Thursday, May 16, 2013

Parenting is not for the faint of heart...

I think sometimes we get through labor, delivery, beginning breastfeeding and suddenly we find we are the focus of many, many questions.

"What are you going to do for diapers? Everyone knows cloth is best!" "Are you crazy? You are using cloth diapers? That is so much work!"

"When are you going to feed your baby solids?" "I fed my baby solids at 3 months and he slept all night and he is fine."

"You mean you are never going to give your baby a bottle?" "You are using a bottle? Don't you know that will rot his teeth?"

The list goes on and on. You are faced from questions from anyone. It is not only well meaning family and friends, it is the man that delivers your water to the postmaster behind the counter. You have to defend your ideas to the pediatrician and explain why you want to do things a wee bit differently.

So, if you are not tired of hearing are a few that I have learned over the years.

1. You are probably not going to convince a doctor, that has gone to many, many years of schooling, that your way is the right way. When they ask you about something, if you don't really know why you don't want to do it, if you want to do or just don't feel like it at the moment...thank them. Ask for more info and tell them you will let them know. Always, always be polite. They went to much more school to be a doctor, and it can be insulting if you act like you, someone from the internet or the lady from your mom's group knows more than him.

2. Do your own research. If you have questions, ask professionals. Don't assume that grandma must know that rice cereal is best for babies, since she raised 12 of her own babies. Check out articles on why they are thinking it might be wise to avoid it now. Why ditch the Infant cereals?

3. Don't just ignore people across the board, but also, don't listen to what everyone says. Use wisdom. There are a lot of parenting techniques that are really bad. Just because someone raised their child a certain way and they turned out "okay" (Whatever that means anyhow..), does not make it a good parenting practice. Thank them for their advise and think about it for your own child. See if it works with your parenting style and your child.

4. If you do need to go against the curve, educate yourself so throughly that they will know that you really are not just haphazardly throwing out ideas. You are thinking, looking into all aspects of the issue and made a decision. This is especially important if it is one that is not readily accepted.

5. Reserve the right to change your mind. Remember what worked for one child, may not be what is needed for another.

6. If all else fails, look up a good friend and commiserate about your parenting failures and triumphs over chocolate. Everything looks better tomorrow, no matter how bad the day is today!

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