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August 23, 2017

Parenting Wars


I’m not sure if this whole “Mommy War” thing has always been a thing. A part of me knows that for ages women have probably pushed their opinions on other women when it comes to parenting. Then a part of me thinks that now, with social media, every parenting decision you make is placed on a playing field for people to attack as they please.

And so what is there to argue about?

  • Breastfeeding vs. Formula
  • Disposable Diapers vs Cloth Diapers
  • Vaccinations vs. Anti-Vaccinations
  • Spanking vs. Non-physical discipline
  • Cry It Out Method
  • Babywearing
  • Organic food vs. store bought food

 

I will never be one to start a battle with another mom over their parenting style. Unless, I absolutely feel like a child is in immediate danger, it is not my business or my place to tell a mother what I feel like she is doing wrong.

If someone asks for my opinion, or how I did things, of course I will take the time to unload. However, the few times that I have had women ask me for advice I always start off with, “The way I do it is _____.” And the conversation always ends with, “If you try it and it doesn’t work for you, we can figure something else out!” or “Do what is best for you and your baby!”

No doubt every mom wants to do the best and be the best for their little loves, but the pressure of everyone else is ridiculous. The idea of being the perfect parent is great. Having a plan of things you would like to do is great. But if you are dead set on something and it is nothing like you expected it would be, don’t beat yourself up.

With my first, I was set on breastfeeding. Everyone talked about it being the best possible option. It was almost as if not even trying would be the end of the world. Because of that, I knew it’s what I wanted to do. It was hard. He was a fighter. I was thankful for the time we were able to do it. By the time he was 5 months old he was having to take formula during the day at the baby sitters and I was able to nurse at night. When he was 7 months old he went to full fledge formula with occasional nursing. By 8 months, those teeth came in and I checked out!

I was so upset when I had stopped nursing, until I realized I didn’t miss the stress of getting him to do it right. Now that I think about it, with all the stress it took trying to just get it right it would have been so much easier just to go with formula from the get go. As soon as my stress levels went down, he and I were able to fully enjoy time together. The health benefits of breastfeeding are great, but I’m not sure if it was totally worth the loss of my sanity those first few months.

So he was mostly formula fed, and you know what? He is one smart little stinker. He isn’t even 2 yet and can count to 10. He can sing the ABC’s and speak in pretty full sentences when he wants to. I am no longer buying the whole “breastfed kids are smarter” argument.

I have been glared at in restaurants for popping Bolden’s hand for throwing something a 3rd time on the floor. also been asked why I spanked my child at a gas station after he unbuckled his carseat for the billionth time in the time span of 1 hour. Not that it was any of the guys business, but I sure did tell him. Spanking isn’t always my first choice but staying in his carseat is not an option.  Honestly, timeout hurts Bolden’s feelings just as much as a spanking, but at that point his safety was not something to be compromised. We were able to complete the rest of our three hour journey without him getting out of his car seat anymore. If you choose not to go the physical route for discipline, GO YOU! I am all for team parenting and parenting looks different for everyone.

I am still figuring this whole mom thing out. I mean, it hasn’t even been two whole years yet. I just know that I am doing what is best for me and my kids. I am doing what works for us, because that is all that I can do. I would love to say that I am the perfect mom, but I am not.  My kids are alive, fed, and taken care of. I am trying to make sure they don’t end up being total jerks. I’m doing the best I can.

Let’s try to encourage one another, even if we don’t agree with each other. It’s not about us knowing everything anyways. Maybe this entire article is rambling, but many of you have seen the naysayers. Even I have been subjected to judging a parent. Truth is, with the issue of the child in the monkey enclosure over the summer or the child who tragically lost his life to an alligator at Disney,  it was easy to jump. I wish that wasn’t my initial instinct, but it was. I think we could all use a lesson in compassion. Sometimes it’s just not about proving a point.

So I will end this in saying to you: Mom and Dad, you are doing a great job. Keep putting your family first. I am for you, not against you.

 

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