Parenting is hard, you guys. It doesn’t matter how you spin it, it’s really tough raising kids. It doesn’t matter what your parenting philosophy is, no one has it easy. Parenting styles are as diverse as parents themselves and everyone and their dog has an opinion on how it should be done. Trust me, they’ll tell you.
For whatever reason, I’ve always gravitated toward things that aren’t exactly the norm. This applies to many areas of my life and parenting has been no exception. It’s not that I try to be difficult, I just try to do things the way that makes the most sense to me. As a chronic learner and avid researcher, sometimes that means going away from the way things have always been done and trying things in a new and more modern way. This generally gets mixed reactions for me. Sometimes people can be very excited and receptive to seeing new ideas and practices in action. Other times, people are against change when they don’t see the point of doing something in a new way. And that’s fine! To each his own. But I’d be lying if I said that it doesn’t bother me sometimes.
Although I try not to, I am definitely the type of person who cares what other people think. I tell others not to care, I pump myself up with empowering affirmations, but I still fall back into self-doubt. While I know that I am doing the best I can for my children based on my own research and understanding of what we need, it can still be hard. The naysayers and doubters bother me. I hate it, but they do.
Cloth diapering, baby-led weaning, co-sleeping, gentle parenting, car seat safety … commence eye rolls and advice. The very best advice I have ever received in the whole history of the world came from my mother in law Carol who told me “Listen to all the advice people give you, take from it what works for you and throw away the rest.” I try very hard to do just that. I truly appreciate that someone may care enough about my family to offer their advice in the first place so I do try to take their words with a smile and a grain of salt. I don’t feel like I’m better than anyone else and I try to respect the choices of others just like I hope they do for me even when it doesn’t feel like it sometimes.
It can feel very lonely to do things differently at first. Especially if you’re the only one in your circle. Modern parenting has the added bonus of online groups which help so much with the solitude. Commiserating with like-minded individuals breaks down that feeling of isolation and can provide a wealth of knowledge, information and peace of mind. My various online groups have helped me in so many ways throughout my motherhood journey thus far and I know I’ll continue to use them for support and knowledge. Plus, it’s just nice to be able to vent to people who get it sometimes.
We’re all doing the best we can with what we have. With so many differing theories and methods when it comes to parenting, let’s just all agree that none of us has it all figured out, shall we? It’s already hard, let’s not make it even harder for each other.
What do you do that goes against the tide, parenting or otherwise?
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