Caution: This post contains language of an adult nature and far too many exclamation points. Reader discretion is advised. (Sorry Mum!)
I know this is stating the obvious but parenting is really, really tough. For so many years we are solely responsible for the health and wellbeing of miniature people. We feed them, teach them, love them, discipline them and so much more to boot. Yet it seems we are hell-bent on making it so much tougher than it really needs to be.
Every new study or scientific finding throws another factor into an already crazy pool of decisions. Each time a mum takes it upon herself to tell the world how she does something, you question your own methodology. STOP.
There is always a ‘better’ way of doing something…that’s whole premise of social evolution (I’m not sure if this is a real term, but you know what I mean!). This constant bombardment of information is intimidating to new and seasoned mums alike (and is the main reason I have cut back on Facebook*).
In my no-so-professional opinion, here are some examples of clickbait articles that we should only read whilst watching Gilmore Girls with a glass of wine (or whatever your ‘happy place’ is!)
**So I don’t get sued, banned or generally cyber-stalked into oblivion I’m not linking to specific articles**
The fact alone that breastfeeding is possibly the most contentious topic in today’s parenting journey pisses me off!! Breastfeed if you can, bottle if you can’t but don’t beat each other up about it. Everyone who knows me knows I am a major pro-breastfeeder but I don’t bottle-bash mums that don’t!
- They are what you eat. Bollocks. You think a new mum wants yet another pressure put upon her?! Eat well for yourself. Or don’t…it’s your choice. Dr. Newman is a breastfeeding legend (and a bloke!) and if he says it’s ok, then it’s ok.
- Formula-fed babies aren’t as smart. Ball bags. I was formula-fed and I’ve managed to keep myself alive for 30+ years (I still can’t spell neccessary, but we all have a weakness!) I will always encourage boob over bottle but some people just want to bottle feed. That’s their choice and as long as it is an informed choice, fine.
GAAAAAAAH! My nemesis. The Dean to my Jess**. The sleep industry is a multi-million dollar (I think) business. Sleep experts, sleep doulas, sleep consultants…whatever you call them, make a living guiding exhausted parents though to a full night’s sleep. Then baby cuts another tooth, or has a growth spurt or just behaves like a bloody baby should and you’re back to square one.
Babies wake for a reason. It is normal. Toddlers are the most complex mammal on the planet and sometimes they sleep and sometimes they don’t. Accept it. In the midst of my despair I used to Google EVERYTHING to do with sleep. It drove me to the brink of my nerves until I cracked and walked away. I pulled my miniature night owls back into our room and guess what? We all slept better.
- Co-sleeping spoils your baby. No. Co-sleeping (when done safely) allows everyone to satisfy their needs. The baby feels safe and you can finally get some sleep. It’s not for everyone but find what works for you, regardless of what the book tells you to do.
- Junk sleep. This is an amazingly demoralising term I came across when trying to figure out how to get the Lord to nap in a crib rather than his stroller. Apparently unless you are in a bed the sleep means eff-all. Really?! So that cheeky cat nap on the sofa on a Saturday afternoon doesn’t recharge your batteries enough to hit the bars (for those of you who can remember that far back / don’t have kiddies). The Lord was (and still is) a notoriously bad sleeper and the only way to ensure he got a 2-hour nap was to pop for a quick walk, then park him up wherever was convenient (home, coffee shop, do the groceries). This worked well for us. I wasn’t forced to tip-toe around the house while he dozed and I got stuff done.
You may choose to do time-outs or you may choose to talk things through. It doesn’t bother me. What does bother me is people telling me I am wrong. Obviously the person /article / comment doesn’t actually come out and say that I’m wrong; instead, they scare the bejeezus out of you with facts and numbers.
- Addiction starts at childhood. Now I admit, I didn’t even read this one. The title alone made my nostrils flare. Arguably everything starts at childhood. It’s the basis from which we form our later years. But to put this burden on parents is crazy. If you aren’t a maniacal crackhead the likelihood is that your kid won’t be either (subject to the phenomenon called personality).
- Don’t say no to your child. HAHAHAHAHAHA…hands up who says no more than 100 times a day?! I get where this is going in theory but in practise who has the time, energy, patience and creativity to come up with an alternative suggestion to they insane requests you received constantly. Imagine:
Toddler: Mummy, can I put a pen in my bottom?
Mummy: Why don”t you put the pen on the table, darling
Toddler: But I want to put it in my bottom
Mummy: Perhaps we could draw with the pen instead
Toddler: But the pen wants to be in my bottom
Mummy: How about we see how many pens we can find and count them?
Toddler: Can I put two pens in my bottom then?
Phew…it feels good to finally get that off my chest. Normal service will be resumed in the next post!
* Update: (Sep ’16) I have ditched Facebook altogether – click here to see why!
** A Gilmore Girls reference…watch it!
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