The Mom who Does it Wrong, Mostly
I’m the mom who does it all wrong, mostly.
My baby sleeps in my arms basically all night.
Yes, I’ve heard of sleep training, and no, I haven’t tried it. I didn’t want to do the cry it out method, so I didn’t. Now I have a baby who constantly wants to be in his momma’s arms… all night. Often resulting in neck and back pains from holding him and occasionally getting peed on in the middle of the night.
I don’t breastfeed much anymore.
I breastfed for awhile, then my milk supply dropped, and I didn’t make the time or want to revolve my whole day around pumping and eating lactation cookies (although they are tastey) to get my supply back up. So, I never got it back up. I started giving my son formula and solid foods. So, he is only occasionally breastfeeding and I wouldn’t be surprised if it ends altogether soon.
I don’t have a schedule for my baby.
My husband works all day and I tend to work in the evening. We are involved in a lot of activities outside of work that make having a schedule nearly impossible. We don’t want to change our entire day, social life, and schedule, so we haven't a whole lot. Baby sleeps when he is tired and a lot of the time that is when we are out and about or in his car seat. He doesn’t like sleeping in crib anyway!
We bathe our kid like once a week (on a good week).
Yeah… I just don’t think he’s that dirty. As he gets older and starts sweating and playing in mud, that may change... but then again, maybe not.
I think you get the point. According to today’s rules of being a parent, I’m doing most of it wrong. I really wanted to be that super awesome mom who feeds her kid homemade organic, vegan, gluten-free baby food, but the Gerber pouches are just so much easier. I wanted to be the mom who made it look easy to balance her work life, social life while having a perfectly sleeping, eating and clean baby, but I’m not. And that’s ok.
It’s ok because I love waking up and looking at the sweet baby in my arms. I know he will grow into a man one day and not only will he not want to sleep in his mom’s arms, but he wouldn’t fit if he tried. It’s ok because I love the freedom of not breastfeeding every 2 hours of my life. And honestly, my boy seems way more content now that he is getting more from formula and solids. It’s ok because I love that we still get to see our friends on week nights who love our baby and get to spend time with him because we don't have a rigid 7:00 bed time (which by the way, our son doesn’t fall asleep until around 11pm most nights). And the bathing part… well, maybe that’s not ok, but it’s where we are at.
And mostly, it’s ok because my son is so incredibly loved and will know every single day of his life that he is treasured, adored, wanted and has a purpose. He will be showered in kisses and cuddles (and apparently not baths) until he makes me stop. He will never NOT be loved. So although I may be doing most if it “wrong”, it’s not all wrong.
And you know what? If you breastfeed your kid until they are 2 and have a super rigid sleep-eat-play schedule, including daily baths, and it works well for you, that’s amazing!! I’m happy for you and proud of you. It’s hard to be a parent. These little humans are no joke!
So lets take a step as a culture and help other parents by allowing them to do things differently and not judging them. There is no one right way to be a parent. Every child is different and every family is different so we cannot act like parenting is a one size fits all.
Lets uplift other parents. A simple, “I’ve been there” or “you’re doing great” is really all it takes. And for you parents out there, give yourself a break. Stop comparing yourself to other parents because they don’t have your kids and you don’t have theirs. You were chosen to be the mom and dad of your babies for a reason, and it's your duty to do what is best for your family, not anyone else.
And for Pete’s sake, give your kid a bath.