Loco-parenting

I recently read this column on the NYTimes Parenting blog.  I thought the idea of “loco-parenting”, or parenting by zipcode, to be both interesting and true, though I found the author’s interpretation of it to be condescending and reliant on stereotypes.  Her column looks at life as a parent in Seattle after having lived in NYC.  It is at best NYC-centric and at worst, insulting to those who live and raise their children on the West Coast.  It did get me thinking about some of the differences between raising children on the different coasts or different regions.   I noticed many differences when we returned to the Other Washington.  For instance, in the Emerald City everyone uses the Moby wrap or some sort of woven sling.  People have at least one BOB stroller on their front porch.  Walking around Old Town, we saw lots of people with babies close in age to LC, but did not see one BOB or Moby wrap.  (I know people who have BOBs in the Other Washington, but not in the numbers seen in the Emerald City.)  We use cloth diapers, as do many of our friends.  I have not met anyone in the Other Washington who chose to do that.  In fact, we have had our choice of cloth diapers questioned by some in the Other Washington. In our newborn group, I am only one of two mothers who have returned to work full time (out of 8), while all of my friends have returned to work in the Other Washington.

None of these choices are right or wrong, they are personal choices we all made for ourselves and our children.  But I find it interesting the way geographic regions tend to create trends.  It shouldn’t be surprising, after all how many different words for “soda” are there which are used based on geographic location?  Since A and I were both raised on the East Coast with certain regional “quirks” but we are raising our daughter on the West Coast.  How will these two mesh to create our parenting style?  We plan to return East one day, how will this change in location effect LC?  Will we walk around complaining that parents in Seattle do not act as parents in the East do, much as the author of the column did?  I hope that no matter what coast we end up raising our children on, we will be able to use what we have learned from our friends on both coasts to give LC and any other children the best we have to offer.

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