Nurse your baby to sleep! Never nurse your baby to sleep!
A paci will save your life! On your life, don’t you dare use a paci!
Cry it out! Don’t traumatize your baby!
Wear your child to promote bonding! Don’t wear your child to promote independence!
Hyperscheduling! Demand feeding!
Family bed! Baby bed!
Okay… You get the point.
One of the first things I learned when I became pregnant with my first child is that there is an expert opinion on everything related to babies and parenthood… Not only does every parenting issue have a “right” and “wrong”, but there are plenty of experts to back these claims up!
And these don’t seem to be just preferences… these are outright carved in stone! We’re talking Right with a capital “R” and Wrong with a capital “W”. (Totally reminds me of American politics you’ve gotta pick a side folks!)
But yeah, for a first time mom it can be absolutely overwhelming. You read one book, and that’s it – you’re convinced. That is, until you read the other side which is equally convincing. It can be not only overwhelming, but frustrating and discouraging when you’re longing desperately to know what’s best for your child.
There’s an old proverb that says, “The first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him” (Pr 18:17). Hmmmm, sounds about right to me.
So I’ve realized that not only are there “expert” opinions on everything… but I’m also learning how to listen to both sides and filter them through my own intuition.
Because you know the absolute most important thing that I’ve quickly learned so far?
I’ve learned that I’m the only one that knows what’s best for my child. (Well, let’s include my dear husband in that category.) Ok, so make that: I’ve learned that my husband and I know what’s best for our child.
I confess, I’m still reading books on babies and parenting and all the rest of it. I’m still searching blogs and websites. I’m still chatting with my mommy-friends on facebook and by email and at my mum’s group. And yet now I’m doing it with a different perspective. I’m doing it as a mommy who knows that I know best.
So… there will be no picking sides for me; no fighting across the aisle. (Let’s leave politics out of parenting!) Every mom needs to find what works for her little one, for her, and for her family.
And that’s it! I’ve decided to form my own “party” in which I am the chief expert. Yes, in my parenting party, I am the President… President Mommy.