Damned if you do, damned if you don’t: This is what modern day parenting means. It seems we have fallen into an era of extreme judgement, and I think it’s in due in part to the way we have become obsessed with labeling the various parenting styles; co-sleeping vs. crib sleeping, breastfed or bottle fed, purees or baby led weaning, attachment parenting, cry-it-out… And the list goes on.
What I want to know is, are you doing your best? After much thought and consideration, if your answer is YES, then I applaud you. You deserve a pat on the back and a whole lot of applause, because parenting is hard. And our society, our communities, our “friends” can make it even harder.
The judgement — especially on social media — is absolutely out of control. Why are we so invested in the way other parents are doing things? Why does it matter!? From the unsolicited advice that’s “kindly” meant to educate to the passive-aggressive comments left on posts that *should* have been met with respect and openness… enough is enough.
I don’t care if you had a vaginal birth or scheduled your cesarean. I don’t care if you used a surrogate, IVF or a fairy godmother to conceive. I don’t care if you had half a beer once a week through your entire pregnancy. I don’t care if you breastfeed or if you formula-feed, if you co-sleep or if you have a night nurse. I don’t give a damn if you wear your baby or if you spend $2000 on a fancy stroller. It doesn’t effect me at all if you rely on tylenol to get through teething, or if you swear by essential oils. It doesn’t matter if you named your child Sunshine or Samuel, and I certainly don’t care if you choose to homeschool over public school.
Oh, just a minute… Can you hear that!? It’s the judgemental parents shouting at me that there IS a right way, proven by science, backed up by fact, tried and tested! What you’re neglecting to keep in mind, dear people, is that science doesn’t account for uniqueness, personality, for the varying situations, people and circumstances that make up the mosaic of our societies. It couldn’t possibly… There are too many variables.
Is your child safe? Is your child healthy and happy? Are YOU happy and healthy? Are you doing your absolute best? If you can say yes to all these things, then I feel pretty confident that whatever you’re doing is working, and you deserve a high five.
Parenting is a messy and unreasonably hard business. Let’s not forget that we are all in this together, and we are all just doing our best. Let’s stop judging each other and celebrate our diversity! I’ve got your back if you’ve got mine.