For the love of Dora and Boots...there is no secret formula to being a good parent.
I am so over some of the bullshit I read about certain topics. Honestly. There is no one way to guarantee you are being a good parent. From issues such as breastfeeding vs. bottle feeding to vaccinating, I am over it.
I truly feel bad for people having babies these days. Although my baby just turned two last month, I didn't feel that much pressure over the years concerning decisions that I made as a mother. These days I feel like there is SO MUCH damn pressure.
When I had my oldest daughter almost 8 years ago, I was the first of my friends to take that leap. No one judged me...or it seemed like no one did. I didn't read much beyond the Your Pregnancy: Week by Week book and a little What To Expect When You're Expecting. I was clueless and it turns out that the babysitting I had done for years didn't really help much. You see, babysitting is NOTHING like parenting.
I had my daughter...and I bottle fed. GASP! You know what? I did feel bad at first. But the reason that I felt bad was not for what you may think. I felt bad because I had NO CLUE that my milk would come in and that breast feeding would be an option. I had no clue because I had had a breast reduction when I was 20 years old and was told that I probably wouldn't be able to breast feed. I was fine with that...because I was 20 and I didn't care at that point. I wanted the procedure done. It was necessary. And I don't regret it.
It wasn't until I had my 3rd and final baby that I actually pumped and bottle fed her breast milk. After about 12 weeks, I couldn't keep up with her demand so I added more formula and slowing stopped pumping. I pumped with her because she was a winter baby and I got all wrapped up in her getting the antibodies and not being sick. But you know what? My other two daughters didn't get a drop of breast milk (I know...gasp again!), and they are very healthy. Always have been.
Also, ALL of my children have been fully vaccinated. This is a choice we made. Yes, there are times when I spread them out a bit...split up a few here and there. Again, another choice.
My children also ALL slept in cribs. I didn't necessarily let them cry it out when they were babies. But I did get them on a nice schedule so they would sleep a good 11 hours in their cribs at night and take naps in there as well. I didn't let them cry for hours. I reassured them. I was consistent. It worked for US. Again, another choice for us as a family.
Now that my kids are a little older and out of cribs, they do come wandering in at night. Some mornings we wake to find 2 adults and 3 children crammed into our queen size bed. (I am waiting for the opportunity to get a new king size mattress to review on this blog. If anyone can help with that...I would appreciate it.)
But all of these parenting choices are what work for us...they don't make us any better OR any less of a parent.
If you have a baby and you breast feed, GOOD FOR YOU. If you bottle feed, GREAT. If you cosleep, AWESOME. If you put your baby to sleep in a crib, WONDERFUL. If you vaccinate, RIGHT ON. If not, THAT'S COOL. If you circumcise, TERRIFIC. If not, NEATO. If you put your baby in daycare, FABULOUS. If you stay home with your child, FANTASTIC. If you make your own baby food, YOU ROCK. If you use store bought food, YOU STILL ROCK.
I simply can't read another judgy article or comment on this here Internets. I just might lose it.
More than I already have.
So calm down people. We are all doing the best we can as parents. There is no right way to do this. If there was, I would write a book and make millions. I wouldn't just be here on my blog typing away like a crazy person for hundreds.
Have a great day.