There’s No One Way to Parent

Becoming a parent is an out of this world experience. It’s kind of a crazy concept if you really think about it. You carry this child in your body for nine months, go through hours (or days) of labor, and then a tiny helpless human is in your arms, and you are completely and totally responsible for not only keeping it alive but also raising it to grow into a decent person. Wild, right? So you’re left to sort of just figure it out as you go. That’s when you discover there’s no ONE way to parent.

Also read: Why I’m Okay with Spoiling my Child

Breastfed or bottle fed, cloth diapers or disposable, co-sleeping or sleep- training? Let me tell you though, whichever path you choose and however you decide to raise your child, there will almost always be pushback from others. There will be people that tell you that you’re doing it wrong.There will be people that tell you that you’re basically ruining your child with your parenting decisions.

As a first time parent or even a “seasoned” parent with multiple children, we will always question if we’re doing a good job. A good mom is her own worst critic. And frankly, it SUCKS when someone comes around and tells you “hey, you’re a bad parent”. Maybe they don’t say it in so many words, or they even disguise it as friendly advice, but you know in your gut that they are putting you down as a parent.

Do you want to know why someone might do that? Because more likely than not, they’re insecure about their own parenting choices. They have the same doubts that we all do, so they try to make themselves feel better by putting someone else down. I’m not even going to talk about people that don’t have kids or even any experience with kids, but always have so much “advice”. Those people usually live to eat their words.

I’m here to tell you that you are doing great! It’s okay if you weren’t able to breastfeed as long as you wanted (I only made it to five months, despite my best efforts), as long as your baby is fed and loved, that’s all that matters. A little bit of screen time won’t kill them, sometimes it can save your sanity. Not letting your kid go nuts on candy doesn’t make you a mean parent. And giving in to dessert doesn’t make you uncaring. Discipline (not beatings!) is what shapes them to be a respectful adult.

We are responsible for raising the future of our world. Wouldn’t it make sense for us to support one another in this difficult yet incredible privilege? Step in when you actually believe that a child is in danger. Otherwise, just be encouraging and understanding. All of us are in this together.

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