That first moment that infant is placed into your arms your life has changed forever. Nothing will ever be the same once you have that little life in yours. Being a parent is privilege and a huge responsibility.
I am not sure why it is but when you have a baby people seem to feel like it is important to tell you how you will need to parent your child. Now I do ask for people’s advice and opinions on things but that isn’t what I am referring to. People suddenly believe that they are the expert authority on your baby. We were given books or told ‘You have to do this, make sure you don’t do this or you have to buy this product’. And like most new parents we just bounced from opinion to opinion having no idea what we were getting ourselves into.
You see, you have no idea who you are going to be as a parent. You might think you do, but until that baby arrives, you have no idea. I had this idea in my head of what I would want/need as a mom and how I would react to the whole experience; I was surprised by how different of a parent I turned out to be.
So since you have no idea what you are doing then where do you turn to? Some people turn to their friends or family members. I am so similar to my mother-in-law so I picked her brain a lot. But many people I know immediately hit the books. Now I won’t name any names but certain authors of these baby books probably shouldn’t have been allowed anywhere near a pen because so much of what is out there is nonsense, contradictory and unhelpful. A certain childless woman that some people for some reason love seems to feel that babies can be controlled through her formula and rigid schedule. But there is a serious problem with this point of view; no one gives the baby the book.
I can’t tell you how many friends I know that read some of these books and then got so frustrated because their baby didn’t respond the way the book said they would.
I have a simple answer to this phenomenon; there is no such thing as one size fits all when it comes to parenting.
What works for you won’t always work for the next person. So this idea that there is some formula that will give you the perfect baby is nonsense. If it really was that easy then we would all be doing it and all parents would always be these fully rested, never lose their temper version of the Brady Bunch.
But that isn’t how it happens. You might have a child that has colic, sever reflux, or you could have a baby like mine who from day one hated cars. Every time she wouldn’t settle people would say, ‘oh take her for a drive that makes ALL babies go to sleep’. Well sorry to disappoint but not mine. She once cried for 2 straight hours while driving going to see family when she was 2 months old and then fell straight asleep the second we arrived and someone picked her up. No child is the same so no method will work for every child.
Now I am not saying don’t read any books and don’t listen to the advice of others. But what I am saying is don’t let anyone tell you there is one perfect way to raise a baby. Instead listen to your baby and do what works for you. Babies don’t come out of the womb a blank slate that you fill in the personality and needs, they are already unique individuals even before they are born. Learn what they like and what they don’t like by trying several different methods. And use methods that work not only for the baby but for you as a family unit. And then once you are happy with those decisions learn how to tune out others that try to tell you that you are doing it wrong. In the end you are the parent, that is your child and no one else knows your child like you do.