Parenting Without Guilt or Judgement
I have seen a lot of social media posts lately where Mamas are defending the way that they choose to parent. This is obviously a sign of our times where people feel the need to fit themselves in to a certain category, “crunchymommy”, “attachment”, “sleep trained” “positive parenting” etc… I find this an odd situation, probably because I have never liked labeling things. I feel like you can carry out aspects of all different types of parenting AND be an amazing Mama. I also feel like it’s okay to change your parenting style and skills right along with the growth of your child. I have never met an expert parent and I don’t think there is such a thing.
I know that when people I meet find out my profession as a sleep coach or a lactation counsellor they will often say things like, “oh I co-sleep, I know I am probably doing it wrong but it just works for us.” And I can honestly say there is NO judgement on my end, if it’s not a problem for you then it’s not a problem, no defence needed! I just hope everyone finds what makes them happy! I think the judgemental behaviour and the need for justification comes because of the misunderstanding and labeling of certain parenting styles. All of which are untrue for the most part. You have no idea what it is like to walk in another Mamas shoes, you have no idea what her family life is like or the temperament of her baby or her mental health status and therefore you have no right to make judgements.
“In the end I know that each Mama is making the choice that feels right for their family, and maybe they didn’t realize that this is the choice they would be making…”
I chose to teach my baby independent sleep because frankly…. It saved my life. When you are teetering on the edge of depression or anxiety, sleep deprivation is just the thing to push you over the edge and I can openly and honestly say I have been there. Does that mean that I should have to justify or defend the choice I made for the health of myself and my family, NO. Does it make me any less “attached” to my baby because she sleeps in her own room and I sleep in mine, absolutely NOT. I love that girl more than life itself and anyone who knows us knows we are attached at the hip. I bring this up because there are many ways to go about teaching sleep to your baby and we did what worked for us and what we were comfortable with, setting limits and making adjustments as we went. I also carried her in a carrier for every nap until she was almost 7 months old but she slept in her crib at night. (here I go justifying… when it’s not needed). We do this justification as Mamas hoping that maybe someone can understand us, maybe understand a little where I am coming from or why this worked for our family. I say this now because I hope someone reads this and can let go of something that’s maybe no longer serving them.
In the end I know that each Mama is making the choice that feels right for their family, and maybe they didn’t realize that this is the choice they would be making…. Sleep training, co-sleeping, floorbeds…. but here they are doing their best and trying to figure out what works. I can guarantee you that most of the families I have met never imagined they would hire a sleep coach but they have found the strength to ask for help and I will show up at your doorstep to help you navigate your way for this little person. I believe we are all “attached” to our babies and our babies are attached to us… literally and figuratively. So Mama don’t worry about defending your choices, you are doing a great job and your baby is SO lucky to have you!