I remember many conversations that made me uncomfortable or made me feel like I should be doing things differently when I was a first time mom… Luckily, I am much more confident in my parenting choices the second time around. This confidence means that I can smile & nod but then keep on doing what works for us… Or sometimes it means that I can actually have a good response to something & stick up for what I believe in.
There are two recent conversations that come to mind:
Me “He still breastfeeds probably 5-10 times a day/night”
Person “Is he eating solid food?”
Me “Yes, he eats a lot. But he still has nursing snacks & has been nursing a lot overnight especially when he’s sick.”
Person “You need to get that boy trained.”
Me “He is happy & healthy, & we are all doing well with the current situation.”
Person “Does he show an interest in books?”
Me “He likes to rip pages & eat them! Does that count?”
Person “Oh… So he doesn’t initiate wanting to read with you”
Me “He doesn’t have the capacity to sit still at this point”
Both of these situations would have caused an inner struggle in me if Julian had been my first child. I would have reconsidered sleep training & weaning. I would have agonized over reading to Julian & promptly picked up new board books from the library (just for him to teeth on & squirm out of my lap).
Actually, these conversations probably wouldn’t have even happened if Julian was my first child. I probably would have answered the questions in a way that I thought the person wanted to hear. I probably would not have stood up for my parenting choices & just carried through with them secretly.
I don’t blame other people for their view points, questions, & remarks… It is just a reminder of how many different perspectives there are & how important it is to find one that works for us. It is important to be confident in your choices & be able to defend them respectfully.
I like to think that maybe other people (whether or not they are parents yet) will remember our conversations one day when they are feeling pressured to go against their instincts. Maybe I will have planted the seed that allows them to be confident in their parenting decisions. Maybe they won’t stress about always doing the “right” thing & will instead follow their child’s lead on a path to happiness 🙂