When I first
became a mom found out I was expecting, there were so many things that jolted my brain. How was I supposed to take care of this tiny human? Formula or Breastmilk? Co-Sleep or separate room? The questions are endless to say the least. So I started to do my research on the type of mom I wanted to be. There are so many things that inundate our lives with information on what is best for our baby and what is highly recommended by Dr. So and So that a normal every day person has never heard of. What happened to following that gut feeling? Nature’s natural instinct on what we should do? In today’s day and age, many of us in the modern world have pushed that down to focus on what we read online and hear on the news about the latest trend on how to raise a child. So I decided no more. I stopped reading into everything about having a baby. Sure I still saw my doctor, gave birth in a hospital, but when it came time for my oldest son to be born, I never let him leave my site. The one time he did leave, I had Daddy go with him to be sure he wouldn’t get switched with another baby or have the nurses do something I did not want done.
I chose to not have my son circumcised (which is a hotly debated topic) because to me the risks were not worth one benefit. I chose to breastfeed my son until he weaned, which was about 15 months or so and I was 5 or 6 months pregnant with the baby. Though he did want to nurse every so often after the baby was born and I let him. I did choose to vaccinate because I am worried about diseases but I do not believe in the flu shot. I did a mix of co-sleeping and having him in a bassinet right next to my bed, then as he got older he started sleeping better on his own than in bed with me. He is nearing 3 years old now and he still likes to cuddle with me, he is a very happy child, loves to help and share. I ditched all the parenting advice that I read and focused on my instincts on how to raise my child.
When it came time for my second child to arrive, naturally I followed the same things I did with my oldest because it had worked the first time, so why not again? Well my baby was a bit harder to handle, I just got really lucky with my oldest! With Bubba I had to rethink my parenting style so that I could handle two kids under two, as well as maintain some sanity! He did not take to nursing easily, so it frustrated me to no end. Add on to that the inability to pump and I had to do what was best for him and go to formula and bottles. Well that brought on a host of other problems with the formula that we did not beat until we transitioned from formula to milk. Next was the fact he was very attached and needy, the complete opposite of my oldest. Now I know we cannot judge every child the same and that is where I had gone wrong to begin with so that didn’t help how frustrated I got with caring for him every day. He refused to be put down, ever. So I never got anything done at home and my husband just got mad at me so it was a never ending cycle. As Bubba started being more independent, I started getting better and back to my usual self but it was still a rough few months before that point. I still took care of him but didn’t have that bond that I did with my oldest until he was nearly a year old. Now I have a happy 17 month old who loves to crawl in bed with me in the morning just to cuddle, share his slobber covered snacks and copy everything his brother does!
My journey on being a parent has not been terribly easy, but I am also grateful it was not more difficult as I don’t know how I could have survived it. I stuck to my gut instincts and did what was best for my kids though and that is why they are growing up into two very loving boys. I kept them close and picked them up when they cried (I still do!) I never hesitate to let them crawl in bed with me even though they are now in their own room and own beds. Any kids I may have in the future, I will do the same thing and follow what is best for them and let them grow up in their own way(and try to not focus on what the older kids did at each age)!
I don’t follow the books in any sense of raising my children, I just do what is best. I love my boys to death and would do anything to protect them, after all that is my maternal instinct, so why should I follow the advice of people who have some fancy degree on raising MY children? There is absolutely no reason to. I know my children and what is best, not someone who has never been around my children and never will.
I am a pro-vaccine, anti-circumcision, pro-cosleeping, pro-breastfeeding kind of momma and no one out there will make me change!