Today, I'm linking up with my very best friend, Casey, for On Your Heart. Go follow her blog and get to know her. Knowing her will make you a better person.
Parenting is hard and emotional and the most wonderful thing in the world all at the same time. The last thing anyone needs is to question their parenting choices.
We have all encountered that pushy-know-it-all-thinks-shes-superwoman mom before. Are you breast feeding? Breast is best. Surely your little one doesn't sleep in your bed? Oh dear, that bottle is plastic? You know plastic causes cancer, right? Your 13 month old is drinking out of a bottle, oh good LORD!
I hope you are all laughing. I would like to say in response to any and all questions like this - SHOVE IT! I normally just laugh and occasionally I will say something like "we're all gonna die anyway" just to really push supermom over the edge. These days, I really am not affected by these people. I have learned that what works for my family and what works for your family may be completely different but that doesn't mean that both methods aren't the best methods. Breast or bottle - both are the best options for your little. Their bed or your bed - both are the best. Whatever works for you is the best choice. Happy parents raise happy babies.
If you spend your time as a parent worrying about other people's opinions about your parenting, you will constantly feel less than adequate. Feelings of low self-worth will probably ruin your marriage and will definately rub off on your children. I have learned that for each parenting decision you make, you need to validate it to yourself. Say it out loud. Look in the mirror if you have to and tell yourself why you chose that method and then leave it at that. If someone questions you or implies that that decision is the wrong one, you will have the confidence not to let that person bring you down.
I have been pulled into the "I'm not a good mom" trap a few times. It was weird. I know I am a great mom. I know with absolute confidence that I am a great mom. So how could someone else make me question what I know in my heart is a fact. It's really not up for debate, I am an incredible mom. But there have been times I have told David that I was worried I wasn't doing a good job. I've questioned my choices. Usually its just minutes later that I'm over it and realize people are just ridiculous with all their opinions.
I would say to any new (or pregnant) mom that they don't have to have an answer to all these questions. Bottle, breast, cosleeping, sleeping in a tent in your backyard...these aren't things you can have an answer to until you meet your child. And your first child may be ok with all those choices you have made on principle alone but your second child might just spit up in your face at the thought of it all.
Meet your little one. Bond with your little one. Love your little one. Do what works for you and your family and do not fall into the trap of feeling inadequate. Be confident.