We all had the moments before we had kids, when we would judge parents, a crying baby in a restaurant or a 3 year old having a tantrum in a store.....my kids will never act like that we would say....why is that mother giving in to him? I would never....
Well time for a reality check.....
Truth is, we do the best we can. That is all we can do. I try to understand why we all judge each other, even after we have kids about who is doing what wrong.
I am sure my friends and family are sick of hearing me say "do what works for you" but I just cannot say it enough.
We criticize each other on everything we do, whether we breast feed or bottle feed, whether we co-sleep or not, whether that baby is walking or talking when they are "supposed" to. It's ridiculous. If we spent as much time supporting each other as we do criticizing, the world would be a fantastic place.
Now I'm not suggesting we don't give each other advice about things that have worked for us,I strongly believe that parenting is about trial and error. We learn as we go, there is no manual to how this works. We just do what we can to the best of our abilities.
When my son was born I was very lucky that he was a good sleeper, but some nights weren't so easy, in fact some weeks weren't easy. There were nights that he co-slept with us because it was the only way we could sleep at all. Does that mean I am doing it wrong?
He used a pacifier at bedtime up until last week and he is 3, am I wrong to have "Allowed" that to happen?
If there is one thing I have learned being a parent, is that every child is different, they all have their own time line for milestones and eventually they all will start school with no pacifier, no diaper and will be walking and talking.
By the time they hit high school, they will no longer be breastfeeding and will be sleeping in their beds through the night. So let's stop trying to do things the "right" way, let's stop worrying about what other people think and let's just enjoy our kids.
When you see that Mom in the store giving into a tantrum, smile at her. Let her know that sometimes its OK to just want to finish a shopping trip in peace. When that baby in the restaurant is crying and screaming, send the parents a cup of coffee, it is probably the first time in awhile they have gotten out of the house.
It is ok to not do things the same way as the Mom next door, or even the way your very own Mom did it.
Just do what works for you, at the end of the day it is you and your family that matter. Be happy and enjoy the ride, these kids grow up way too fast to not embrace every moment!