I’ve been there. I see or hear about a mom doing something that I don’t agree with or thing is wrong as a parent and I’ve judged. Why? I’m not exactly sure. I know that my method of parenting and thinking isn’t the only way but, well, I’m a work in progress and I’ve grown a lot since my judgement days.
As my site implies, I’m a crunchy mom. I believe in attachment parenting, breastfeeding, baby-led weaning, blah blah blah blah blah–you get the pictures. And now I’m a work at home mom who keeps their child home with them. I made my baby food, still nurse my daughter, and am not completely sold on the “cry it out” method. But this is actually what caused me to take a step back and re-evaluate things.
In one of my many mom groups I’m apart of (not the crunchy ones of course, ha!), there was the discussion of crying it out. I think I quite literally scoffed at the poster who was letting their 3 day old cry it out (I’m exaggerating the age but you get what I mean) since abc slept in the bed with us until she was about 6 months. Mini was very different. At 6 months, she was sleeping through the night without nighttime nursings. Abc? Not so much. After trying pretty much everything I could think of to get her to sleep in her own bed through the night, nothing worked. Nothing except crying it out. I modified it so that it fit my parenting style but my baby would sleep through the entire night if she fell asleep on her own.
The phrase “You can’t put a price on peace of mind” is still around for a reason. A good night’s sleep and a baby sleeping though the night changed me and my outlook on others parenting practices.
When it comes to parenting, there are no absolutes. Just like our kids are as unique as their fingerprints, so must our parenting styles. It’s so frustrating to hear mothers judge each other or to act as though their specific parenting technique is the end all be all. If you’re reading this and this is you, let me just share something with you…
Your parenting is great BUT it is NOT the only way to parent.
I’ve seen people get upset and lose their entire cool over how someone else is parenting. Here’s the thing, when you have your own children, you are free to whatever it is that you think is best for their welfare and will help them to grow into responsible adults. Just like there’s more than one way to cook chicken, there’s more than one way to raise a child successfully. Just because someone doesn’t breastfeed, cloth diaper, stay at home, home school, or make their child feel like sun rises and sets on their a$$es doesn’t mean that they are any less than a parent.
If you formula feed or breast feed but your child’s stomach is full, you are an awesome mom.
If you breastfeed in public freely or not and your child has never felt hunger, you are an awesome mom.
If you have bought store bough food or made it from scratch and your baby is satisfied, you are an awesome mom.
If you believe in baby wearing or bouncers and your baby is happy, you are an awesome mom.
If your child is safe, full, happy, nurtured, and healthy, you are an awesome mom.
Parenting is hard. Motherhood is trying. Instead of breaking each other down judging we need to be building each other up and helping as much as we can. To the women that I silently judged, I’m sorry. Let’s continue on this road of building helping each other and creating a community of loving and supportive moms.
What say you?