Dear New Parent, You’re Doing Great!

Dear new parent,

I know there will be days or situations that happen that will make you question your ability to be a parent or question if you’re doing good enough for that little baby in your arms. You are NOT alone!

In these first 4 months with Bryan I can’t remember how many times someone has said something or something has happened to make me feel this way. I wish there were more people, other than my sweet husband, reassuring me that I’m doing the best I can or that Bryan could verbally tell me that he’s happy, but there isn’t.file1-4

It’s sad that there are more people judging Tory and I on the ways we choose to feed Bryan, burp him or even let him sleep. Whatever happened to the idea that every parent does parenting differently and respecting that?! Did people forget that they were once new parents as well? When did it become okay for others to insert their opinions on your parenting styles and belittle you or undermine your ability to be a parent in front of your child (I’ve even gotten this from people who have never been a parent themselves)?!

I mean, yes, Bryan is still too young to understand what’s happening, but if he continues to be around people, even family members, that are constantly telling us that we’re not doing things right and go against what we’ve said, how will he ever learn to respect his parents and our decisions?

It hurts to hear that I’m “neglecting my child,” because I left him at home with his uncle and aunt (it’s okay to ask for help)- instead of taking him with me, because I know there would be an opinion about that too- so I could go to the store. Or that I’m neglecting him because I’m not letting him finish his bottle (when he’s clearly pushed it out of his mouth), that I’m not feeding him on his schedule- I just fed him an hour ago and he eats on a 3-hour schedule- so you decide to mess with his schedule and feed him anyway. OR, this one just irks me, that I’m not letting him sleep enough so he’s not going to grow properly. You are NOT at home with us at night, so you don’t know that he’s sleeping longer at night now and only takes little cat naps throughout the day instead of sleeping hours on hours all day!

If that didn’t get to you, here’s something that will! Your baby sleeps in his bouncer, swing or crib at home, but others think that he can’t sleep unless they hold him or carry him the entire time and won’t listen to you when you say you let him fall asleep on his own without having to rock him to sleep. So they undermine your authority again! They continue to carry him and create a habit that you- NOT THEM– have to break! Now, you’re the one dealing with the crying and fussiness because they’ve taken him off his schedule and routine, that you, his parent, has created.

It hurts to hear that you, the parent, have ruined your baby’s schedule and routine. Excuse me?! He has a perfect schedule and routine, but you didn’t think so because it’s not how you did things!

It is so hard to blend two different parenting styles while having to juggle the opinions of others about how things used to be done and how you’ve chosen to do things now isn’t good for your baby.

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It hurts being told that you and your husband had your baby too early in life because you guys aren’t ready to be parents (check out our post about how parenting is a full time job) and are too busy going out all the time. Really? Where have we been going? To work (so we have money to pay the bills), to the store to buy food and formula to feed him. We can’t take him to the  store or anywhere out of the house without being told that we are hurting him by exposing him too early. So are we supposed to stay cooped up in the house until he goes off to school?!

I’m constantly being told that I’m not doing things right or being told that I shouldn’t be doing all the things I’ve been doing- like going grocery shopping, lifting bags, doing too much at work (I’m not even sure how there’s an opinion on that considering no one that makes that comment even sees me at work) or even doing too much around the house.

I listened for a month and tried the recovery process that was traditional for our family {not everyone in the family even did it or was made to do it}, and to be honest, it was miserable! I couldn’t do anything I wanted-like shower, all I wanted was a hot shower after being spit up on all day or to wash my hair- I felt more disgusting the entire month than I felt helped. I couldn’t eat what I wanted, and even now, 4 months later, still get yelled at for eating certain things. That recovery process stressed me out more than it benefitted me. It makes me miserable even thinking about having any more kids because I’d have to go through all of that again. I know that if I object, I’ll get more backlash than I do now for the way I’ve chosen to raise my son.

Honestly, when did it become okay for people to insert their opinions, expect you to follow them and then say that you aren’t doing things right because you chose to do things differently?! When did it become okay for people, who have NEVER been parents, to comment on the way you raise your child?! How are new parents supposed to learn what works or doesn’t work for them if they are constantly being ridiculed for their decisions?!

So to my new parents, as hard as it may get or for all the backlash you will receive, remember you are not alone, there’s a whole bunch of other new parents experiencing the same things!

So when your little one isn’t having the best day, remember it’s all worth it when you hear that giggle or laugh. When someone is telling you that you aren’t doing something right, look at your happy, healthy baby and know that you’re doing the BEST you can! You’re doing great! Hang in there and good luck!

Sincerely,

A new Mommy that’s still learning

 

P.S. I know that there will be MANY opinions that come with this post, but someone had to say something and why not come from someone who has experienced a lot of it!

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