Parenting is not easy. It may very well be the most challenging job I have or will ever have. It’s also the subject that everyone wants to give advice on and I do mean everyone. Family, friends, strangers & even the internet. All I am trying to do is raise a human being, while not losing myself and make enough to give my family a comfortable life. That’s it! I am not in the running for any super parent award as far as I know. Being told I am parenting wrong at every turn just gets on my nerves. Look! He’s alive. He’s healthy. He’s happy. His doctor is happy. How badly could I possibly be doing?
Well, I am just at that point where I think perhaps it’s time I answered some of the concerns brought about. Afterall it’s impolite to not answer people and we want to be polite, no?
O = Opinion
- O: Why don’t you put him to sleep on his tummy? He’ll sleep longer and constantly putting him on his back will cause him to have flat spots. I started parenting in the internet age and I have read and been traumatized by this thing called SIDS. So the way my anxiety is set up, it’s not going to happen. He has slept on his back since birth, he is now turning into a side sleeper and he may eventually choose to sleep on his tummy. He has enough tummy time to help with flat spots.
- O: Are you really exclusively breastfeeding for 6 months? The child will not get enough to be full. Won’t he delay in learning how to eat? Yes, I am, rather, I did. I have an oversupply so getting enough to eat wasn’t a problem and his doctor is very happy with his growth progress. He’s also progressing well on the solids so far. Let me put it out there, if I was struggling with supply or if I felt he wasn’t getting full, I would have supplemented with formula.
- O: Is that all you are eating? Arent you aware you are breastfeeding? You should eat for two! Wait a minute! I am breastfeeding? How dare I forget that? I am OK. I am already eating more than I usually do. Two, I only eat until I am full, beyond that I will just be uncomfortable. Three, I am a living and breathing proof that eating all of the food doesn’t influence your milk supply. As stated, I have an oversupply. I make sure that I eat a very balanced diet so that my baby benefits as well.
- O: Do not hold the baby when he’s not being fussy, you’ll spoil him and then you won’t be able to do anything around the house. This has to be one of the most popular ones. My own mother told me this on day one. It then became a hit song with all former parents that came my way. Well, it’s a lie. I held my child whenever he wanted to be held. We held him as he slept when his little tummy was upset and he was just unable to sleep. Guess what? At almost 7 months, the boy loves his “me time”. There are times he’ll fuss while being held just so that he can be put down to play by himself.
- O: Don’t take him to the hospital, it’s nothing serious. kids get it all the time he’ll be ok. Oh really? So I should stay at home with a child who is sick. You want me, to take your word for it that whatever my child is suffering from is nothing to worry about. What level of medical training do you boast of? Again, my anxiety doesn’t allow me to assume my baby’s symptoms. If I feel that he needs to go see a medical professional, I am taking him to see one.
I get it, some people have been parents for a long time. However, everyone starts somewhere, and they had to learn the ropes as they moved along. Furthermore, I can almost bet that at the beginning unsolicited condescending advice got on their nerves as well. Most importantly, every child is unique. What worked for yours may not work for mine.