In a world of blame and criticism, are we destroying the joy of parenthood? Social media is ablaze with instructions on how to do this, that or the other to ensure you child is the smartest in class. We are all seeking perfection and we need to STOP. This could also be contributing to the rise in anxiety and depression. We are all embroiled in a digital world with so much information being thrown at us from all directions.
If you should dare to bottle feed for what ever reason, you’re bombarded with people’s opinions that basically say your child will end up unable to fight off illness, lower IQ and that you’re a bad parent! “You’re breast feeding? Oh you’re a perfect parent and your child will have the perfect start in life and grow up to be perfect!” – I don’t think so.
If you should dare to say you aren’t bothering with the “trendy” baby led weaning your led to believe that your child will grow up to be fat, ugly and addicted to Macdonalds. “You’re doing baby led weaning? Oh fab, your child will grow up to eat all his veg, never get fat, be able to save himself from choking with his gag reflex and be on the cover of Vogue!”- I don’t think so.
God forbid you should NEED to have a C-section, many won’t even actually say there presumptions of ‘too posh to push’ or if they say anything it will be a “Never mind, I’m sure he’ll be fine” as if giving birth in this manner is something to need the offer of condolence. You can quickly read through the looks and the lines to know what they are really trying to say is you’ve failed a most basic human instinct and for that you shall be forever cursed. Your child will not achieve anything, will probably be autistic and everything that goes wrong is your fault. “You gave birth with no pain relief, and it was all rosy? Well done, you are such an Earth Mother, your reward shall be your child shall be top of the class in everything and after completing his Masters in Environmental Science shall go on to save the World”. – I don’t think so.
This list is endless.
What I am trying to say, if I can explain as a Mother, Grandmother and human being is a message to todays parents. Stop putting yourselves under so much pressure to be the PERFECT parents, stopping judging and comparing yourselves to others social media newsfeed- they only show the best bits! Yes, after giving birth, we all count the fingers and toes to see we have the perfect baby, but even if there were only 9, those 9 can be perfect.
Look for the perfect in the imperfect. Your child may have the Tantrums from Hell, that stop you being able to get out the house looking like the yummy Mummy down the road who’s child is always immaculate as her Mother. But you’re the one that has the child that you can have perfect make up cuddles with, however brief they maybe. Your child may not be able to read before they go to school but he can melt your heart with that perfect smile and make you laugh with their perfect humour.
Let me suggest, parent as best you can, go with your gut and try things, if it doesn’t work try something else, don’t judge if you’ve had to start weaning before the magic 6 months. There is no such thing as perfect parenting, we all muddle through, there is just Love. Love with all your heart, the children will be young for such a short time, and yes it can be tough at times, but believe me, it just breaks you in for when it really gets tough as they get older! If you can remember that, and go some way towards it, you’ll do just perfect.
Now that is perfection! 3 of my Grandsons.