Thursday, September 6, 2012

We Are Different, and It's Okay!

Attachment Parenting, Instinctive Parenting, Helicopter Parenting, Permissive Parenting, Authoritative Parenting, Authoritarian Parenting, Indulgent Parenting..

Which is right, and which is wrong? Which is effective, which is ineffective?

It's not a matter of right or wrong, effective or ineffective- it is a matter of what is right and effective for your family.

Recently, a friend of mine made a statement on Facebook declaring her hate of the "BabyWise" method of parenting and pointed out that parents who chose that style were ignoring their child's needs/wants.

I kind of chuckled to myself when I read it, because one of my friends' best traits is her honesty and passion for what she believes. Even though, I did incorporate many of the "Baby Wise" methods into my parenting when my children were young, I understand that it isn't for everyone.

It has been just through the last few months, since I did the "Mommy Confessions" series on this Blog, that I began to understand that what works for one does not work for another. I use to be so judgmental about how others parented, especially when it was different from myself- but I began to realize that I don't know their story, their reasons- so how can I make a judgment.

The comments that began to be made under my friend's statement about BabyWise really started to bother me:

 "..Baby boot-camp..", "..It's a baby, not a dog..", "..completely selfish, detached way of parenting..", "..easier on the parents, not the baby..", etc..

I could not believe that these Moms were all labeling me, and many other wonderful Moms' I know, such horrible judgmental things.

I suddenly felt the need to justify my decisions and explain my "why" behind the "what". But, I really felt it was pointless. I know I am a great Mom- not perfect- but great. Are there things I would do differently? Absolutely! Have I made mistakes? Absolutely! Do I have regrets? Yes, I do. But, am I a great Mom in-spite of those things? YES, I am!

I didn't create a schedule/routine with my girls that worked around me and my needs/wants, I worked very hard to make sure that anything I needed to do was around their sleeping and eating times. We were all happier when I could predict them and they could predict me. There were many things that I chose not to do so that I did not disrupt my girls needs/wants, I do not think that is the definition of selfish.

Why can't we embrace parents and their methods of raising children whether we agree or disagree? I am not talking abusive situations; I am talking just different approaches.

I know more parents that co-sleep than those that do not- it is not for my family- but that's okay; we are both 'right' because it is what works for us.

My kids are on a great routine that works for us. Many families have no routine at all, and that works for them.

Some parents use cloth diapers, that is NOT for me- but kudos to all of you who are able to!

Working Mom vs. Non-Working Mom. Public School vs. Homeschool vs. Private School. There is not a right or wrong, it is what works for each individual family.

I breastfed my kids and loved every minute, but it is not for some and others literally cannot do it. Some Mom's breast feed their kids until they are 3-4-5 years old. I think that's a bit outrageous to breastfeed that long, but it is their choice.

I made all of my girls baby-food, many of my friends thought I was crazy for doing so- and I'm okay with that!

Yes, I did allow my kids to cry it out at times (and still do), my girls are okay and so are Lupe and I- we could handle it. Many parents cannot allow their kids to cry it out for various reasons; I applaud them for going with their gut and raising them with the convictions and standards that they have. I refuse to think that I am an abusive Mom (and Lupe, an abusive Dad) for parenting with our convictions and standards.

It was so sad to hear Mom's degrading others who had opposing parenting methods, especially to the point of labeling them selfish and detached.

Let's just respect the differences- I am still growing in this area- but I am more determined than ever to not ever let another Mom feel the way I did after reading much of that last night. 

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