because I'm truly interested and I truly care. I want to make informed, prayerful decisions for myself and my family about the food we eat, the way we educate and how we approach health and medicine and more.

And here's the kicker, I want to RESPECT others who research and choose differently.

There are FAR TOO MANY judgments made, and believe me, I'm preaching to myself. I think it is sad and heartbreaking that The Mommy Wars are a "thing". We've judged and accused each other so much in the realm of parenting, there's a name for it. And it's called war? What a tragedy.

I am sorry. I'm sorry that we can put each other under a microscope. That I'VE put others under a microscope. Our stories are all written differently. Beautifully differently. What works for my family does not mean it's the "right" choice, just the best choice for us. And what works for our family does not mean it works for you. Because certainly, one size does not fit all.

*I've refrained from sharing the details about my experiences with food, education, childbirth and mothering, but if you would like to chat or hear more, feel free contact me via email or on Facebook. :)