I mean, I know in theory that many Irish mothers must breastfeed, co-sleep, baby-wear, and even continue nursing past the first year, but none I knew had done all that. Or none who talked about it, at least. Which is not surprising in a country like Ireland where things are swept under rugs all the time - and we are way more prudish than the stereotypical No Sex Please, We're British.
It makes perfect sense that blogland is the place to find all this hidden information, because the Irish do love to talk, and love to write, and love their kids, and just need an acceptable outlet for all this stuff so that it doesn't turn out you mortally offended your next-door-neighbour's mother who told her cousin who told your mother who was mortified to hear that you're telling all and sundry your private business.
Being an ex-pat was perhaps the best thing that could have happened to me from a parenting point of view. It gave me the freedom to work things out for myself. I lacked an on-the-spot support system, but I had friends inside the computer and I could let instinct, informed by what I read, tell me how I should parent. Peer pressure was not an issue. I knew what I'd heard about friends and friends of friends who had babies back home - they were almost always stories of past-dates, inductions, emergency c-sections, then bleeding nipples, failed breastfeeding, thriving on formula. All these things happen, of course, but the fact that I didn't seem to know anyone at home they hadn't happened to (from my admittedly small sample circle) was a bit disturbing. I was sure that wasn't how it was meant to go.
When it came to breastfeeding, and once things were going well, I saw no reason to stop. Around twelve months I assumed the baby would helpfully "wean himself," but that didn't seem to be what the baby intended. So we went on. If I was weird to the Americans I encountered, they could comfort themselves that I was, after all, European. If the folks at home wondered where I got my strange notions, they could of course blame those crazy hippie Americans for influencing me.
In truth, I learned to trust my own judgement and followed my heart. I decided that what had worked for the cavewoman - co-sleeping, babywearing, extended nursing - would probably be pretty good for my babies too.