Becoming a mum is a mind blowing experience. Being a mum is a minefield. Every which way you turn there are ‘experts’ claiming to know what is best for the care of babies. Every technique has its proponents and opponents. You are bombarded with advice from friends, family, even strangers and that’s without even setting foot in the social media world full of parenting pages from sleep ‘experts’ to mummy bloggers all filling your head with words, advice, images, more words, more advice, more images. Some make your heart swell and build you up but then just one click later BANG the self doubt, guilt and questions about what you and your baby are doing are back again.
What’s a mum to do?
The answer is, follow YOUR baby and you can’t go wrong. Follow what feels right in YOUR heart and you can’t go wrong.
If some stupid article has you tied up in knots, ask yourself why. If you are happy, your baby is happy, your family is happy and your choices are safe … F#%^ that article right off out of your headspace! It clearly wasn’t written for you or yours.
If it stirs up residual guilt, then there is every chance your happiness is suffering and you’d benefit from processing your experience more fully so you can get to a place of acceptance and happiness. This MAY involve changing your path but it also may not.
I challenge anyone to write an article that is truly in support of ALL mothers about any specific topic and still sound like they are genuine.
I’ve written many articles feeling like they are as ‘inclusive’ and ‘judgement’ free as possible and STILL some one will call me on it. I’ve since kind of given up on the idea and now choose to write from my point of view but am mindful of those who take a differing path and make sure I am still respectful of their choices no matter that I disagree. This does not mean I will promote or advocate these choices and I certainly won’t be sitting in the sidelines cheering them on as that wouldn’t me being true to me and my heart.
Does this make me the perfect mum and those who do it differently bad or uncaring? ABSOLUTELY NOT! I am far from perfect, nobody is nor need to be. We all do what we decide is best in our unique circumstances and it’s important that we can own that. I own my choices and you should own yours. If your choices fill you with guilt, then maybe some processing is required on your part. Getting all up in arms at some random blogger who stirred it up is not going to help you move on to a happy place in life. If your choices fill you with happiness then I’m sure you will brush off the bullshit you think I’m spinning and move on.
Blogging feels good for me. I love writing and right now my favourite topics are all things gentle mum. I advocate for breastfeeding, bedsharing and babywearing. That’s where my heart’s at and passions lie. I have a distinct distaste for all thing sleep training and sleep trainers in particular. I won’t shy away from that. Sleep training is actually mainstream practice (shiver down my spine). Those of us who don’t believe in it are actually in the minority right now so for all those people who are looking for positive support and articles on the pro sleep training side, you will have ZERO trouble finding support (just talk to your local CHN). Voices such as mine and other gentler parenting bloggers may seem loud and persistent but this is small fry compared to the bombardment of pro sleep training bullshit your average new parent will encounter on their journey especially if they have a wakeful child.
So I speak from my experience. I tell raw truths even if they are only my truths. I throw caution to the wind in the vain hope I can reach some likeminded souls needing a fresh perspective or reassurance that there is a way to do this incredibly tough job while still following a gentle style of parenting. Without conforming to the mainstream.
As a blogger, I may just reach just one mama and make her feel okay and that to me is worth it.
So, honesty needs to win in my book. If you want caution and you want Team Mummy to come out to play with no ifs and buts, then keep on looking, but even if you do find it, you may just miss the realness and connection you find with bloggers who just tell it like it is, even if their ‘like it is’ is nothing like yours.
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