Like many other women out there I am mum however I have realised that I am a different mum. I am the mum to my son, my cat and my dog. There is no other family out there like mine, there can’t be. There are other families out there that are similar however my family is made up of my little unit with our own experiences, circumstances and most importantly personalities.
I can’t choose to compare my family to others because ultimately we are different, how my child and I react to something is going to be completely different to how another would but as normal people we do it. From the moment our little ones are born there seems to be something in us that start comparing everything the birth, how our children sleep, how they are fed etc. This comparing doesn’t seem to stop as they grow up, in fact it just seems to get worse. Child A is doing this and my child is not, what am I doing wrong?
The answer is nothing… While we are all different, we are united by the fact that we all try to do the best we can by our children and what might be right for you defiantly won’t be right for someone else. One of my mummy friends breastfeed and it worked for her, another one bottle feed and it worked for her and I mixed feed my son because that is what worked for me. None of these situations are wrong although society might say that some are, it is just up to us to stop comparing us with Joe (or maybe Joanne) Bloggs down the road and thinking we are any less of parents because their child or situation is different from ours.
Recently our son made the transition from a cot to a big bed as I approached the situation of how to best handle his play ups of continuously getting out of bed, I tried to work out what sort of parent I was. I couldn’t class myself as an attachment parent as I have sometimes let my son cry it out however I have also had nights where I have been in there singing him to sleep or have had him co sleeping in our bed. I came to realise that I probably don’t fit into any category and rather am the ‘What works best for my child’ kind of parent. There are times where I think he needs the extra cuddle and comfort of having me in there with him but I also know that that other times he is just trying to test the limits and needs to have those limits enforced.
We had a guest stay staying with us recently while we were going through one of the nights where he was testing the limits going to bed and we had had over an hour of trying to let him cry it out and going to spend time with him. Our guest was telling me to just let him cry it out but that clearly wasn’t working so I went in and lay with him. I realised as I said to our guest after that I am his mum, I have been the one that has been with him since day one and while I appreciate the advice, it can only be me (and his father) that can decide and know what is going to work for him. When it comes down to it that is the truth for all of us: friends, family, the internet can all tell us what to do and how to raise our children but at the end of the day it is us at the parents that know our children the best that can decide how to do it, we just have to trust that we can.
I attended a parenting workshop recently where they taught us that our children love us regardless of what we do and that we are already good enough for our children. As parents one of the best things we can do is believe it.