This can easily be written off as cultural differences. Coming from a cold Sweden where we love our families but every family member live their own life without too much interference in opposite to a warm Mexico where families are very important and the ‘Mi’ – My – in Mi familia almost represent ownership and not only the right but the obligation to get involved in each others life.
But this is more than cultural contrasts, the way Mexicans treat children are at best oddish, sometimes scary and maybe even dangerous.
Don’t change your life just because you’re a parent.
The advices first time expecting parents get from well-meaning friends and family are, “You shouldn’t change your way of living – Don’t change your life just because you’re a parent.”
Of course we should change for our children – we should be better persons when we become parents. We (hopefully) want our children to be better than ourselves and we want them to have a better life than we have. So, yes, we change with the responsibility, we should try to be good role models and give our little ones the best possible childhood, let them know everything is possible and the only limit is their own imagination.
What does the not change your way of living imply? Totally ignore and show no respect for your child. I have seen babies just a few months and even weeks old in the most damaging situations; Late nights in noisy restaurants and clubs and even on concerts. Or if there is a party with family or friends of course you bring your new born – It’s a child and they can sleep everywhere. Yes, they do sleep everywhere because at some point they become exhausted, that doesn’t mean it’s not damaging.
Food and nutrition was another thing that, not really surprised, but bothered me.
Unfortunately there sometimes are conditions not making breastfeeding an option, but you shouldn’t give babies substitute out of convenience or to protect your own body, breast milk contain nutrition no substitute can provide, it also strengthen the child’s immune system. Nor should you give substitute because you think your baby doesn’t get enough to eat, a woman’s body is quite amazing, a few days after child birth and in normal conditions it produce just as much milk your baby needs and wants.
Which lead us to my third issue and nutrition part two – What ever the problem the bottle is the solution; My baby
doesn’t sleep all night (which of course is normal, they rarely do), but the help for that is feed more and they will sleep longer.
The baby is crying – just give the bottle and it will be alright.
You don’t have to care exactly why your baby is crying, need a change? Pain? Want some human touch? No, just give the bottle.
30% of Mexico’s children are overweight and obesity increase with 2-3% every year.
The bigger problem with giving the bottle and formula is that the Mexicans usually don’t prepare just a few centiliters, they give the child half sometimes the whole bottle and a baby eat as long as it comes. They don’t have to work for it as with breastfeeding.
And so start a life long fight against overweight. Nearly 30% of Mexico’s children are overweight and obesity increase with 2-3% every year. Children which are overweight have a much harder time keeping a healthy balance as adults.
To show some understanding, this was not an issue in Mexico when the parents of today was growing up. They were given the bottle and was probably fat little babies, but as children they were out playing and the diet was monotonous and undernutrition common. The obesity problem in Mexico started with the introduction of processed food and fast food companies crossing the border in the late 21th century.
Maybe our children will be better parents, but I doubt it with today’s internet, video games, long working hours and no one have time to cook a proper meal.
Continue reading second post We are all family