Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Not putting a name on it

I think I must be a bit of an abnormal parent.  Everyone seems to label the type of parenting they follow or believe in, natural parenting, attachment parenting, strict parenting, slow parenting... the list really does go on.  I've been thinking about this lately for some reason, I never read any parenting type books after my boys were born (don't get me wrong, I love reading and read squillions of books, including lots of birth and pregnancy books) but I just felt I wanted to feel my own way along without someone telling me what to do, or rather, someone telling me everything I was doing wrong.

In hindsight, I found for me personally that parenting style has more to do with the child's personality than the type of parent I was trying to be.  While both my boys were treated in the same way - fed on demand, carried lots in a carrier rather than using a pram, etc, my oldest son was quite normal in regards to the amount he cried, his sleep patterns and so on.  My younger son however couldn't have been more different, he was extremely difficult from birth, cried incessantly no matter what you did.  He just seemed to be stroppy whether you held him or cuddled him or put him down, and he never wanted to go to sleep.  I have to admit, there were times when I just had to put him down and let him cry.  Does that make me a bad parent?  NO.  Looking at his personality now though it all makes sense, he is just an active, demanding and difficult person (but totally loveable and cheeky too).

But babies do cry.  That's how they communicate.  And quite often, they have a bit of a cry and whinge as they are settling down to sleep.  That's just what they do.  And I feel parents are made to feel guilty when their babies cry.  I quite often see a baby having a grizzle because they are tired and just want to go to sleep, but the parents panic and try and feed Bub, or pick him up, etc.  Then baby just gets over-tired and harder to settle themselves.  While I am a great believer in always being there for your baby, there does come times when your baby needs your HELP to learn certain things - they need to learn night from day, they need to learn how to settle themselves to sleep (this is a huge one for me, and one of the most important things not only for them but for you too), they need to learn that the people around them can be trusted.  You can do all this in ways that are kind, and those ways might be different for each child in your family.

So I think what I really wanted to say is don't feel guilty if you are not following the trend with a type of parenting, put down those books, ignore other people's judgements and do what feels right for you and your baby (and their personality).  No-one knows your baby better than you do and believe me when I say - You are a Wonderful Mum and you are doing a Fantastic Job!!!


Kelly Lynch Ring said...

Monique, you are a WONDERFUL Mother,a GORGEOUS human being, have an AMAZING heart of gold and I think your perfect! I kinda like those little boys of yours too!

My daughter said the most profound thing to me at the age of 5 that changed my opinion about everyone else's parenting opinions. She said (as I was reading some parenting books) to me "would you please put those books away and just be my mom". That says it all, no child is the same or can be parented in the same way. We have to do what simply works best for our children and us!


I love you, Kelly Lynch Ring

Kelly Lynch Ring said...

You are just lovely, love your blog & I have given you "The Versatile Bloggers Award"!!! Take a peek here http://vitalearthtraditions.blogspot.com/2011/05/versatile-blogger-award-i-love-it.html . Have a gorgeous day. xxooxx

Cheers, Kelly Lynch Ring

Your Cheeky Monkey said...

oh you are lovely, thankyou Kelly! xx

Nat said...

Well said.