Once you become a parent, you realize (practically overnight) that everyone is a critic. Your parents, your in-laws, your midwife, your neighbor, random strangers at the grocery store…they all have their own ideas of doing things and it’s likely that some of them are going to disagree with some of the ways that you choose to do things with your little one.
The first time this happened to me, I got pretty emotional about it, but then a friend of mine gave me the best piece of parenting advice I’ve been given thus far.
My friend told me: “You, and you alone, are Fern’s mommy. No one else knows her like you do and no one else can make choices for her like you can.”
That is something that stuck with me. Everyone thinks they have a corner on parenting — even I think that sometimes — but the fact is, we’re all figuring it out as we go. Every baby is different and parenting isn’t a one-size-fits-all endeavor. For some parents and their babies a home birth may be best and for others a hospital birth may be best. For some parents and their babies co-sleeping may be great and for others it may be a nightmare. For some parents and babies pacifiers may be a lifesaver and for others it might not work. The point is, that it is up to us as parents to figure out what is best for our babies, because no one else knows them like we do.
So, next time you’re feeling downtrodden by the judgement of others where your parenting is concerned, say this to yourself:
“I, and I alone, am ______________’s mommy/daddy. No one else knows him/her like I do and no one else can make choices for him/her like I can.”
And remember, none of us are perfect parents, but YOU are doing a great job!
Photo by Kacie McMackin