Sometimes when I hear people speak about the way they parent I find my self drifting into a state of semi-consciousness where I hear what they are saying, and I want to respond but the words don’t come out. There exist out there groups of parents who follow various “styles” of parenting which have been dutifully named by the doctors that claimed to have invented them – or basically the doctors who were the first professionals to say on record “this type of parenting works best”. I grow increasingly weary of these so called professionals and their “ways of parenting” and I suspect that it is my own experiences as a parent that has led me to have these feelings.
I have been blessed with Jacob – a happy, curious, and beautiful infant. He only fusses or cries when he needs something – he is cuddly, affectionate, and smart – he is all these things and yet we do not subscribe to any “style” of parenting, except our own. I suppose if I were to give our own “style” of parenting, it would be -“doing, loving, experiencing, learning” – I am tired of hearing arguments for various parenting styles such as “attachment” or “traditional” – why can’t it just be that people are doing what people feel is best for the needs of their family.
In my direct relationships with people who practice particular “styles” of parenting I have found them to be self righteous and at times ignorant towards the people that are not following similar ideas as them. I have heard people say “my baby is happy all the time because I practice “attachment parenting” but the truth it’s not because of the “practice” of attachment parenting – but really its a deep down commitment of love and effort towards your child – attachment parenting (and I am only using this one as an example) is a term coined by physicians use to lure parents into purchasing their products. It doesn’ t not matter if your child is co-sleeped or if they sleep in a crib – what matters is that they are loved, cared for, provided for, nurtured, and wanted. I am not trying to bash “styles” of parenting but I’m trying to speak to the people that do try to jam it down other people’s throats, the ones who make other people feel like crap because they do not do what they do, they do not parent how they parent – thus they are less superior or their children are less attached or secure.
So whether you co-sleep or not, whether you introduce solids at 4 months or 6 months, whether you circumcise or not…we are all parents, putting forth our best effort – no one “style” of parenting works better then another in my opinion – something that works well for one family does not work well for another – the same way that one particular style of learning works for one child but no so much for their sibling. Parenting is not about style, it is not about books or theories, it is about commitment, it is about love, it is about security – whichever way you accomplish these things with your children is good in my eyes – it is right and it is good. I invite you to say to yourself that you are doing well as a parent – to stop comparing your self to the self righteous know it alls out there – to stand up and applaud yourself as a mother for doing it your way – the way of hard work, the way of trial and error, the way of experience, the way that works for you, and the way of love – we are really in this for the betterment of our children – not to make each other feel horrible because we chose to parent differently – we are not breeding cookie cutter children – and therefore we should be invited to use different styles of parenting – the ones that work best for us.