So in wandering around the blogosphere over the last few days I came across some common sense. Over at SlightlySuburbanDad there’s a great post about respecting the choices of others. In summary it’s a great response to the the hugely polarising debate that seems to happen every time someone voices their opinion about how something should (or shouldn’t) be done when parenting someone else’s kids.
I liked what the post had to say. It’s probably because I tend to like stuff that agrees with what I think but it also backs up the best bit of advice that I have been given when it comes to raising kids which was: whatever your doing is right, until it stops working for you, at which point – try something else. If I’d known, believed and lived this advice from when my daughter entered the world I’m sure life would have been easier.
Like SlightlySuburbanDad breastfeeding for us was tough. My wife put herself through hell to produce a shot glass of milk for a child that fussed, spewed and screamed throughout the whole process. I still remember turning up with my wife to the 1 week check up and a woman in the waiting room expressing because she had too much milk (nothing like a showoff). I know it’s not a competition but we watched during the 5 minutes it took her to fill a large bottle and thought we must be doing something wrong. My wife kept trying to breastfeed for the next four months with a volume that failed to keep pace our daughters growing appetite. We supplemented with formula until we finally gave up and went on the bottle full time.
The big problem with this was, that according to lots of opinion, we were “doing the wrong thing”. The frustrating thing was, that like many parents that find themselves in a similar situation we would have loved to have “done the right thing” but we just couldn’t. We knew that breast was best but we just couldn’t make it work. What we needed at the time was someone in a position of authority and trust to say “It’s ok guys. Your daughter will be fine with formula, your not harming her by switching or supplementing”.
Unlike SlightlySuburbanDad we did controlled crying and it worked for us. For the child we had, letting her “sort it out for herself” worked and as a 2yo she seems to have done ok with it. This isn’t to say that it will work for anyone else’s children like it worked for ours or that it’s any better than going into their room whenever they cry, moving them into your bed or even co-sleeping. What matters is that your comfortable with what your doing as parents and that you are supported to change your method whenever you you want to.
Like SlightlySuburbanDad we feed our daughter sausages, in fact I look forward to sausage night nearly as much as my daughter does. We also turn down invitations for lunch so my daughter can have her afternoon sleep at home, occasionally baby sit her with Peppa Pig and don’t use cloth nappies anymore (but have the best of intentions). Like the huge majority of parents out there we’re doing our best to consciously do what’s right for our child(ren).
So, well done SlightlySuburbanDad for voicing the perspective about the “only right parenting style [being] yours” (also not bad advice).
So what advice do you wish you’d been given? What choices have you made that people obviously didn’t agree with? Have you changed tactics because of it?
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