Mum Knows Best

Anxiety is a stealthy bugger. The slightest bit of doubt is like a portal that anxiety quickly sees and swims into without me even knowing. I can go from a confident Mum, wife and woman to someone who is questioning all of my choices and can convince myself that I’m wrong.

There is no right or wrong way to parent (uhh… within reason, you get what I’m saying!) but there can be a right/wrong way for YOU and YOUR baby you know? & lately I’ve been struggling with this.

I remember when Cameron used to barely eat and feeding time (solids only, he’s always been a boobah-monster) was a forceful event. I used to look on with envy as other Mum’s fed their babies without a fuss. But it sorted itself out and with time and love Cam is now eating really well.

Lately I’ve found myself looking at other parenting techniques and worrying that I’m making the wrong choices. Particularly with breastfeeding and co-sleeping.

But the truth is, is that I love breastfeeding… it’s been exhausting lately with Cameron teething and he was deciding he needed more feeds but ultimately it works for us. So does co-sleeping.

I realised that I’m feeling this way because of social/cultural reasons and that I need to get over it. So what, I still baby wear, breastfeed and co-sleep and my bub is over 1. I need to get over the fact that I’m a minority as a parent.

There’s no ‘better’ or ‘worse’ but simply different.

& it’s all OK.  

So anyone who asks me when I will wean him or move him into his own room and what not… I’m going to say: when it is right for us.

I am easily sensitive and find it hard to say what I really feel. But I will from now on.

I won’t explain why I parent the way I do. Not because I’m worried about judgement or people feeling judged; but because I don’t feel the need to defend myself. People can research things themselves and chose how they feel and what works or worked for them. No judgement here.

Remember, as a Mum – you know best.

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10 thoughts on “Mum Knows Best

  1. I agree totally with what you are saying Rachel. l think some people make their children grow up too fast and can’t seem to enjoy babies being babies…ok so a one year old is not a *little baby* but they are still babies (hope you get what l mean lol) If you are happy and he is happy then who cares! I breastfed my youngest daughter for 15 mths and she slept with us all the time, l personally think it is healthy and is a wonderful way to bond. I think your a great fun so just enjoy!!xx

  2. I co-slept with out bub till he was 8 months, I did not co- bed. Its strange how anxiety effects everyone differently As someone who also struggles with Anxiety I have re-searched co-sleeping to death and was way to scared to do it. If I brought him in with me I could not sleep I just laid there petrified I’d fall asleep to deep, re-breathing etc etc.
    Mothers guilt pops up all the time, it’s apart of the job description. Sometimes I just tell myself to shut up and who cares. The kids are fed and happy and loved so so much it can’t be all that bad. We do what we think is the best thing for our baby and that’s all anyone can ask of us.

  3. Exactly, we still co-sleep with our littlest when we need to/I want to when it’s 4am and she’s stirring and I want snuggles.

    Our biggest was co-slept until 8 months and only moved because of his sister’s impending arrival 😛

    And TBH I think it’s been wonderful for them, for all of us. I don’t for a second subscribe to the notion that babies “manipulate” us- I think that all they know is being close to their mothers, and all we know of them, is being close to us.

    Enjoy, I say, because all too soon you’ll be tackling him for a snuggle.

  4. Hey there! High fives to your continuing breastfeeding. I still breastfeed Lily who is nearly 16months and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it! It’s the best thing for us both and when people ask when are you going to wean her, I tell them that she has been weaning since she was 6 months (starting solids is the beginning of weaning), tends to shut them up. And then that we’ll stop when the time is right – no-one knows when that will be! You are doing a great job Rachel!

  5. Aaahhh, amazing! It was like reading myself… from one end of the article to the other, from the anxiety to reaching the conclusion you don’t need to explain or ‘defend’ your choices; from the fact that you are co-sleeping and breastfeeding a baby who is over one to the fact that you are not setting out to judge others for not doing the same.

    Thank you for writing my thoughts 🙂

    PS – have you seen, I have raised to your ‘Award’ challenge, here: http://blessingtree.wordpress.com/2011/01/23/one-award-and-seven-things-you-didnt-know-about-me/

  6. My daughter, who is 9 now, I raised primarily by myself (until remarrying when she was almost 8). I breastfed her until she was 2 1/2 years old (which many, including my family and her father’s) found “strange” or “giving into her” or “spoiling.” She also slept in my bed, primarily, until I remarried and my husband moved in (which he did AFTER we got married). That’s right, co-sleeping until 8 years old. I was told by EVERYONE that she would NEVER leave my bed. “What about when your husband moves in? Is he going to sleep in the bed with her too? How’s that going to work for a new marriage?” Blah, blah, blah.

    The first week she asked for a lot of things at bedtime, another kiss, another hug, a glass of water, another story. The second week, we simply read to her, gave her a hug and kiss, went to our room and shut the door. When she asked for a hug and kiss, etc., we didn’t respond. She threw a MASSIVE FIT! She hit the door! She banged on it! She cried. She tried bargaining, “Please, just one more hug and kiss!” She screamed, “MOMMY!!” After about 15 minutes (it seemed like more), she went back to her room.

    Guess what? She never threw a fit about bedtime again. She has rarely gotten up (only with a legitimate need) and on the random occasion that she complains “I don’t want to go to bed,” she realizes that she’s going to have to, and she sticks out her bottom lip and goes to bed anyway.

    What I’m saying is, we did what worked for us… and after 8 years of sleeping in her mother’s bed, my daughter moved to her own room with relatively little struggle in a week. Probably would’ve happened sooner if I’d not responded to her after the 1st day or 2.

    I’m not saying this is an appropriate tactic for you to use when you move your baby out of your bed–obviously, you do different things with toddlers than you do with school age children. All I’m saying is, you parent YOUR child the way that works for YOUR family. Ignore what people say about the implied “damage” they think you’re doing.

    My daughter is a very independent, secure, and confident child (who didn’t start getting colds, sinus infections, and strep throat and the like until I stopped nursing her, by the way! And she STILL gets sick RARELY).

    More power to you. Be confident, because you’re doing the best for your family. 😉

  7. I totally agree with you Rachel. Change only when you feel you’re all ready for it, not just because people tell you to. My baby girl slept in our bedroom and sometimes in our bed (specially when she’s sick) until she was 12 months old. She now 15 months and sleeps in her own bedroom, but she falls asleep in our bed every night and then I take her to her bed. But it doesn’t always happen. Sometimes we all fall asleep and she stays with us all night. So what? I love when she rubbs my face in the middle of the night 🙂 or when she kisses me or her daddy and continues to sleep. I always say to my husband ‘we must cherish these moments with her, I don’t care if it’s right or wrong, let’s enjoy’. We both work all day long, and at night we need to spend every single minute with her while she’s awake. Enjoy every moment Rachel, as a mother you know what’s best for Cameron like I know what’s best for Alice and they will not become bad people for sleeping with us. All the best for you and your beautiful family. XOXO from Portugal.

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