Let’s Not Make This Too Hard, Folks.
Parenting is a stretch for all of us. We learn to press on when we want to give up, we learn patience slowly and sometimes painfully. I am sure most of us could come up with a list of the ways it has changed us. This is innate to becoming a mother (or a parent).
Too many times I hear or read mothers asking questions such as this, “Is it okay if I let my child sleep in their own bed? They seem to sleep better that way. But I have read that bed sharing makes them more secure!” Or “Is it okay to wean my 18 month old even though the WHO recommends 2 years? I can’t take it anymore! I am losing it! Will I regret it?” …. Or, “He likes the stroller, but I have read that wearing them creates better bonding and gives them security.” How about, “I only want wooden toys but my kid loves his plastic ______, what do I do?”
I really don’t want to come across as making fun of these questions since we all have insecurities at one time or another, its just that we are making this too hard. If your baby sleeps well in your bed and everyone is happy, do that. If your baby sleeps well in his own crib, do that. (though I would recommend same room crib sleeping for the first 6 months to reduce SIDS) If you love the stroller, use it!! Who cares what somebody else does in a book somewhere!
Some things sound like a good idea but when you walk the path they don’t work, please give them up if they are not working for you. If something is making you a crazy emotional wreck, how can you be the mother you want to be? This is not a book, this is real life, and parenting is hard enough without holding yourself to a standard that isn’t working for you.
Try stepping back and considering what you are trying to accomplish here; I believe most of us are trying to disciple our children into well rounded adults. Try considering some of these things in that context and deciding if they are worth the fight. Some things seem so big when we have littles but in 20 years they will not matter at all.
So ask yourself some questions when you are having one of those moments, an insecurity about something that isn’t working for you but sounds great in theory. When your child is 16, will this really matter? If they play with their plastic Little People, that you hate aesthetically, will it effect his character? What will matter in 20 years? Will whether he was worn 24-7 or put in a *gasp* exersaucer while you cook dinner really change the path of his future?
Choose your priorities carefully. Invest your time into the relationship with your child, and “train them up in the way they should go” which I believe relationship and habit forming is a huge part of. Teach and show your children how to love each other. Different families will have different priorities and that is okay. I don’t want you to feel bad if 24-7 baby wearing is working for you. I think that is great! But some of these things don’t work for different moms (I can’t wear all the time, just not for me) and I think there is far too much emphasis placed on what isn’t even going to effect the character of the future person you are raising. So let’s give ourselves a break and not make this too hard.