There are so many ad campaigns these days that are centered on telling a mother how she should be raising her child. I think we can all agree… there are core tenets that we can get behind, right? Don’t neglect your little one, feed them, love them and hug them often. The rest, however, is fairly subjective.
No one way of parenting will work for every family. Your child is different than any other child out there and guess what - you know them best! Yes, I’m sure the argument could be made that there are plenty of children out there that act like yours, or have the same illnesses, but at the end of the day, unless it’s an identical twin (and even then there’s always differences…) your child is unique!
Mothers aren’t given enough credit these days. Every single decision that we make is questioned when it comes to our children. Take the decision to bottle feed or breastfeed. Sure, breast feeding has been touted as the healthier and cheaper alternative, but that doesn't mean it’s always the right choice for every mom and every baby. Some little ones have issues with latching or out-strip mom’s production, and sometimes it’s just too painful for mom or she just doesn’t feel comfortable with it. These are all good, valid reasons to make a different choice – one that better fits your family’s needs. At the end of the day, if you the mom are not comfortable with something, then your baby will be uncomfortable. If they can’t digest milk, that’s not your fault! That’s why they make so many different varieties of formulas. Don’t want to go formula? Look into a Breast Milk Bank or even homemade Goat Milk Formula! Don’t let anyone make you feel bad for making the choice that’s right for you.
You’re all about the breast? Rock on, mama!
Got the kid some colostrum and went to bottle? Go, you!
Pumping or supplementing? Awesome – way to show your love for your peanut!
At the end of every day every mom (or dad!) needs to remember that they are the one that knows their baby best. Believe me – I know it’s hard when information is coming at you from so many different directions and at times you feel like you don’t know what to do. All I can say to support you is trust your instincts, forget the “mommy wars”, and follow your gut when it comes to your children. If you aren’t sure where to go, find a trusted support system - your mother, your doctor, a new mom’s group, or a like-minded friend.
Your instincts are powerful. Don’t be afraid to listen to them!