As a midwife, as a mum and through P2B I see a lot of parents who think they have got it or doing it all wrong. As a mum I too have second guessed myself more than I would like to admit when it come to this parenting gig. My kids have seen me at my best and they have most definitely seen me at my worse. I have done many things right and OMG … I have made some big mistakes too.
It breaks my heart when I see the pressures my parents put on themselves for what they believe or have been told ‘should’ have happened or what they ‘should’ be doing.
We have all been there as parents. Maybe it was at mothers group, with family and friends over lunch or a coffee date. Someone questions our parenting choices. Maybe it was them passing judgement about your birth or feeding choice – what you had a caesarean section and now bottle feeding? Or why you must be home for your baby’s sleep, why can’t they sleep in the pram?
AND that self-doubt starts creeping in.So too that anxiety some of us know better than others. it’s hurtful. It’s unwarranted.
Motherhood should not be spent justifying your decisions to friends, family and strangers. Trust me when I speak on behalf of most parents …. we all question our parenting choices enough ourselves – we don’t need anyone else to join us!
There is not a right way to parent. There is no one way to parent. No one is wrong. No one is right. No one is ‘the’ perfect parent.
We are all a mess (well I am … hoping others are with me too) as we fumble through this parenting gig.
NEVER judge each other on our choices. Let me put it out there – what worked for your mum, sister, best friend, neighbour or even for professionals … may not work for you. And so be it. End of story. The end.
Sure, talk about your differences in parenting styles if you must. BUT don’t judge and don’t offer unsolicited advice. You are not walking in their shoes! You just need to listen. Sometimes that’s all a mum or dad needs. Yes, it’s that simple – just LISTEN. High five each other, encourage each other and laugh. Support each other and congratulate each other on what amazing jobs you are all doing for your beautiful baby’s.
I have found that parents need to trust their own instincts. When they do …. The family thrives.
It does NOT matter how you birth your baby: naturally, emergency caesarean, elective caesarean, epidural, no pain relief, all the pain relief available, if you were induced or spontaneously went into labour, water birthed, home birthed, public or private care.
It does NOT matter how you feed your baby: breastfeeding or bottle feeding, expressing or a bit of everything.
It does NOT matter where your baby sleeps: in your room, in its own room, in a cot or bassinet. It does NOT matter if you swaddle or do not swaddle, demand feed or are trying to get your baby into a routine.
It does NOT matter if you carry your baby or can’t live without that high-tech pram that cost you hundreds! It does NOT matter if you wing it all day, are never home and your baby sleeps in a pram. It does NOT matter if you want to be home so your baby sleeps in its cot.
We are all doing what we think is right for our baby. Our babies are loved, cuddled, fed and are adored. Isn’t that all that matters? Respect each other’s choices. Support each other. Be there for each other.