I think as parents we all want what is best for our children.
I know I do, and I did when I got our oldest son vaccinated (we have recently decided to halt vaccinations until we are 100% sure we either want to do them or don’t, and right now we are definitely leaning towards being and unvaccinated family) I not once looked at parents who didn’t vaccinate their kids as crazy, nor do I look at parents who do vaccinate their kids as crazy.
I knew from the day I first found out I was pregnant that I would breastfeed, when our first was born at 25 weeks I busted my ass to pump what tiny bit of milk I could for him. In his 18 days of life he never saw a drop of formula. When Luke was born I wanted to breastfeed but we just never got it. His blood sugars were crazy low and I was constantly guilted for not breastfeeding him well enough. I fought with the nurses until they brought me some formula to get his blood sugars in order. I pumped for him, until my milk dried up before he was a month old, since he never could latch and suck. Which was totally normal for a preemie, even though he wasn’t as early as Caiden he was still born early. So when Kash was born I knew that this is what I was going to do. I didn’t stock up on formula, it was just gonna be me and him. He got super jaundiced, the pediatrician held us a few extra days saying if he didn’t get formula he’d get really sick, so to avoid nipple confusion I sat up with a dropper feeding him formula after fighting to get him on and keeping him on the breast. He’s now formula fed.
I always believed in circumcision, I don’t know why, maybe because it was “normal”, maybe because no one stopped and told me everything about circumcision, and that an uncircumcised male isn’t dirty, or easy to get utis and what not. I regret having the boys circumcised without doing my research.
I baby wear, I own two carriers that I just LOVE. No amount of hearing “you’re going to spoil that baby” makes me think that putting them down and letting them cry is okay.
I also don’t spank, or yell at the boys. Because I just don’t agree with it, I’ve heard it all. From you’re going to make them not know right from wrong, to they are BAD kids, to if you spank them and show them who’s boss they’ll be better. I realize that my kids are just that, kids. They need to explore, and be curious.
I joined a ton of natural, peaceful, attached parenting Facebook pages once I found out they existed. I thought I was doing myself a favor by getting to know other moms who approach parenting the same way I do.
Boy was I wrong, apparently you don’t just fit into these groups if you don’t meet every single one of their specific criteria. And I must say it made me feel AWFUL. I always felt like a terrible parent after reading these blogs and pages. I didn’t do everything in my power to breastfeed, and I didn’t accept milk from strangers so since I bit the bullet and fed my babies formula I MUST be a terrible mom. I vaccinated Luke until he was 9 months without knowing the side effects and ingredients in them so I’m neglectful. I circumcised because I trusted the drs and nurses who said they wouldn’t feel it and it would just be better, so I’m a terrible mom for putting the boys through that and not researching myself.
I slipped into a terrible depression. I’m still dealing with it. Last night it kind of dawned on me why I’m pretty sure I’ve been so depressed since Kash was born. After Caiden, and after Luke I felt like a good mom, when Luke was about 8 months old I started looking into natural parenting sites, and gentle parenting, and attachment parenting and I started to just feel inadequate to even be a mom. Today was the first day since starting to follow all of these blogs that I got my butt up, took care of the kids the way I felt they needed cared for and not how I thought they needed cared for and all four of us have been way more happy today than we have in a long long time, our house is cleaned, the boys are happy and most of all my husband is happy.
So if you’re on the path that I was, reading blogs that you think you’ll find friends who parent like you do, but are only feeling worse and worse about yourself and your parenting. I advise you to just step away from the blogs, the Facebook groups, the websites and just trust your maternal instincts. Do what you have to do. You know your kids and yourself more than anyone on the other side of a computer screen does. Have faith in yourself and know that you’re doing the best that you can whether it’s what other people see is right or not. 🙂