Seems to me like there’s a lot of “Oh…” going around in the parenting world. “Oh, you’re feeding your newborn formula?” “Oh, you’re breastfeeding until your kid is 4 years old?” “Oh, you co-sleep?” “Oh, you let them watch tv?”… “Oh, you didn’t vaccinate?”
I find it exhausting to read all of the articles about what we are not doing correctly as parents. There’s some level of perfection out there that is illusive and completely unattainable because as soon as you get it all “right,” new research shows you’ve been doing it “wrong” the whole time.
I think it’s time we all start extending some grace and understanding to our fellow parents. I believe our job as parents is to research our options and make the best decision for our family. Given the exact same information, I’m convinced we could all draw different conclusions as to what the “right “ thing to do is, based on our own life experiences and personal biases.
Sure, I think I know best. After all, I’ve spent hours researching anything and everything having to do with parenting and all the popular controversial topics of our time. In reality though, I’m not perfect, we live in an imperfect world, and I’m not going to do everything “right” no matter how hard I try. And even if I do, I’ve seen great parents with messed up kids and messed up parents with great kids.
I think our job as parents is to weigh the pros and cons of different issues and opinions, pray for guidance, and make the best decisions we can for our own family.
I also know I need to apologize in advance for any judgment I pass on other parents. There are a lot of good parents out there that will raise their children quite differently than I will raise mine. And that’s okay, because I’m not their child’s parent, they are. As long as they have their child’s best interest at heart, I want to support them. In my infinite (cough, cough) knowledge, I may think I know better than them, but let’s be honest, we’re all just making educated guesses when it comes to this whole parenting thing.
So good job, mom who feeds her baby formula because breastfeeding was such a struggle that she couldn’t love and enjoy her baby otherwise. And good job, mom who breastfeeds her children until they’re 4 years old because she believes it will provide long term health benefits for them. And good job, mom who co-sleeps because it’s the only way she can get the rest she needs to continue to love and care for her child. And good job, mom who lets her kids watch tv so she can focus on herself for a few minutes and be reenergized for the hard work of being a mom. … And good job, mom who didn’t vaccinate your kid. I’m assuming you didn’t come to this decision lightly and now, more than ever, you are facing extreme opposition for doing what you have determined is best for your family.