Monday, July 20, 2009

Baby Mine

Mothers need support, help, and most of all, understanding, during the wonderful years of raising a child. It can often feel though, as though there is nothing but criticism coming our ways.

Are you breast feeding? No? You should be.

Are you bottle feeding? No? That's why he is so skinny! He's not getting enough to eat!

Are you co-sleeping? No? You should be.

You ARE co-sleeping? You're weird.

You let your baby have a sip of soda? That will rot his teeth.

You don't practice attachment parenting? It is so wonderful, why wouldn't you?

You wear your baby every time he cries? That's why he is so clingy.

As much as I crave getting out of the house and finding moms to hang out with, sometimes it can just be too much. The constant bombardment of criticism. I have one set of friends that do full on attachment parenting, and a set that thinks attachment parenting is odd. A set that thinks hospitals are horrible places to have babies, and a set that think it is crazy to have a home birth.

I often find my own ideas to run in the middle of both groups; however, when I am with one group or the other, I tend to "hide" the part of my parenting style that gets criticized.

Because I don't want to be criticized; I want to be thought of as a good mom.

Like all of us moms, we want to be good moms. We want other people to smile and say "What a great job you are doing; all your hard work is really amazing!"

But often, our greatest critics are our fellow moms, who really should be our greatest allies. We should realize how very hard it is for a new mom to go out to the mall for the first time, and not laugh at her. How very hard it is for the mom of 4 to get all 4 to walk nicely side by side. And how very hard and stressful it can be when deciding how to discipline in public. 'Cause we know that half the people think you should be spanking your little love bug and the other half think that the "stern talk" you gave them was much too harsh.

So today, moms, let us give each other a challenge-let's make an effort to comfort a mom (or dad!)-give her affirmation instead of criticism. Let her know that you understand the million different things pulling on her today.

Let her know that SHE is the mom of HER baby for a reason-she is the best person to raise that child, and no one else can judge but her what is the best for her child.

As long as you and your baby are healthy and happy, then your parenting style is perfect for you.

And just keep telling yourself: This Baby is Mine and I'm doing a great job.


The Mummert's said...

You are a great mom!!! People should just mind their own business and leave other people alone.

I got a lot of criticism because I didn't try to breastfeed Alexis, but she is happy and healthy and that's all that matters to me.

sheila said...

I find things so different now then when I was raising no baby sleeping on stomachs..I don't say a word! lol.

People really should mind their own businesses though. Seriously.

John and Caitlin said...

Attatchment parenting? What the heck is that? Are these the same people that become helicopter parents and drove me crazy as a TA in college? :)

I think you're a terrific mom. I know I'm going to be looking to you for advice in 3 years or so :)

Andrea said...

Thank you for writing this - it was exactly what I needed to read. It's true, we all need to support each other. I agree with you so much. Just because one set of parents does attachment parenting and co-sleeping and has a healthy happy baby doesn't mean that attachment parenting would work for everyone. Kids, like parents, are sooo different. We have to find what works for our lives and our families.

aileen said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Anonymous said...

Thank-you so much for writing this!!!!! We did cry-it-out with our daughter and I never tell people about it because of the criticism- even though I firmly believe we did the right thing for her temperament and our situation.