A lot has changed since we welcomed A into the world almost 8 months ago (8 months next Tuesday). My schedule has changed, my every day routine has changed, my heartbreaks more heavily for tragedy in the news and women who yearn to have a baby their can hold in their arms. Friends have changed, some people have shown their true colors, some surprised us, others didn’t. Relationships with people in our lives have changed – some growing stronger, other dissipating. One thing I didn’t expect though was this intense judgement people feel like they have the right to about how you parent your children, and I have experienced it. I have seen in on the internet, I have seen it first person.
Ryan and I tried for quite some time before we conceived. It’s really not something we talked about much, even to family but the yearning was there for quite some time and so was the disappointment, and finally the day came where the excitement was there and overwhelmingly so. In the years before getting pregnant, we had a lot of time to discuss how we wanted to raise our babies, things like we felt were acceptable, things we didn’t feel like was good fit for us. I suppose that was a positive to having to wait so long, because we had those ideas already unlike others who may not have had that time to plan those things do deeply, discussing the parenting desires for with one another.
We believe in co-sleeping and it usually happens part of every night. We believe in breastfeeding and baby wearing. We don’t believe in making our children cry-it-out. A never liked a binky or a bottle or even being swaddled for that matter – so we didn’t force it. I’ve never turned to books for parenting advice, I just haven’t felt that need. We don’t do schedules, letting her take the lead on if she’s tired or if she’s hungry. It’s made for a very happy baby and a happy mama. It’s what works for us. Some call it attachment parenting, we call it just following our instincts as parents. Frankly, you can call it what you will. There are parents out there that do thinks like we do, and it works for them too. There are other parents out there that it simply doesn’t, they do things the complete opposite of how we do it, that’s okay.
What’s not okay is the judgement that others pass on how other parents parent their own children. How I parent my children is my business, how you parent your children in your business. Plain and simple. Does it mean that one of us is wrong? No. As long as your child is bathed, fed and taken care of – then absolutely not. Every person is different – in their thought process, in their emotional and mental ways of doing things. It’s what makes us human and what makes us who we are. Our children are no different – they need different things, they react different ways.
I’ve felt like I’ve had to defend our parenting decisions to some that I was probably a little surprised about needing to defend to. I’m not sure why I have felt that need, it’s no one else’s business but ours. It doesn’t make me a better parent or a worse parent than you, and vice versa. As long as you are doing your best, and I’m doing mine – isn’t that what really matters?