Thursday, 27 January 2011

Judgy McJudgerson

I have a friend who is currently pregnant with her first baby, and a number of us were talking a while back, and trying to come up with some Mummy wisdom for her, which was hard to do! But the one thing that I thought of, and we all agreed with, is that you will be your own worst enemy in judging what you do and looking at how other people raise their kids. So don't do it. Know that you are the best person to know what works for your family and remind yourself of it daily.

Lots of people have said it, and there's lots of articles out there, but let me reiterate it. There will always, always, be another mum out there, in your playgroup, at the school yard, wherever, that does all the things you think you should be doing, but aren't. As long as you are doing what you think is best for your baby or child, then go with it. You will twist yourself up in knots if you try and do everything.

For the record I cloth diapered, partially EC'd, did extended BF, made my own baby food, kept the boy in my room till he was one, wore him in slings and carriers for as long as possible, taught him signing, let him have a soother (that he still uses at bedtime), and he now watches TV occasionally,  he's also very handy with hubby's iPad. These were all things I felt I had to at the time and they were what I thought was best for him, and for me. Does his using a soother make me a worse mum than someone who managed to not give their little one a pacifier. I hope not. Does breast feeding or cloth diapering make me a better mum than someone who used disposable diapers, or bottle fed their baby? Not at all. If they were making those decisions based on what was best for their baby, then they are the best mum for their child. 

It's so easy for us to see something and make a snap judgement about someone's fitness as a parent. All we see is the surface though, we don't know the hours of lost sleep a mum has had trying to get a baby to nurse before giving them a bottle, or the stress that someone is under at work and so needs 10 minutes of peace and quiet so puts the TV to entertain their toddler. We do know our own struggles with those issues and so many more that keep us questioning everything we do, and that should be enough to make us realize that we're all under the same pressures. We should be more supportive of each others choices and our own. Deep down remind yourself that if you are doing the best thing for your little ones then it's the best thing for you to do, no matter what anyone else is doing. And then remind yourself that it's true of every mum the next time you see someone feeding their baby a bottle, or letting their little one watch tv, they are doing what is best for their family, which is the best any of us can do.

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