Their basic assumptions are that you give birth in a hospital with an OB/GYN, put your child in a crib, use a swing and various other mechanical baby holders, go to the pediatrician every time their child is the least bit sick (and of course you always do exactly what the doctor says), plop the child in front of the TV at a young age (they were only talking about Baby Mozart and such, at least...), introduce a pacifier and a bottle very early on, even if the Mom is staying home with the baby, define breastfeeding for a long time as ten months to a year, and send the child to preschool at three then on to public school. Whereas I visit midwives, am planning a homebirth, co-sleep, don't watch any TV, baby-wear pretty much all the time for infants (and toddlers!), don't go to the doctor unless someone is very ill, am planning to homeschool, don't bother with the pacifier or bottle and breastfeed past toddlerhood. It is just such a fundamentally different way of looking at child-rearing. Now that I've realized this difference in framework, it makes me understand why I left this meeting feeling so empty and depressed.
I've tried to get a group of moms together who do practice a similar style of child-rearing, but it is difficult to do. Part of it stems from the fact that we seem to be rather few and far in between around here, but also it is hard to figure out how to find the people who I do have more in common with. I think I need to try harder though, because I think it would be good for me (and probably for Emma too).
It makes me wonder about moving though - how important is the community for us? Should that be a major criteria? The other side of this is that I also didn't fit in when I lived in Santa Cruz either. Yes there were a lot of people who practiced AP-style parenting, but many of the people there where just way too new age-y and/or hippie for me (and I too straight-laced for them!) So going somewhere that has a reputation (like Santa Cruz) doesn't really seem like an option, but going to just any old town probably isn't exactly a good bet either.
Sometimes I think it would be so much easier if I could just turn the part of my brain that thinks about all this off, stop being the way I am, and just conform and get over with it. Oh, but conforming for the sake of taking the easy path is not the way we are meant to be, I think, and if I were to do that I think I would be placing myself in peril.