Before I became a parent, I had my own opinions on parenting. We all do. I mean, when we cast our disapproving eye on the parent struggling to control her toddler, we are, in reality, casting judgment on them.
Now that I am a parent, I have come to realise that things may not be what they seem. That mother who can’t seem to get her tantrum-throwing toddler in order? Well, toddlers ARE feral animals who can be hard to reason with (but that’s another story altogether).
But you know, it’s okay when people who aren’t parents go all judgy on others. They don’t know how tough parenthood can be. However, it gets my goat when parents – specifically mothers – themselves judge fellow parents.
We all have our own style of parenting, based on our own experiences and personality. There is no one way of doing something and most parents know it.
We sleep train. Or not. We put baby in cloth diapers. Or we use disposables. We breastfeed. Or we formula-feed. We stay at home with our babies. Or we go back to work. We enroll baby in all sorts of enrichment classes. Or we homeschool.
The point is, we choose options that fit in with our own philosophies and what our own family needs. And no one method is superior to the other.
Which is why I get annoyed when mums try to push their own agenda onto other mums, especially new mums.
“Sleep train!” they exhort. “You will laugh in their faces when you and baby sleep through the night. Don’t be stupid!” And then they start to boast about what a fantastic sleeper their baby is and how sleep training has helped them.
Substitute “sleep training” with other things and you get how some mums can be so patronising.
Thing is, each and every baby is different, just like how parenting philosophies differ from family to family. You will know your baby best. Don’t be swayed by the cacophony of voices telling you what to do.
Anyhow, I always believe that God will only give you a child that you can handle. Plus, God is fair. That kid who sleeps through the night at two weeks? He’s going to be an extremely picky eater. Or throw the hissiest tantrums. Or only eat foods that are blue. Heh. 😉
So there. Listen to your instincts. And remember, YOU know your kid best and YOU are the best parent for your kid. Not these cray cray mums.