I delivered all my babies in a hospital and home birth was NEVER an option
I had 4 of my babies naturally, 3 of my babies with an epidural, none by c-section
I ask the nurses to keep my babies in the nursery if it's not busy so I can get a full nights sleep during my hospital stay
I have bottle fed all my babies with generic brand formula
I use disposable diapers
I do vaccinate my children
I do not co-sleep and my babies have slept in cribs from day 1....on their stomach
Some of my babies are thumb/finger suckers and some take a pacifier, none have buck teeth
I do not demand feed I schedule feed
I use the cry it out method, within reason
I introduce solids around 5 months and I do not make my own baby food
I have a zero tolerance policy for whining or throwing fits when a child doesn't get their way
I think children are most successful when boundaries, rules, consequences and rewards are a part of their lives.
I think it is important to introduce hard work and responsibility at a young age
I don't like the idea of giving kids an allowance for doing chores...so I don't
I think most parents have something to offer me no matter how many years they have been parenting or how many children they have. We can all learn from each other, even if our parenting styles are different
************************************************Now let me ask you...how many times while reading those points did you judge me for the way I choose to parent? Which one was your hot button point? Was it that I don't co-sleep? Was it that I don't use cloth diapers? Or that I vaccinate? Admit it. You read this and there were times you read something that you didn't like or agree with. And after reading all of this you judged me and made a decision about the kind of parent I am. I understand...because I've been guilty of it too at times.
For about a year now I have been so burdened for young/new moms. I receive a lot of private emails from new moms who have questions and who are looking for advice regarding the choices they should make for their child. Many new moms are so insecure about their ability to choose for themselves what is best for their children and I find this so sad. As much as I enjoy social media for its many benefits and as much as I enjoy reading blogs and reading parenting books, I find that too much of the information we have access to as moms is critical and judgmental. Every decision a parent could possibly make, from vaccinating to the kind of diaper you use, is met with opposition. There is always someone on the other side ready to shame you for your choice, ready to tell you why they are right and you are wrong. And this is also the reason why I know several moms who have either deleted their Facebook accounts all together or have seriously considered it or just plain took a break for a few months. All because the more time they spent on it the more inadequate they felt as a mom.
I am writing this to let all you moms reading know that you do not need to seek approval from those around you regarding the choices you make for YOUR child. No one has the right to make you feel like a bad parent because you are doing things differently than they are. Find people and blogs and books that encourage you in this adventure of parenthood and even find a couple who will challenge you to be better but avoid the places and people who shame you and condemn and mock you for the choices you are making. Being a mom is hard enough so surround yourself with positive influences. Most of all, pray! Ask God to show you what HE wants you do. No one knows better than him what is best and right for your family. As wonderful as parenting books and blogs and friends can be at answering questions and encouraging you nothing will guide you better than God's own word.
I want to leave you on this note. I enjoy blogging and sharing my thoughts with you but if I have ever been part of the problem, if I have ever made you feel badly about how you do things as a parent I apologize. My goal is not to add to the criticism out there but to encourage you. I pray that God would help me in doing that! I also want to tell you that you are doing a great job! A mom cannot hear that often enough. You really are, don't be too hard on yourself. We all have areas we need to work on but we are all doing a good job in other areas as well. Find the balance and be happy and confident in your parenting ability...and most of all enjoy the job you've been given as a mom. It's the best job out there!
Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace,
and things wherewith one may edify another. ~Rom.14:19