I’m by no means a parenting expert, because parenting experts aren’t a real thing. Even so, I’ve been at this for a few years now and I’ve picked up a few things on my journey. I have a million tips that I will share with you, but this is the only one that works for everyone. Absorb this. Make it yours.
You do you. That’s it. This isn’t novel advice by any means, but it’s worth repeating. No matter how innocent, how genuine, how heartfelt and reasonable and researched your actions, someone is going to think you’re wrong. For every parent that agrees with you that you should keep your newborn home in 100 degree heat, there’s another who thinks you’re a lunatic helicopter parent. For every person who thinks its fine that your baby eats food from a pouch, there’s another who will criticize the sugar content. For every parent who thinks you should only make your kids’ food from scratch, there’s another who thinks you should be spending that time playing with your children. The catch is, for every baby who likes to be worn, there is one who can’t stand to be restricted. For every baby who won’t take a bottle there’s one who won’t latch at the breast. We each have a million micro reasons to make the decisions we do, and no one knows the inner workings of our families, our children, and ourselves. We all have to do what works for us.
I used to spend hours researching every parenting decision I made before I learned to trust my gut. The moment that clicked for me was when I read two articles back to back linking the way we put our babies to sleep with addiction. The first said that if you didn’t let your baby cry it out they would never learn to self-soothe and would turn to drugs and alcohol to soothe themselves as they grew older. The second said if you let your baby cry they would learn that no one would be there to comfort them and they would turn to drugs and alcohol as they grew older to replace the love that was missing from their lives. In that moment I realized that no one has any idea what they’re talking about and maybe, just maybe, we put too much pressure on a time in our children’s lives that they won’t even remember. We’re all doing a great job at some things and a terrible job at some things, and we probably won’t find out which are which for twenty years at least. So, just do your best, trust your gut, and close your ears.