A friend of mine will soon see her baby for the first time. Due in 2 months and preparing for her baby’s arrival, her life is about to change forever.
I remember those first couple years of motherhood. Suddenly you are in “the club” only you are a rookie; and sometimes the club is not too kind to the newbies.
I can remember being told: “You shouldn’t put your baby to sleep in that manner, he will NEVER learn to sleep on his own.”
Or how about, “Really, you need to give that baby a soother. He will NEVER stop sucking his thumb!”
Or my favourite (being a pharmacist), “Dear, you just need to put ‘blah blah blah’ on that rash and it’ll be cleared up in no time.”
All this well-meaning advice can be hard on a new mom. While finding their way and trying to do what is best for their baby and themselves, it can be difficult to stand your own ground. Unfortunately, the sense of self-doubt tends to stay with moms as we continually wonder if we are making the right choices for our kids.
As I became more experienced as a mom I began to see my own judgemental nature. I was a mostly ‘stay at home mom’, an ‘attachment’ parent who kept my babies close at night and in a sling by day. Wasn’t that the BEST way to be a mom??
Now, after many years of homeschooling, my kids are in school full-time and I am running a full-time professional practice. I am still the same mom.
I have met many stay at home mom’s who feel it is the ONLY way to raise a child. And I know many working mom’s who feel that THEIR way is the only way. Having been on both sides of the fence I can say that there just is no “one right way” to be a mom.
What IS the right way is to lose the judgement. Moms need to support each other. It is one of the most difficult journeys helping a child grow up to be responsible, kind and a positive member of society.
As for the well-meaning advice….Ben now sleeps like the dead, Noah hasn’t sucked his thumb for at least 6 years, and the rash….that was food allergies.
Nod and smile… and remember that there are many paths.