What have I learned since becoming a mom?
I GET TO DECIDE HOW TO PARENT.
We can have all of the best intentions and ideas but when that baby is born most of those plans completely fly out the window. After I gave birth, I remember everyone said, “don’t let them control you” and “get them on a schedule” but I constantly had one thought run through my head: I am not really sure what I am doing.
I was super insecure when I first became a mom. I questioned everything I was doing all the time. When people would give me their advice on my son’s eating and sleeping habits, I found myself becoming defensive and explaining why I didn’t do something exactly as they did. Right away, I would backpedal and question everything I thought I knew. With so much information out there, it was so hard to know what was the right thing.
You are the parent
The thing I learned was that there is no “right” or “wrong” way to parent; there is only YOUR WAY. If your way looks different than what others do, that’s OKAY. You get to pick and choose what works for your family. Maybe you want to breastfeed AND do formula. Maybe you want to try all of the different sleep methods until I find what I am comfortable with. That is okay too. You are never stuck in anything. You always have the option to change and try something different. You are the Mom! You get to decide what is best for your child and you owe an explanation to no one.
I really wish someone would’ve told me that at the beginning. I wish I had that person to say it is okay to figure out what works best for you!
What I have learned after having each child is how to RELAX.
Now don’t get me wrong, I still question a lot of things and wonder if what I am doing is right, however, the stress is SO MUCH LESS than it was with my first son. I no longer have the debilitating anxiety that every minor decision was going to impact my child’s developmental state and well being. As long as I love and care for him to the best of my ability, then I am doing okay.
Kids are resilient.
I can’t tell you how many days end with me saying “I’m sorry” or “mommy will try harder tomorrow.” However, the fact that one kid had exclusively formula, two kids had BM and formula, one did BLW, one was given purees, etc. it didn’t make any difference in the end! They are all picky eaters and eat boogers.
The main thing I learned was to parent my way and it is ok if it isn’t perfect, because at the end of the day it all comes out in the wash.