The post I was preparing myself to compose today was going to be a riveting edit of baby/toddler products and what was essential when preparing oneself for the arrival of a newborn.
With the imminent arrival of my own little wriggler only 6 weeks away I actually can’t wait to do this post! Looming deadlines really need to stop imposing themselves upon me, it’s incredibly rude.
I think I’m going to leave that post for tomorrow when these damn Braxton hicks aren’t tormenting my life! I also want to do it well. I think an honest guide to the difference between what’s actually essential, what’s handy and what’s not even remotely necessary but still too cool not to dismiss purchasing may be a godsend to other mummies out there.
Today however I had a little time to think. I picked up my monthly mother and baby magazine and I stood looking at the shelf, should I be buying more than just one? What would practical parenting suggest? Whose ideas would be more right? I’m studying a degree in early childhood studies and education? Was this enough to understand childhood? Calmly I stood back, took my one magazine to the counter, paid and left. Of course one magazine was enough. £2.90 and a sea of online resources was more than an ample headstart on the parenting game. I felt like a top class mafia hit man on some mindblowingly violent video game. I had this under control. And so should you! My mums no more right than my grandmother who is no more right than yours! It all boils down to experience. They only know the information they do, (likening this astounding knowledge of childhood to that of a trained soviet spy) through experience, and I am certainly only going to achieve this level of competence with the same experience they have developed, no magazine could tell me the answers I would have to buckle down and discover them on my own!
I know full and well that I’m just a small fish in a vast sea (of parents and new mummies and young mummies and mummies trying to reclaim the yummy in their lives) I wouldn’t like to imagine I’m any better than a lot of mums. But what’s important to me is that I believe that everything I do is the absolute best i can be doing. I need to feel confident with my choices and as self assured as possible to be the best I can be. After all maternal instinct is incredibly perplexing, i strongly believe that I was born with an excellent maternal instinct. We all know exactly how to help our children exactly when and how they need it. What could be more amazing than that? Nothing if it wasn’t filled with doubt and judgement cast forth from everyone. And admittedly I am guilty of it myself. That judging factor.
So go on, judge my choices in your head? You tell me what makes my choices less important/less productive/less correct than mine?
I had a c-section electively with my firstborn and I chose strictly formula feeding. I didn’t swaddle and we went swimming before our first immunisations, on top of that I dyed my hair during pregnancy, didn’t take a pre-natal vitamin outside my first 12 weeks of pregnancy, I didn’t eat “clean” in fact a strong healthy diet of chocolate was the norm. And I didn’t limit my caffeine limit as well as I should have, and I certainly didn’t buy a pregnancy book, nor did I really read in detail the NHS guide.
Do i feel absolutely rotten about my shortcomings as a maternal entity? No. I don’t, my son is here he’s healthy, thriving in fact, early crawler, early walker and chatty as hell! The behaviour and tantrums aside he’s every bit as healthy and wonderful as I could have wished. And yet this pregnancy I feel compelled to try breastfeeding (weightloss factors a large deciding factor for this one) but I will not budge on the birth!
I can’t help think how can we be the best parents if there is a constant force beckoning us to be constantly better and that we aren’t good enough. How can we be trusting our own instincts if they’re questioned and judged and tested throughout the media and in social circumstances? Perhaps what you’re doing isn’t as good as what I’m doing? And perhaps your method of weaning is far more productive than mine? But whatever happened to letting our instincts control that…..
Just a little food for thought the next time we jump into defensive/offensive mode on the next parent who makes any “mistakes”…..