I Made All the Right Parenting Choices. So Did You.

It is easy to judge other people’s parenting. Before you become a parent, you probably have pre-conceived notions of the type of parent you will be. So when you see moms dealing with a full-out temper tantrum in the middle of a grocery store, it’s easy to think, “My child will never do that, or “I would handle that better.”

After you become a parent, it’s easy to see other parents making different choices than you are and think, “Why are they parenting that way?” or “I would never do that.”

It’s easy to feel judged as a parent. Even though you are often wrapped up in your child, you are also always aware of disapproving looks that might be thrown your way in public or even from among your own family members.

It’s easy not to feel confident in your parenting skills because you will hear different advice from different people and sometimes it’s hard to remember that ultimately your opinion about your baby is the only one that matters.

There are so many issues in parenting to get heated about. There are so many different beliefs about the “right” way to raise a baby. And it’s ok to believe in the way that you are parenting. I believe very strongly in the parenting choices I have made. I know I have made the right choices. I am passionate about my decisions, but I will try not to judge you for feeling passionate about yours.

What’s hard in parenting is to realize that just because someone isn’t doing it your way, doesn’t mean they are doing it in a bad way. We want to believe that we are doing the best for our child. So we will defend and argue and judge others if it doesn’t fit in with our ways, because no one wants to believe that they are intentionally making bad choices for their children. The debates about staying-at-home vs working and breastfeeding vs bottle-feeding are so heated because every parent feels that they have made the right decision. It’s wonderful to know that you made the right choice for your child.

But it’s not ok to judge others for making the right choices for theirs. Every parent wants the best for their child. If we could all begin to understand that behind every parenting decision is a good intention, maybe we could stop judging that mom in the grocery store with the tantrum throwing two-year old. Or stop gawking at that mom breastfeeding her baby in the restaurant. Or stop telling the woman who chose to formula feed that she’s depriving her child.

Hopefully, by the time these children grow up, they will all be smart, successful, sweet, contributing members of society. But there are a lot factors that will pave the road for that child to grow up. Fighting or judging about the baby stuff doesn’t help get them to the grown up stuff.

Make your parenting choices responsibly. BELIEVE in your parenting choices. Defend them if you have to. But then remember not to judge someone else for making different choices. Because if you have researched, thought about, and really made an honest effort to do the very best parenting you can, then you have made the right choice; whatever choice that may be.

 

*This post is a summation of my thoughts after reading these thought-provoking articles about parenting last week: Snap JudgmentsMom Judgments, and Take a Bottle. I’ll admit, I haven’t always followed my own advice, but after reading these articles and doing a lot of thinking, I came to the conclusions I wrote in this post. I hope you will, too. I would love to hear your thoughts. 

Comments

  1. Amen to that.
    Choices are choices made by each respective individual. It shouldn’t be up for debate. Could you imagine if we all supported one another rather than criticize?
    What a world that would be…
    And Parenting would be so much easier

    • Yes!! Parenting would be so much easier and less stressful if you felt supported in all of your decisions instead of feeling like you had to defend them all. *sigh*

  2. Yes! With all my heart, yes. That’s all I keep thinking, want to say…yes.

  3. I love that you tackled this here.

    It’s such a tough one, for sure.

    I’m working so very hard on that all important focus within.

    (So easy -too easy- to get distracted from this, yes?)

  4. I love this post! I had to formula feed Wolf Prince because I was on medicine, but there were other moms that make it out like it’s the worst thing in the world. I did what was best for him just like everyone else. Breastfeeding wasn’t what was best.

    I’m now following you on twitter, @ChasingWolfPack. I’m also very slowly getting the 11 Things post finished. Thanks for tagging me for it!

    • So glad you liked it! I was a breastfeeding mom, but I felt judged in the opposite way. Some of my peers would tell me how gross breastfeeding was and ask why I didn’t just give him a bottle. I wound up breastfeeding long term, and people would say, “You’re still doing it?” So I totally understand what you are saying; no one has the right to judge you for formula feeding, just like no one should have judged me for breastfeeding. Sigh. It would be so nice if everyone would just respect other parent’s decisions.
      It took me a while to get the 11 things post up too; it’s kind of hard to come up with everything!! I can’t wait to read yours! Headed to Twitter now :)

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