Over the course of raising four babies, I’ve gotten a ton of advice. Some if it solicited, some of it not so much. Some of it extremely helpful and insightful, some of it I could have done without. Yes, parenting opinions from strangers by the bushel.
I’m a pretty open-minded kind of gal, and I understand everyone has their own special way of parenting. What works for me? Might not work for you. And what works for you? Might not be my bag of chips. But you want to know the beauty of it all? It’s totally OK that we do things differently! Because like they say, babies don’t come with manuals, and there’s no one right way to raise a kid.
For instance, I’ve gotten this little piece of advice given to me more times than I can count:
“Don’t hold that baby so much, because he’ll become too attached to you!”
I make no apologies, I hold my babies a ton during their first year of life. And in my opinion, they have the rest of their life to be detached from me. So in that first year? We’ve been known to do some excessive holding/cuddling/snuggling. If baby Paul wants to fall asleep on me before his morning nap? I have no problem with that. And if we linger in the rocker a few minutes past bedtime? So be it. Strollers? We really don’t use them, because babywearing works better for our lifestyle.
But this is only my opinion, and the way I chose to parent.
The great thing about parenting advice is that it’s only a suggestion to try something different. If I could have a do-over, I really wish that as a first time mom (over 8 years ago), I would have realized that opinion and suggestion from both friends and strangers we not always a direct insult or putdown on my parenting skills. Because in those first early years of mothering, I had my feelings hurt more times than I would like to remember because I was parenting maybe a bit counterculture from mainstream society.
Opinions, suggestions, reasonable advice: I’ll listen to it all, but it doesn’t mean I’ll change. And I love that as a parent, we each get to decide what does and doesn’t work for our family. How great is that?